Places To Go
Photographer: Brenda Flood
Leader, Saskatchewan is a thriving community located at the
cross-roads of Highways 21 and 32 in Southwest Saskatchewan.
It's an oasis of individuality and a gateway to the unexpected.
Leader is your home base for
exploring sights throughout the area. We call it the "Leader
Loop," and it begins with a visit to the old CNR Caboose,
where you'll find maps, brochures and souvenirs.
Leader Tourism is
open from the May long weekend to Labour Day from 10:00 a.m.
to 6:00 p.m. Visit the Caboose, or call (306) 628-3995.
From September through May, you may also contact the Recreation
Coordinator at (306) 628-3860, or the Town Administration
Office at (306) 628-3868.
Smith Barn Site
The Smith Barn was built in 1914 by W. T. Smith, and represents
his greatest achievement. Smith was a man
of building the most elaborate ranch in the world. When the barn
was built, his livestock included 1,600 head of mules, 2,000
head of horses, 2,000 hogs, and 10,000 sheep.
The barn is the largest ever built in North America. Upon completion,
the building stood 400' x 128' x 60'. Building materials totalled
875,000 board feet of fir lumber from British Columbia, one and
a half train carloads of nails, 60,000 square feet of roofing
and 30,000 sacks of cement. It took 100 men five months to build
it, and when it was finished, people came from as far away as
California for the celebration.
W. T. Smith was a living legend of
the west, but died only 4 four years after achieving his goal.The
barn was dismantled in 1921, however the concrete foundation
remains standing today. The Smith Barn Site is now a Provincial
Heritage Site. A scale model of this landmark can be found
at the Leader Tourist Booth.
Leader Millennium Gardens
Photographer: Gordon Stueck
Millennium Gardens was built in 2000 in recognition of our history
and cultural heritage.
Located on Main Street, the park is used for community events
Millennium Gardens was designed by a student of the University
of Guelph School of Landscape Architecture.
The park features a
large gazebo, walking paths, and commemorative monuments. For
more information please call the Recreation
Leader Bird Watching Trail
Photographer: Dean Francis
The South Saskatchewan River near Leader
is one of the most outstanding natural attractions in the
province. The diligent and patient bird watcher will be treated
to rare species of birds that frequent the spectacular river
The riparian woodlands of the Leader area are the largest
of their kind in Saskatchewan, and the largest tract
between the Cypress Hills and the northern forest. The cottonwood
stands are home to the Pileated Woodpecker, Golden
Eagle an Great Blue Heron.
The extensive grasslands in the valley attract
various rare species such as the Ferruginous Hawk, Long-billed Curlew and Loggerhead Shrike,
as well as the endangered Burrowing Owl.
St. John's School
Photographer: Patti Trautwein
St. John's School is a Provincial Heritage Site, and was built
in the 1920s.
The building is a shining example of the one room schoolhouses
that covered the prairies for the first half of the century.
St. John's School is completely original, and features furnishings
from the period. You'll find it 8 and a half miles/14 km south
of Leader on Highway 21.
Blumenfeld Catholic Church
Photographer: Ivan Nakonechny
Blumenfeld Church is a Provincial Heritage Site and was erected
in 1915. The interior of the church is one of the most beautiful
in Canada. It has been carefully maintained and includes all
the original furniture and fixtures.
Behind the church is a Grotto made of prairie stones, where
members of the Catholic religion gather once a year to enjoy
a church service which is called "Pilgrimage."
Tours are available in the summer on Sundays from 2:00 - 4:00
p.m. The church is located 10 miles/16 km south of Leader
on Highway 21. Turn east when you come to the sign, then travel
another 4 miles/6.4 km.
Estuary Hutterite Colony
Photographer: Patti Trautwein
The Estuary Hutterite Colony has been settled beside
the Saskatchewan River since 1958. Entering the Colony
is comparable to visiting another world. The Hutterites have
their way of life, and their religion.
The Estuary Colony is up by 7 in the morning and always
hard at work. They are very active people, yet they will always
make time for visitors. They love to share their culture,
and visitors are always impressed by their quietness and friendliness.
To arrange a visit to the Colony, please call (306) 628-4116.
You will be provided with a tour guide who will show you the
area and answer all your questions. The Estuary Colony is 10
miles/16 km west of Leader on Highway 741. Turn right on 635
for 3 miles/4.8 km and then left for 1 mile/1.6 km.
Photographer: Dean Francis
Checkerboard Hill is one of the most scenic locations in the
province of Saskatchewan. The imagery changes with the season,
and it's also the vantage point for many of the historical
you will find in the Leader area.
From the top of Checkerboard Hill there is an unforgettable
view of the river and the land that surrounds it. There are markers
located at the top which provide visitors with a background to
To visit Checkerboard Hill, drive 4 miles/6.4 km west of
Leader on Highway 741. Turn north for 4 miles/6.4 km, then
again. Here you will see "The Checkerboard".
The Great Sandhills
Photographer: Kerry Wrishko
The Great Sandhills encompass 1900 sq. km of Southwest Saskatchewan
and are one of the largest in the country. The view from the
top of the hills is breathtaking, and visitors to the area consider
it a once in a lifetime experience. The largest sand dunes are
25 meters in height and cover several hectares of land.
Only a fraction of the Sandhills are actually exposed sand dunes.
The remainder of the area is covered with native grass which
help bind the sand together. The dunes are fringed by small clumps
of trees which include aspen, birch and willow, and by rose bushes,
sagebrush and chokecherry. As they are subject to strong winds
from the northwest, the sand dunes move east at a rate of almost
four meters per year.
To visit the Great Sandhills, travel 12 miles/19.3 km east of
Leader to Sceptre. Take the grid road on the east side of Sceptre.
the road south 6 miles/9.6 km from Highway 21, then follow
the curve west for 1 mile/1.6 km before turning south again
for 6 miles/9.6 km. This road is an all season access, and
is privately leased by local ranchers who use the land as summer
pasture for their cattle. All fires and camping are prohibited
in the Sandhills. Parking is allowed only in designated areas.
Please remember to respect the environment; take only pictures,
leave only footprints.