Explore: Adam Lake (Turtle Mountain)

Easy to access in Turtle Mountain Provincial Park is Adam Lake and Campground. Located 3 hours from downtown Winnipeg, Adam Lake offers electrical sites as well as a beautiful overflow camping area.

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There is a really nice beach area by the campground, and lots of walking paths and trails to hike on. There is also a fitness trail with lots of different fitness activities on it (we, of course, did every single one of them! 😅). The campground itself is nice, clean and the spots are not too close to each other.

Things to do while camping at Adam Lake:

  • hang out at the beach – there’s also a playground (we tested out the swings, and maybe even a slide, but did not harm any children in our shenanigans)
  • do the fitness trail walk (it’s a pretty little walk even if you don’t do the fitness activities)
  • Hike the Adam Lake trail – it’s beautiful.
  • Walk to the Moose lookout tower (apparently you may be able to see Moose from it)
  • Take a side trip to hike the Turtle Back Mountain
  • Check out the International Peace Gardens, which are just down the road and worth the trip. Note: there is an admission cost of $20/car.
  • Go for ice cream or a tour around the wildlife museum 15 minutes away in Boissevain

 

 

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Hike: Turtle’s Back Hiking Trail

This 7km (return, approximately) long hike is well, well worth the amazing views from the top of the lookout tower that you hike to. This hiking trail is located in William Lake Provincial Park, which is a hidden gem in itself and has one heck of a beautiful campground.

Located right on the outskirts of Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, William Lake is less than a 3 1/2 hr drive from downtown Winnipeg in the South West corner of Manitoba. It can be reached by driving via hwy 2 or hwy 3, or is also a quick trip from the Adams Lake campground in Turtle Mountain.

*Please note that you will be driving a fair distance on gravel roads to reach this destination. Please drive with caution as there are a few areas where you can not see oncoming traffic*

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We recommend doing the full trail loop in order to see all of the varied terrain – forests and hills and swamps and boardwalks and beaches and so much more. You may even see a moose or a cow or two. Allow yourself 2-3 hours, and take lots of water! Don’t forget to sign in on the logbook before you start the hike.

As we ask of anyone exploring any of the places on our blog, PLEASE pack out what you pack in and practice leave no trace. Do not litter.

 

Other destinations close by that we recommend exploring:

 

 

Explore: Boissevain

We’re going to be completely honest here, we didn’t take in all that the enchanting little town of Boissevain has to offer as it was a quick stop for us on the way from Souris to Turtle Mountain.

From outdoor murals to an arts park, to a HUGE GIANT STANDING-ON-HIS-HIND-LEGS turtle statue, to floral displays and a wildlife museum and a big bear statue too, this is a very pretty little town to stop and look around in. (It is also a good place to stop for ice cream floats fyi).

Boissevain is a Travel Manitoba Star Attraction Destination located in the South West area of Manitoba, and is  about a 3 hour drive from downtown Winnipeg. If you stop in at the Wildlife Museum (next to Tommy the Turtle and the big giant bear), they have all of the information you need for exploring this beautiful little town.

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We’ll be back to explore more of you, Boissevain!

Other areas close by to explore:

 

Explore: Souris

What do:

  • A swinging bridge
  • A mystical Oak tree
  • Peacocks (WILD ONES THAT RUN FREE IN TOWN BTW!!)
  • A plum museum (note: do not be fooled like us, this is in reference to the colour NOT the fruit!) and
  • A diesel locomotive simulator (there are only two of these operational machines existing in museums in Canada. The other one is in Revelstoke, B.C.)

All have in common? You can find them ALL in Souris Manitoba! Yeah, we know! We were shocked too – wild peacocks in Manitoba?! If that’s not totally awesome enough, there is also a castle, or at least a building that looks like a castle that you can even go into because it’s actually a museum.

Souris Manitoba is located about 2 and a half hours from downtown Winnipeg in the South Western area of Manitoba, out by Brandon. You can take the #1 and head south at Provincial Rd 250 South just past Brandon, or you can take the MB-2.

Souris

Once in Souris, it is pretty easy to find your way around and see most of the things that we highlighted above. If you pick up a Souris guide magazine from anywhere in town, there is a map in the centre that has locations for everything! There are lots of signs to guide you to the bridge, and the castle, err.. museum is right next to it.


The Mystical Old Oak tree is located in Victoria Park at the top of the hill (you have to go for a short hike to find it.). There is also a lookout tower at the top of the hill that has a pretty good view of the surrounding area.


The best place to look for the peacocks is at the railway museum. If it’s your lucky day and you are really polite to the lovely lady working there, you may even be allowed to play on the simulator.

Oh, there is also a really great moose statue!

