History | Fort Walsh National Historic Site
Why consider a trip to Fort Walsh National Historic Site
Is your class studying the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) and Canadian policy? Have you considered visiting one of the original posts? Why not dive into the history of Fort Walsh with hands on activities and learn, first-hand about the role of Fort Walsh and the NWMP in shaping the Canadian west. Tour the historic fort buildings with a guide in period costume. This guide is intended to help teachers plan their trip to Fort Walsh National Historic Site.
Fort Walsh was commemorated in 1924 as being nationally important to the history of Canada. From 1878-1883 Fort Walsh served as Headquarters of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) and because the men stationed at Fort Walsh were responsible for:
- Imposing Canadian law
- Implementing Canada’s “Indian Policy”
- Supervising the Lakota who had fled to Canada with Sitting Bull following the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876
Heritage presentation program
Interpreters will be using a variety of techniques to deliver period messages possibly including demonstrations, role-playing, skits, or non-period learning activities. The activities are aimed at the students but teachers and chaperones can join in too! Activities are intended to be educational and fun.
Schools wishing to participate in self-guided visits are welcome to explore the site on their own with no fee. We encourage students, however, to participate in an optional heritage presentation program, where an experienced interpreter guides them through a customized learning program, tailored for their provincial curriculum. These programs showcase the very best Canada has to offer, telling stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples. A small fee is charged to help cover a portion of the costs of delivering these programs.
Enhanced Program fees must be paid upon arrival. Cash, cheques, credit cards, and/or debit cards are accepted. Cheques are made payable to “The Receiver General for Canada”.
|Students (K – 12)|
|Self-Directed Fort Tour (no interpreter)||Free|
|Fort Walsh Guided Tour||$2.40|
|Include one workshop||$4.80|
|Include two workshops||$7.20|
|Teachers, chaperones, bus drivers||Free|
Please note prices are subject to change.
Fort Walsh National Historic Site requires one chaperone for every ten students.
Tour options (optional enhanced programs)
Workshop tour options
Each workshop is an additional $2.40 on top of the regular tour fee. Maximum of 2 workshops per booking.
NWMP Cannon Drill: The site’s Historic Weapons Supervisor will lead students through the cannon drill practiced by the NWMP at old Fort Walsh. The program will culminate with the thunderous firing of the site’s nine pound field rifle.
Métis Cabins: Come and experience what it would have been like to live in the Cypress Hills prior to and after Fort Walsh was in operation. Experience early trading in the Cypress Hills.
Check out our 3 NEW workshops:
Tipi Talk: Learn about this important structure and it’s significance to First Nations.
Trade Talk: Explore trade relations from First Nations perspective.
Treaty Talk: Explore the treaty making process on the prairies in the 1870’s.
How to book your visit
To reserve your spot contact the site for availability. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Maple Creek office at 306-662-2645.
Have the following information ready when you call:
- Time of arrival and planned departure from the site
- Number of students and grade level
- Teachers name (all names if multiple classes plan to visit together)
- School name and contact information (including phone number, fax number, mailing address and email address)
- Any special requests. We will make every effort to accommodate and will let you know beforehand if we are unable to
Book early to reserve your class’ spot!
Fort Walsh National Historic Site will confirm the options you choose when your booking is processed and confirmed in March.
Saskatchewan curriculum links will be provided upon request.
School groups will be booked on the hour and half past the hour.
To ensure quality, the maximum number of people booked per day will be four hundred. There is no limit on class size but larger classes will be divided into smaller groups.
We encourage all groups, whether planning a self-guided visit or taking part in a heritage presentation program, to reserve ahead of time to secure your space to avoid congestion and potential delays
If you need to make changes to your reservation, call the site as soon as possible.
Preparing your class
Rain, snow, shine or mosquitoes, Fort Walsh National Historic Site is open and the programs run as scheduled! There’s a lot of walking outside. Please ensure students and chaperones are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions and are wearing comfortable walking shoes.
Please arrive a few minutes before you’re scheduled to begin. Please note your travel time to the site and how to get here before you leave. If you get delayed along the way, please phone the site to let us know. We’ll try to accommodate the changes in your schedule. Please, be aware that we are unable to change the schedule for other groups if your group is delayed.
|Visitor center to Fort||10 minutes|
|Visitor center to NWMP cemetery||5 minutes|
|Visitor center to civilian cemetery||5 minutes|
|Fort to Cypress Hills Massacre site||60 minutes|
|Fort to picnic grounds||10 minutes|
|Metis walking trail from picnic site||20 minutes|
|Fort to Old Town site||5 minutes|
|Fort to Metis cabins||5 minutes|
Your group will be walking to the various activities on site. If you have students or adults with mobility restrictions, please let us know in advance and we will be sure to provide alternative transportation. Fort Walsh is approximately 650 hectares with beautiful trails to explore.
Due to renovations to the visitor centre, gift shop souvenirs may be limited. Please call ahead for confirmation.
Due to renovations to the visitor centre, canteen items will be limited and no lunch services will be available. Please call ahead for confirmation.
There’s a picnic area with shelter approximately ten minutes from the fort if you are interested in enjoying the scenery of Fort Walsh National Historic Site.
How to get there
Getting to Fort Walsh
Fort Walsh is located approximately 55 kms southwest of Maples Creek, off Highway 271 near the West Block of Cypress Hills Provincial Park. It is recommended to use Highway 271 during wet weather.
Medicine Hat is located approximately 107 kms from Maple Creek off the Trans Canada #1 Highway.
Swift current is approximately 138 kms East of Maple Creek of the Trans Canada #1 Highway.
GPS location to the Visitor Center is N49 34’ 27.58”, W109 52’ 32.15”
Coming by bus or coach
Please ensure when you arrive your driver pulls into the parking lot rather than going through the yellow gate to the Visitor Centre. There is very limited room in this area and larger coaches have experienced difficulty in getting back out once they enter this area. Please watch for construction signage to lead you to the parking lot. Please check in with the visitor kiosk in the parking lot.
Washroom breaks or time to visit the gift shop, or lunch breaks, may add up to 30 minutes to your time.
Should you visit on a day with special events, please be aware there may be changes to regularly scheduled activities.
Fort Walsh NHS
Phone Maple Creek office: 306-662-2645
Phone site: 306-662-3590
Parks Canada Website: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/sk/walsh/activ/edu/edu1