Explore: Birtle

“Birtle, you sure are beautiful” was what we thought as we got our first glimpse. It is amazing how quickly the landscape changes in that area of Manitoba. This beautiful area appears surprisingly out of our flat prairie to expose a treed valley, ravines and the Birdtail River.

While we have made most of our trips during non-winter weather when it’s easier to get out and explore and see what each area has to offer, we know that there are many options for exploring the 204 even during our winter months. We really wanted a winter adventure weekend some place where we could rent a cabin and get out and snowshoe, go cross country skiing and have a relaxing weekend. “Birtle’s Riverside Cabin” came up on a search and it seemed like the perfect place, in the perfect location to enjoy and share on here!

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Birtle is located approximately 3 1/2 hrs from downtown Winnipeg. Taking Hwy 16 there will be shorter by about 40km, and it will be a little more scenic, with a lower speed limit, several small towns en route (lower speed limits) and the possibility of being stuck behind slower moving vehicles while waiting for the next passing lane area. Taking Hwy 1 out to just West of Virden and then hwy 83 North to Birtle will increase the trip distance to about 350km from downtown Winnipeg, but will actually get you there faster so that you have more time to enjoy this charming, friendly little community.

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Birtle is a mix of old buildings and newer homes with a respect for heritage that can be seen in the murals and decorative public art. The definite jewel of this community is Birtle Riverside Park. Even covered in snow the many recreational activities are evident including a golf course, campground, tennis courts, a fantastic looking playground and Birtle Beach which is a sand bottom and chlorinated water. We may have to put this location on our list for a summer visit but for this trip it was all about enjoying some winter fun!

The park has numerous well marked trails that we were able to enjoy for a day of snowshoeing. The trails surround a rustic warm up cabin stocked with a wood stove, dry wood, and some cooking utensils. We replenished our energy and continued our trek, enjoying the amazing views. The next day we tried out the freshly groomed cross country ski trails and enjoyed conversing with (very friendly!) locals at this hidden gem. They were very proud of this area, and rightly so – it’s gorgeous! All of these winter activity opportunities were right outside the door of the cabin that we rented, where we also enjoyed watching the deer walk through the yard. We couldn’t help but talk about how great these trails would be for hiking and biking at in the summer! There is also a strong community for sledders in this area, with snowmobile trails with links to Snowtraxx and Snowman routes.

One very unique offering in this community is the Whooo’s That costume barn.  With over 3000 handmade costumes this place is amazing (the pictures on their website do not do it justice!).  Elly is the owner/artist/designer/sewer/host who graciously provided a tour and shared some of her favorite costumes and memories from her many years in the business.  Have your picture taken in period dress or just a silly costume, rent something special for your next event, or just get your pirate on!!  This place is definitely worth a visit!

We made a quick visit in to the arena (spectator area has a great view of the ice area!), and went tobogganing down the hill at the elementary school (so much fun!). We enjoyed a bonfire and s’mores in the evening at the cabin, surrounded by snow (winter s’mores are awesome!). We noticed the old residential school at the top of the hill (it’s hard to miss, it’s enormous!) but did not get up there to take a closer look. Eleanor at the Community Development Corp was kind enough to provide some great suggestions on activities to do, and places to eat at and visit, including the nearby Foxwarren Kent Hotel, which is an iconic sports memorabilia bar. (I’d also like to give Eleanor a special thank and photo credit for the pictures on here of the mural and the horse fountain!)

We had so much fun during our short stay, and would love to visit here again in the summer for some kayaking, hiking and swimming!

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Sharing our passion of exploring the 204 (Manitoba, Canada) From scenic hikes, to small town day trips, to places to grub. Not only will we be explaining how to get there, we'll share personal experiences too! P.S : Most of these exciting and delicious experiences are in rural Manitoba. Enjoy.

13 comments on “Explore: Birtle

  1. Michelle Bryant

    Hi! Thanks for sharing! Always fun to read about the community that you have grown up in! Have lots of memories from this small town gem and it’s only now, as an adult that I realize how lucky we were to have all those outdoor activities at our finger tips!
    I actually saw you trying out the toboggan hill the day you visited (it’s my white vehicle in the background of your photo posted here) and I wondered who the adults were enjoying the hill! ❤️
    Thanks again for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s funny that you saw us there! haha. Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog, and comment on here! We had so much fun in Birtle and we personally think that more adults should be out there enjoying that awesome toboggan hill! 😉 It’s a beautiful area that you live in, and I’m pretty sure that we’ll be making another visit there in the summer 🙂 Have a great weekend! ❤

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  2. Jeff Howard

    Thanks for visiting and the nice article. There are so many local and provincial attractions we take for granted. I will be following your reports as you expolre “The 204”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nancy Evans

    This is a great article about Birtle and I am so happy you enjoyed your stay! And I am very happy to be introduced to your blog! I think I met you on skis just coming into the park that day and was thrilled to meet someone else using the trail and to welcome you. Do make sure to come back again for any season!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nancy! Yes that was probably us! I think you were heading back out (along the river?). Thank you for being so friendly and excited about the freshly groomed trails! It’s a beautiful park and we’re looking forward to another visit when we can get out hiking and enjoy the water area too.

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  4. Lawrence Williams

    Grew up in Foxwarren district, but Birtle was our town of choice for dances, beach, park, girlfriends, sports competitions a,d I was employed there twice, until leaving 62 years ago.
    Visited briefly last July. Our eldest daughter born while we lived there, in /53. A truly great community.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barbara Larkin

    It was great reading your blog of Birtle. Grew up there but moved away nearly 50 years ago! Funny how we never really appreciate what a special place we had until we move away 🤔 Thanks for sharing some great pictures as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Helen Whetter

    Thanks for sharing your visit to Birtle! At one time I lived there too,and loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Free Admission to Provincial Parks this Weekend! – Explore the 204

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