Happyland, SK really does exist and every adventure photographer should visit this mysterious place!
Happyland, SK is an RM located near the Alberta border and an hour north of Maple Creek, SK. The main town located within is Leader, SK at the intersection of highway 32 and 21.
I have visited this fascinating place 15 times since 2003 and I never tire of returning. It is filled with interesting landscapes, diverse wildlife and some of the coolest historical buildings you can find. It really is this good!
Happyland, SK… GO THERE!
Things To Do:
- Checkerboard Hill and the South Saskatchewan River valley. Just west of Leader, SK is where the Red Deer River and South Sask meet. It is a pretty place to shoot and a spot where tons of different kind of birds use as part of a migration trial. Rattlesnakes are sometimes seen in this area. The scenery in and around this valley is amazing at anytime of year, fall especially.
- Great Sand Hills Museum. Located in Sceptre this place has an old Church and other buildings, and inside the old school is the most authentically rural Sask museum I have seen. Real stuff from people who lived in the area. And some creepy dolls. $5
- Historic Buildings. Happyland is filled with more neat old buildings to shoot per km than just about any other place in Saskatchewan. The St Johns mini Church is located just south of Leader. It seems you can’t drive down any road without find an old school, Church or barn etc.
- Leader, SK. The town has all the services you will need including a Subway. It also has a caboose, a grain elevator and a bunch of larger than life animal sculptures.
- Blumenfeld Church. Located about 20 kms SE of Leader, this fantastic Church is great not just for day time photography, but for night photos as well. Light pollution is almost nil here. And sometimes someone is around to let you inside.
- Most grid roads are sand or dirt including the road to the Sandhills. Don’t go when wet.
- Most property in and around the valley and sand hills are privately owned. Don’t trespass and never enter a field of crops.
- Rattlesnakes are pretty much harmless if you stay away from them.
- After 10PM you will have to travel to Kindersley, SK for gas.
- After dark animals frequently hang out on roads.
By Chris Attrell
SaskPhotos.ca – Doing abandoned photography since 2003, storm chasing since 2004, night photography since 2010 and I currently travel Saskatchewan doing photo classes. Want a Happyland photo shoot? contact me.