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There is a lot more to do and see in Souris, including some great restaurants, shops, golf course, campground, really fun looking outdoor pool with splash park, and more.

This is doable for a day trip (a long day trip!) from Winnipeg, but we’d recommend making a weekend of it and exploring a few other areas close by, including:

  • Boissevain
  • Turtle Mountain Provincial Park
  • Turtle Back Mountain hiking trail and lookout
  • International Peace Gardens

Play: Body surfing at Old Pinawa Dam

Old Pinawa Dam is a great summer destination. It’s beautiful, there are trails to hike, there are picnic spots to picnic in, you can canoe, hike or bike ride there from Pinawa, and there are some fantastic photography opportunities too. We’ll be talking more about some of these in an upcoming post . At this beautiful Provincial Heritage Park destination there is also a natural area that is popular for body surfing for those who decide to brave it. (Please wear a lifejacket to be safer as there are fast moving currents/water at this location)

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If you’re going for the first time, we recommend going on a hot Saturday or Sunday, and watching the locals do it first (Pssstt.. they know the best areas to slide down where you hopefully aren’t going to bump your butt too badly)

 

 

 

 

Don’t let the name deceive you – Old Pinawa Dam is NOT in Pinawa. It’s actually in the RM of Lac du Bonnet and is located on Provincial Rd 520 (it’s a gravel road) about halfway between 313 and 211. Since it is a Provincial Park, you will need a park pass for it.

Old Pinawa Dam

As we ask for any of the locations we feature on here, please do not litter. Take your garbage with you or put in the garbage cans. Pack out what you pack in, and leave no trace.

 

 

Hike: Brokenhead Wetland Trail

Located en route to Grand Beach, the Brokenhead Wetlands Interpretive Trail is located in the Scanterbury area, north of the South Beach Casino on Hwy 59. This is about an hour drive from downtown Winnipeg, so you may want to include this short (approximately 2 km trail) as part of a day trip to the area.

Brokenhead Wetlands

The Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail is a surprising hidden gem and well worth the stop. It winds through a beautiful forested area and then opens up into a wonderfully built boardwalk that stretches for 1.5 km through a rare type of peatland. If you time your visit right, you may see many different varieties of flowers (it’s home to 28 of Manitoba’s 38 orchid species), carnivorous and other rare plants.

The signage is all in Ojibway and English, and encourages visitors to respect the land and history. (We highly recommend taking this trail at a leisurely pace, stopping to read the signs and take in the surrounding nature and beauty).

Please note:

  • No dogs or bicycles or atv’s are allowed on this trail
  • As with all of the locations that we write about – PLEASE do not litter or leave garbage. Pack out what you pack in. Leave no trace.
  • For more information on the evolution and history of this trail, please visit their website

 

 

Explore: Whitemouth Falls Provincial Park

Located in Seven Sisters, this is a location that is easy to find and also conveniently located very close to Jennifer’s Picnic (tip: grab some food there or at another restaurant in town to take on a picnic with you!) It is located approximately 100 kms from downtown Winnipeg, so this is a very doable half-day trip if you’re looking for a short adventure or would like to include it as part of a full day of exploring the surrounding area.

map to whitemouthfalls

There is a beautiful 5km trail (Seven Sisters Falls Trails) that is great for cycling or hiking, and cross country skiing in the winter (sshhh… we’re not really thinking about winter right now!)

We’re not sure if this sign means that you must watch out for low hanging branches while X-Country skiing, or if it is alerting you to the possible presence of Manitoba’s version of the headless horseman 😉

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There are lovely picnic areas, public washrooms, large flat rocks to sit on and relax while listening to the rushing water, and even some pelicans hanging around. It’s a very peaceful and relaxing place to visit and spend a few hours, or just drop by for a picnic lunch.

Tip: Continue on the 307 to get to Nutimik Lake and beyond. If you stay on it, it will take you on a very scenic road trip that will eventually meet up with hwy 44 by the Alfred Hole Goose Sanctuary where you can then head West again back towards Winnipeg. This round trip road trip would take approximately 4 hours, not including stopping, hiking, picnicking and exploring time. It is a beautiful one to do though!

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Eat: Jennifer’s Picnic

Exotic Appetizers?

Hungarian Goulash?

Frog’s Legs and Camel Kabobs? Alligator Grilled Cheese?

This isn’t your typical food truck, and it’s definitely not what you’d expect to find in a little town in rural Manitoba, but that’s exactly where you’ll find it, and the food is fabulous.

The Jennifer’s Picnic food truck is located in Seven Sisters Falls, Manitoba, about 100 km from downtown Winnipeg. It’s easy to find and worth the drive. There are picnic tables set up there to eat at, but you can also get the food to go and take it down to Whitemouth Falls Provincial Park to eat at one of the picnic tables there (and then enjoy the scenery or a hike, or fishing, or pelican watching, or…).

