Mortlach Historic Afforestation Project

April 23, 2021

25 minutes west of Moose Jaw ( just before the Town of Mortlach) you’ll find a section of trees in the middle of prairie fields.

I discovered this place last fall when Krystal Moore Photography did a mini session for our family at this location. It was beautiful, we weren’t really dressed to explore that day, but definitely had to return.

We gave P two options that morning and he chose “the forest” we also may have told him there’d be puddles ( there wasn’t, oops!)

We didn’t really prepare for this one. We had water, 2 bear paws, and applesauce…. and we were going out at lunch time (we were really living on the edge). Our back up plan was to go into Mortlach and hope there was café to pick up a light lunch.

There’s no trail, we just explored through the tree lines, and some clearings. There are blue signs that say what type of tree was planted and in what year (dating back to 1945), so we made a game out of finding them. The ground is sprinkled with pine cones and pine needles, the fallen branches all make for a crunchy walk.

Through one of the clearings we saw deer crossing in the distance. Continuing through the clearing we were startled ( I screamed) by a goose who flew off. We then noticed they were sitting on a nest of eggs. Terrified of geese in general we turned around to head back into the trees (for protection) in the event a gaggle was going to attack us.

Deer crossing in the distance
Goose nest – taken from a distance because they are mildly terrifying

S had a hard time navigating the terrain of the forest, and had to be carried lots. She also lost her bear paw at one point and that was DEVASTATING.

We were getting hungry and headed into Mortlach, it’s a cute little town. We had last been there for the Saskatoon Berry Festival in the summer of 2019. We found Frankyln’s Eatery ( I think it might have been our only option) and ate in there. It definitely had small town charm and service. The owner ( I think) complained (playfully) about how her husband did dishes and I really resonated with that. Ty and her husband seemed to have similar dish habits 😂😂. P hadn’t been out in a while and was just in awe of everything – the walls, the decor, the kitchen – anything , he was so chatty. It was a very entertaining lunch.

After lunch it was almost time to pick M up from school. We had seen a sign on our way to the forest for the ‘Thunder Creek Heritage Marsh ( with the binoculars icon), so we decided to check it out on our way back. We were hoping for some sort of trail, but didn’t come across any. It was a nice view of Pelican Lake, and maybe a place to return in the future.

Thunder Creek Heritage Marsh (Pelican Lake)

All in all it was a great afternoon, and the children fell asleep on the drive home (winning).

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