The Eastern Region of the province abounds with adventurous trails that hikers from around the world flock to. Hiking is one of the pillar activities of our region, and you don’t have to look much further than your own back door to know why. And as much as we love to promote our great outdoors, we understand that it just isn’t for everyone.
For those of you who cringe at the idea of being outdoors, who start itching just thinking about mosquitoes or have an adverse reaction to being eaten by a bear (not that that has ever happened), we have the perfect trail for you.
Set aside everything you associate with the word ‘trail’ and let us paint a new picture for you, one with paved roads and air-conditioned buildings; one where the mosquitoes won’t get you and if you get eaten by a bear, you’ve gone horribly off track. This trail is loaded with crisp brown French fries, mouth-watering gravy, and delicious cheese curds. For the non-hikers and foodies everywhere, this is the trail to take if you’re ready to explore Eastern Manitoba in a whole new way!
Poutine Trail Manitoba
Taking one of Canada’s famous dishes, Poutine Trail Manitoba has put it on the map in a whole new way! Throughout Manitoba’s southeastern bilingual communities, you will find some of the tastiest, most creative poutine dishes in the province. There are 8 stops along this trail. Each stop offers traditional poutine for those who like to keep it simple, but the real gem is in each of the location’s signature dishes made for those of us who are willing to get a little more adventurous at meal time.
While we don’t recommend trying to squeeze this trail into one day, we do recommend you get out and experience each of the trail locations. Not only will you get to enjoy a feast, but you’ll also get to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way (yes, you can stay in your car) and explore the host communities.
On the Poutine Trail Stop, you will find the Signature Perogie Poutine: Home cut fries topped with perogies, choice of bacon or farmer sausage, garnished with green onions, sour cream, and delicious gravy.
Explore Lorette: Experience the country charm of Lorette, a small village located just 26 kilometers from the city. Stretching along the Seine River and the Dawson Trail, which was used by Wolseley’s soldiers to get to the Red River during the Metis uprising in the second half of the 19th century, Lorette is rich with Manitoba’s History. Walk along the trails and envision what life may have been like so many years ago or stop by for a round of golf at the Lorette Golf Course.
On the Poutine Trail Stop, you will find the Signature La Beau-tine: Homemade fries with seasoned hamburger, mushrooms, cheese curds smothered with our homestyle gravy garnished with green onions and bacon bits. Served with eggs any style.
Explore Richer: Located approximately forty kilometers southeast of Winnipeg on the Trans Canada Highway, the town of Richer emerged from two dynamic nations: the French and the Metis. The first settlers were attracted to the area, initially called Côteau-de-Chênes, by the abundance of lumber. The construction of the Dawson Trail, beginning in 1869, attracted even more settlers who came to live alongside the Métis who had been in the area since the 1840s. After you’re poutine stop by the Dawson Trail Museum, a historical gem featuring a Romanesque church, a century-old cemetery, artifact displays and guided tours.
On the Poutine Trail Stop, you will find the Signature C’est Bon Popcorn Chicken Poutine: Homemade fries smothered in layers of crispy popcorn chicken, fried onions and bacon, white cheese curds, thick creamy gravy and topped with shredded cheddar cheese, and drizzled with homemade chipotle ranch sauce.
Explore Marchand: The quaint town of Marchand is located southeast of La Broquerie, approximately one hour from Winnipeg, and is the gateway to Sandilands Provincial Park. Marchand is also where world-renowned Franco-Manitoban author Gabrielle Roy had her first teaching job in 1929. Work up an appetite by visiting Sandilands Provincial Forest, where you can hike the trails, go horseback riding or mountain biking. Marchand is also home to the Marchand Logging Days festival that features a wide range of events such as log swing, ATV obstacle course, mud bogging and much more.
On the Poutine Stop, you will find the Signature Taco Curd Poutine: Homemade fries topped with white cheese curds, homemade gravy, taco beef, tomatoes, green onions, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.
