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Scenery at the end of Nut Point Trail
Scenery at the end of Nut Point Trail

Nut Point Trail Hike Near La Ronge, SK

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I didn’t know what to expect on a hike on the Nut Point Trail in Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, Saskatchewan. The trail is located just a few kilometres from the town of La Ronge. It follows a treed and rocky peninsula to its tip – jutting into Lac La Ronge, Saskatchewan’s fourth largest lake located in fabulous Canadian Shield country. 

The Nut Point trail is 15 km long one way. It’s best enjoyed as a backpacking trip. I tell you that from experience as I did hike 30 kilometres in one rather longish, buggy day.

Although John and I spent an hour at the tip, it wasn’t nearly enough. Take my advice on this one and backpack in for a night or two. When you see how pretty the campsites look at the end of the blog, you’ll understand why.

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Starting off on the Nut Point Trail
Starting off on the Nut Point Trail

Location map

                   

Nut Point Trail hike details

The first half of the trail – the part that takes you to the Nut Portage – is in pretty decent shape. There are regular markers and much of the 7.5 km of trail follows granite ridges through the Boreal forest.

Within a kilometre of the start of the trail, you pass through a section of forest that was burnt in the 1999 Mallard Fire. That fire took out century old black spruce trees – and the new growth is quite different.

Long stretches of easy hiking on exposed granite ridges
Long stretches of easy hiking on exposed granite ridges
Looking at these plants makes me dizzy - and no they're not out of focus
Looking at these plants makes me dizzy – and no they’re not out of focus
There were occasional markers around on the Nut Point Trail
There were occasional markers around on the Nut Point Trail

At about the 5 km mark we got our first expansive views of Lac La Ronge, the fourth largest lake in Saskatchewan. It drains northeast into the Churchill River and makes its way eventually to empty into Hudson’s Bay.

Much of the lake is park and what is particularly lovely about it, apart from the Canadian Shield scenery, are the 1,305 islands in the lake, making it a paddling paradise as well. In Lac la Ronge Provincial Park there are actually over 100 lakes, and 30 documented canoe routes!

Our first view of Lac La Ronge from the trail
Our first view of Lac La Ronge from the trail

Nut Portage area

When we reached the Nut Portage, we mistakenly thought the peninsula continued to narrow. But it did quite the opposite and ended up ballooning in width.

So many times on the last part of the hike, we thought the end was in sight – just to be fooled again. At least if you’re canoeing, the short Nut Portage saves you 15 km of paddling.

View out to the lake at Nut Portage - the halfway point
View out to the lake at Nut Portage – the halfway point

For the next few kilometres after the halfway point, the trail markedly deteriorated. It was disappointing to see as it wouldn’t take many days to get rid of the dead-fall and throw up a few more markers. This trail is very pretty and deserves to be kept in better shape.

Be prepared for bugs just in case

The day before we hiked here, we had done a hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin in Prince Albert National Park. To say the bugs were a problem would be a major understatement.

In coming to the Nut Point Trail, I was worried that we would have another full day of bugs. But fortunately that wasn’t the case. For most of the day we kept a head-net on, but having said that, they really weren’t bad.

A lovely section of easy walking through reindeer moss
A lovely section of easy walking through reindeer moss
A not so fun section - poorly marked, muddy & buggy
A not so fun section – poorly marked, muddy & buggy
A tree eating sign
A tree eating sign

The end of the Nut Point Trail

When we reached the end of the trail after four hours of hiking we were both thrilled and blown away by the scene in front of us. Classic, almost Georgian Bay like scenery, with granite rock and windswept pines greeted us.

It’s a gorgeous area to camp for a few nights. Views are expansive, the swimming is excellent – if still a little cold – and the feeling at least on a weekday was that we had the entire park to ourselves.

Orange lichen covered rocks at the edge of Lac La Ronge
Orange lichen covered rocks at the edge of Lac La Ronge
Scenery at the end of Nut Point Trail
Scenery at the end of Nut Point Trail
Not a soul around on a weekday
Not a soul around on a weekday

There are no fees for visiting or backcountry camping in Lac La Ronge Provincial Park. I highly recommend the trail, despite the need for some trail maintenance.

A few things you’ll want to take on the Nut Point Trail

Do not think of hiking in this part of Saskatchewan in July without a bug jacket and a head net. I guarantee you’ll enjoy the outdoors way much more. And don’t forget the insect repellent. I’d recommend repellent that has some DEET in it. You might not need that in the city but you need it here.

What I take on every hike

I like something comfortable to sit on at lunch time. It can be your mitts on a warm spring day but in summer I swear by my almost weightless seat cushion.

The older I get the more I like using hiking poles. Invest in a good pair that are collapsible, preferably made of carbon because of their weightless quality.

I don’t pack gaiters on every trip, at some point on most hikes I usually wish I had them. In summer half gaiters are ideal for keeping pebbles and sand out of your shoes

No matter how the day starts I always carry rain gear. And I find a ball cap or brim hat with a chin strap invaluable in the rain or on a hot, in your face sunny day.

I always pack a buff as it’s a multi-purpose piece of cloth yet it takes up almost no room.

Have you ever hiked this trail or done a canoe trip through Lac La Ronge Provincial Park?

You'll find this map at the start of the Nut Point Trail
You’ll find this map at the start of the Nut Point Trail – the trail starts by the Nut Point Campground

Further reading on what to do in Saskatchewan

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

A 15-km one way hike on the Nut Point Trail in Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, Saskatchewan
A 15-km one way hike on the Nut Point Trail in Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, Saskatchewan

 

 

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