Little Manitou Lake (Saskatchewan)

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Little Manitou Lake
Manitou Beach Saskatchwan Gazebo 2010.jpg
Manitou Beach
Location Saskatchewan
Coordinates 51°44′N 105°30′W / 51.733°N 105.500°W / 51.733; -105.500Coordinates: 51°44′N 105°30′W / 51.733°N 105.500°W / 51.733; -105.500
Type Endorheic
Primary inflows None
Primary outflows None
Basin countries Canada
Surface area 13.4 km2 (5.2 sq mi)
Average depth 3.8 m (12 ft)
Settlements Manitou Beach
References [1][2][3]

Little Manitou Lake is a small saltwater lake about 100 kilometres south-east of Saskatoon, Canada. The lake was formed by receding glaciers during the most recent ice age. It is fed by underground springs, and has a mineral content high in sodium, magnesium and potassium salts due to it being a terminal lake. The salt content of the water (180 g/L)[3] gives it a salinity about half of that of the Dead Sea (300-400 ppt), allowing bathers to float easily.


Since the 19th century, native people have been bringing sick people to the lake they named after the spirit Manitou. The earliest known practice of using this water to heal was when some Assiniboine people afflicted with smallpox were supposedly cured after drinking and submerging themselves in the water.[3]

Since the turn of the 20th century and the depression of the 1930s, Manitou has been a tourist resort due to its unique mineral waters. Since the late 1980s, the claimed health benefits and the buoyancy of the water have once again made it a popular tourist destination.[4]

Manitou Beach has spawned an arts community, made evident by the founding of an Artists' Collective called "Spirit of Manitou Studio Trail". The Spirit of Manitou Studio Trail consists of an open studio/gallery weekend tour including artists/artisans from the localities of Allan, Meacham, Watrous and Manitou Beach.

See also[edit]