Explore St. Malo: located 45 minutes south of Winnipeg, St. Malo is a favourite vacation destination. In the summer, cottagers and campers flock to the area to enjoy its many outdoor activities and the beaches. It also offers a wealth of winter activities, including ice-fishing, snowmobiling and car ice racing on the lake. A friendly community with an abundance of activities, St. Malo is great to visit any time of year. Check out the yearly Festival of Friends or practice your swing at St. Malo Golf and Cabins or spend the day at St. Malo Provincial Park swimming at one of the two beaches or playing a round of mini golf.
St. Pierre Jolys
On the Poutine Stop, you will find the Signature Tourtière Poutine: Hand cut double fried pommes frites topped with fresh cheese curds, savory tourtière filling, poutine gravy, a little touch of pastry crumbs, a spicy ketchup aioli and sliced green onions.
Explore St. Pierre Jolys: Located 30 minutes south of Winnipeg, St. Pierre-Jolys is a charming village on the banks of the Rat River. It was established in 1877 following an expedition led by Father Ritchot of St. Norbert, who was convinced that the region’s land was fertile. Stop in and visit the Goulet House, a log house built by Moïse Goulet around 1870 or Step back in history and imagine being greeted by the Sisters in the parlor or the room where the Mother Superior lived by visiting the Saint-Pierre-Jolys Museum.
On the Poutine Stop, you will find the Signature Sweet & Spicy Chicken Poutine: Homemade fries, cheese curds, and gravy topped with special sweet and spicy chicken.
Explore Saint-John-Baptiste: settled in the early 1870s by Métis families from St. Norbert, The land around St. Jean Baptiste is among the most fertile in the Red River Valley. A variety of seeds and specialty crops (including soups peas) are farmed in the region, and St. Jean Baptiste has the honour of being known as the “Pea Soup Capital” of Canada! St. Jean Baptiste is also home to the province’s oldest remaining rural convent, the former convent of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, established in 1897-1898. Another community with rich ties to our past, once you have finished your Poutine make sure to stop by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church, established by Bishop Taché.
On the Poutine Stop, you will find the Signature Lucky Luc Burger Poutine: Hand cut shoestring french fries topped with ground beef cheese curds and cheddar cheese, smothered in a bourbon BBQ gravy and garnished with crisp bacon and onion tanglers.
Explore Ste. Agathe: This charming little village came to symbolize the devastating effects of rising water levels and captured national and international headlines after it was hit by the biggest flood of the Red River in 1997, dubbed “the Flood of the Century.” To find out all about the major floods in this area, be sure to visit the Red River Valley Flood Interpretive Centre or hit the Poutine Trail in July to take in the Cheyenne Summer Fest, a country fair for the whole family, featuring a pancake breakfast, horseshoe tournament, beach volleyball, baseball, children’s crafts, community supper, “beer and skits”, a dance and fireworks.
On the Poutine Stop, you will find the Signature Old No.12 Breakfast Poutine: Grilled baked potato chunks topped with fried onions, bacon bits, cheese curds, and gravy.
Explore Sainte-Anne: Surrounded by rich farmland to the west, the boreal forest to the east and with the Seine River running through the middle of town, Ste. Anne-des-Chênes is located along the historic Dawson Trail, about 40 kilometers east of Winnipeg. Book your tee time at one of two amazing courses, Cottonwood Golf Course, a 27 hole course cut out of dense forest, or Oakwood Golf Course, an 18 hole course that is one of Manitoba's best-kept secrets. Or plan your trip for September and say goodbye to summer at the Dawson Trail Days Festival, a 3-day festival featuring baseball, a parade, music and dancing, kids’ zone, youth talent competition and fireworks.
There are many reasons to visit the Eastern Region of the province and the Poutine Trail sure does provide an opportunity to get out and explore this region. Come out and visit us today and discover how your heart beats in Eastern Manitoba!