Willow Bunch – Sitting Bull: Historic Saskatchewan Travel Destinations

Willowbunch, Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Travel Destinations: Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan

©2008Angie Haggstrom

Originally called “Talle-de-Saules,” the town of Willow Bunch is a must see travel destination in the heart of Southern Saskatchewan, Canada. The Metis were the first to settle in the area in 1870 and are the subject of several amazing culture and historic sites in the area. The Willow Bunch region is loaded with interesting attractions that tell the story of Saskatchewan from ancient petroglyphs and artifacts to the early life of settlers.

If you would like to learn about a great Saskatchewan mystery during your travels, head to St. Victor Petroglyph Park a short drive from Willow Bunch. The beautiful park is home to fascinating petroglyphs made on the top of a cliff. No one knows who made the drawings into the stones, but they know that they have to be from 500 AD or earlier because of artifacts that were discovered at the same location.

Another great part of the mystery is why the petroglyphs were drawn. Some people believe the area was used in various religious ceremonies while others think it may have been a place of communication between tribes. Maybe you can solve the mystery. Take a guided tour of the area and enjoy the surrounding view, or take a tour of the park adjacent to the petroglyphs that tells the history of the North West Mounted Police.

Be sure to leave room in your Saskatchewan travel itinerary for the McGillis House in St.Victor. The simple rustic façade of the little rustic cabin doesn’t seem significant at first glance, but it is by far one of the best historical buildings in the province. Originally built in 1890 by “Catchoo” McGillis, the house was constructed from basic items such as willow stake and prairie grasses. Now a museum, the historic site gives visitors a firsthand look at what life was like for Metis settlers who first lived in the region.

While traveling in the area, be sure to stop at Jean Louis Legare Regional Park for a picnic lunch and maybe even take pictures of the birds and natural wonders in the area. Being part of the Big Muddy Valley, the Legare Regional Park is full of spectacular coulees. The area now known as Hole 7 of the golf course was the last place Sitting Bull stayed before he entered back into the United States in 1881. The regional park was also home to Jean Louis Legare’s trading post and telegraph office.

Found in the Big Muddy Badlands, Castle Butte stands proudly against the Saskatchewan horizon. Those who travel to the area can recognize it easily by its layered cone-shaped sides and flat top. Guided siteseeing tours of the area are available as well. They are the perfect opportunity to explore the badlands by vehicle giving visitors the chance to see many of the natural wonders in the area including openings in the earth that reveal the coal that is hidden just underneath the surface. Along the way, you can learn more of the area’s rich history concerning Sitting Bull, Jean Louis Legare, and other people who resided in the area long ago.

The area surrounding Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan is as beautiful as it is rich in history and culture. The instant you arrive, you will immediately see why this travel destination is one of the best hidden gems in Canada.

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(This post can now be found here: http://www.traveltheprairies.com/saskatchewan/willow-bunch-saskatchewan-travel-destinations/)