Fall is a magical time of year. The world around us begins slowing, the leaves glow with the beautiful reds and golds, the wildlife forage in abundance to ready themselves for the upcoming slumber. Our lives return to some level of normalcy this time of year. We are free from the hustle and bustle that summer brings along with it and we have yet to meet the demands of the cold winter chill and the holiday season. It’s a peaceful time of year, a time to allow yourself some freedoms to enjoy life at a relaxed pace. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have plenty of things for you to discover and explore in Eastern Manitoba this fall, oh no, we are still hustling and bustling about, all-be-it at a slower pace.
During National Forest Week (September 23 to 29) we invite you to join us in our magical world of reds and golds by taking to the trails that run through our region. We promise a natural beauty that will take your breath away, wondrous wildlife viewing opportunities, and delightful stories to share with your friends and family for years to come.
The Pinawa Trail
The Pinawa Trail, a section of the Trans Canada Trail, stretches approximately 28 km from the Pinawa Dam to the Seven Sisters Generating Station. Immerse yourself in the breath-taking fall colours as this trail winds through grasslands, boreal forest, and granite ridges. Hike the entire trail, or enjoy small segments of it along the Ironwood Trail and the Alice Chambers Trail, where you can also cross the 650 ft Pinawa Suspension Bridge overlooking the Pinawa Channel.
The Mantario trail is the longest Canadian Sheild Trail in Western Canada. The majority of this trail runs south to north along the Manitoba and Ontario border through the Whiteshell Provincial Park. The Mantario Trail is a whopping 63 km long, with demanding terrain that will take experienced backpackers three to five days to complete. There are 10 official campsites along the length of the trail to make your journey a little bit easier. If you are experienced enough to hit this trail, September is considered the best time to go. Not only will you see spectacular fall views, but the lower water levels, cooler temperatures, not to mention reduced bug count, will make your journey all the more spectacular.
Falcon Creek Trail
The Falcon Creek Trail, located in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, is a great family-friendly hike. Completing this trail is a breeze, with only 2 km to travel from start to finish. In addition to experiencing the great outdoors and the crisp fresh air of the fall, the Falcon Creek Trail provides fun activities that the whole family will enjoy, so don’t forget your pencils and chocolate-coated candy bars with caramel and nougat! We won’t tell you why you need the candy bar, you’ll have to hit the trail to find out why for yourselves.
Blue Water South Trail and Blueberry Rock
The Blue Water South Trail, part of the Great Trail, is a 37 km trail the extends from the Pinawa Dam Provincial Heritage Park to Great Falls. This trail winds through the boreal forest, with rock outcroppings and black spruce providing ample opportunities for wildlife viewing. The Blueberry Rock hiking trail is a wonderful place for a day trip. Favored by many for the granite rock ridges and a lookout tower that provides a spectacular view of the Winnipeg River, Blueberry Rock also has picnic tables and firepits. Enjoy a relaxing fall day exploring the sights of Blueberry Rock amongst the splendid aura of fall.
Red River North Trail
The Red River North Trail winds through a few different regions of the province, including the Eastman. This trail spans approximately 401 km as it twists away from Winnipeg, through Selkirk, and enters the Eastman region as it heads north at Mars Sand Hills, past Gull Lake, through the East Beaches before heading south to wind through Powerview-Pine Falls and ending in McArthur Falls, where the Blue Water Trail begins. With its expanse through the province, this trail’s landscape changes with every twist. It also serves an important role in preserving access to the varied natural landscapes and connecting local communities.
The Centennial Trail runs through the Whiteshell Provincial Park. At approximately 16 km long, this is a stunning section of the Trans Canada Trail, the provides breathtaking views and plenty of opportunities to view wildlife. This section of the trail cuts through Pre-Cambrian Shield country following high granite ridges and low areas of deep boggy boreal forest.
The North Whiteshell Trail
The North Whiteshell Trail is another section of the Trans Canada Trail that stretches from the dam at Seven Sisters Falls to Caddy Lake. This trail crosses through Natalie, Eleanor, Dorothy and Nutimik Lakes on the Winnipeg River, and Betula Lake, White Lake, Brereton Lake, and Rennie. There are many well-developed trails and campsites in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, that offer trail users natural wonders and daily necessities while exploring the natural beauty of this area. There are many fantastic points of interest along the way, including Bannock Rock Petroforms, many waterfalls, and wonderful wildlife viewing locations along the way.
Crow Wing Trail
The Crow Wing Trail is 191 km of trail that connects Emerson to Winnipeg. Not to fear though, there are plenty of access points along the way allowing you to travel the trail in shorter sections. This trail runs through the municipalities of Emerson, Franklin, Roseau River First Nations, De Salaberry, St. Pierre-Jolys, Niverville, and Richot. Originally established in the 1800’s as a route to transport goods to and from the Red River Settlement and the Crow Wing Settlement, you can walk the trails today enjoying the many great points of interest along the way including Mennonite Landing, Hespeler Park, St-Pierre-Jolys Museum, Senkiw Swinging Bridge, and more.