Their hours are:
Open May Long weekend til Sept Long Weekend, 7 days a week, 11am-8pm.

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PS – there are also burgers and chicken and stuff like that on the menu, and they are just as delicious as well. (We were brave today and tried the camel burger, which is pictured below!)

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Play: Tubing the Pinawa Channel

Update: Please visit our latest post on tubing the Pinawa channel for updated information about new and exciting tube rental opportunities etc!

This beautiful hot weather we’re getting this week is the perfect weather for tubing down your favourite river. Have you been tubing down the Pinawa Channel? It is a very scenic route and takes approximately 2 hours. You will be exiting/finishing at the suspension bridge (YES – Pinawa has a suspension bridge!), so if you’re dropping off a vehicle at the end point, please read below for instructions on how to get there.

The Pinawa Channel is easy to find (and so is Pinawa!). Take 59 North to 44 and 44 East to Hwy 11 (44 will jog down through the East side of Beausejour and then head East again by the Tim Hortons). After you turn onto hwy 11, take the turn off to Pinawa (not the one to Seven Sisters, the one after that) – Hwy 211. Follow that all the way to the very end of it, and you’ll find a parking area. (PS – did you notice the golf course? It’s gorgeous!). If you’re dropping off a vehicle at the end point (suspension bridge), just before you get into Pinawa turn left on Alice Chambers Trail (watch for cemetery sign). There will be parking across from the cemetery.

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After you get to your parking spot at the end of 211, walk straight ahead along the trail. You will be walking over the diversion dam. The view to your left will look like this:

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The access point is easy, and the channel itself fun to tube down. Please do not throw litter or empties into the water, and take out anything that you bring with you! We urge all of our readers to practice “leave no trace”, and pack out what you pack in.

What you may see:

  • deer
  • turtles
  • otters
  • birds
  • other people tubing, canoeing, kayaking, etc
  • When you see the suspension bridge, it’s time to exit the water! To your left just BEFORE the bridge, there is a landing area!

No tubes? No worries! Get hold of Wilderness Edge Resort in Pinawa. They rent out tubes, zodiacs etc for a very reasonable price and will even drive you to the channel and pick you up at the suspension bridge (it’s pretty awesome actually, you don’t even need to be staying there!)

Where to grab some grub:

  • Pinawa Golf Course
  • THE BURGER BOAT! (Yes, we’re yelling that because buying a burger off a boat is seriously fun and they also have milkshakes and ice cream that is also delicious).

 

 

Have fun and stay safe exploring the beautiful little town of Pinawa! If you plan on spending a full day there, there are lots of hiking and walking trails, the suspension bridge, a golf course, a giant sundial, and lots and lots of deer, birds and other wildlife!

Explore: Spruce Woods area

Located approximately 2 hours West of Winnipeg (via Trans-Canada 1, or MB-2 W), this is a destination that you want to allot a full day (or even a weekend) to.

map to SW

There are many, many trails and areas to explore in the area, but here are a few of our recommendations for your visit:

  • Think seriously about camping at Kiche Manitou. It is a beautiful campground with huge private camping spots, great yurts, lots of trails, canoe and paddleboat rentals, a beach, mini golf, etc. (Just keep an eye out for the poison ivy)
  • Marsh’s Lake trail. We loved this short little walk! We saw turtles along the water’s edge, and felt like we were walking through an enchanted forest in the forested section.
  • Hike the sand dunes of Spirit Sands, but don’t forget your water bottle!
  • Continue on from your Spirit Sands hike to Devil’s Punch Bowl. Be prepared to be surprised at the rapidly changing terrain. You will go from walking through a desert to walking through what feels like alpine meadows, to forested areas. (These two hikes can be done separately)
  • Take a side trip to Glenboro to visit Sara the Camel
  • Go golfing in Glenboro.

The different trail systems are all very well marked and easy to find. As you drive South on #5 from Carberry and enter Spruce Woods Provincial Park, you will notice quite a few different signs to different trails. We suggest exploring several of them, but definitely recommend the Spirit Sands, Devils’ Punch Bowl, and Marsh’s Lake ones.

Views from the trail leading to Spirit Sands:

Some of the sand dunes in Spirit Sands (note that these pics make them look tiny compared to what they are really like!):

Devil’s Punch Bowl (the stairs are close to, but not across Devil’s Punch Bowl itself):

Sara the Camel in Glenboro! (If you’re going to go to Manitoba’s desert, you HAVE to go and see a Camel too!)

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Marsh’s Lake Trail:

 

We hope that you have as much fun exploring this beautiful area of Manitoba as we did! We can’t wait to go back to the area for some more adventures!