Enjoy a trip to Riding Mountain National Park! When looking for a short getaway to enjoy a relaxing environment and appreciate nature Riding Mountain National Park is an ideal location. With almost 3000 square kilometres of forest parklands resting 1200 feet above the prairie land on the Manitoba Escarpment, this park is a sought-out destination in the midst of the Manitoba prairies. With rolling hills, trails, and lakes to explore, Riding Mountain National Park is definitely worth the trip.
CAMPING & ACCOMMODATION
There are countless accommodation options to satisfy your style.
Campsites are numerous and offer serviced and un-serviced spots to pitch your tent and enjoy your stay. If you don’t have camping equipment or are looking for something a bit more comfortable, the park has a few options to suit various needs.
- OTENTiks provide the feel of a campsite with additional amenities. These quaint A-frame cabins can sleep up to 6 campers. Equipped with a little wood-burning stove for cooler nights, a table with seating for 6 and a wood deck for enjoying the fresh air they are a great option for families or a group of friends.
- Yurts are also available for those looking to commune with nature. A Yurt is round wood framed structure covered in canvas with a hard wood floor. It can accommodate up to 4 adults. A notable benefit is accessibility for people with mobility needs.
- The Microcube is the parks newest camping innovation. This tiny cabin is ideal for couples. With a double bed, two chairs and a table, the most significant feature is the panoramic window that makes up one side of the cube, allowing you to enjoy the scenery even on chilly or rainy days.
With these options at your disposal, don’t think that a weekend at the park can’t provide similar comforts as a home. However, if you aren’t looking for a campground experience there are lots of cabins and resorts available in the Wasagaming Townsite that provide all the comforts of home. With a wide range of options from basic to luxurious you can choose a getaway spot to suit whatever kind of holiday you are looking for. To take a look at the options available, see here.
WHAT TO DO AT RIDING MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Once you’ve settled at the park, you’ll want to check out the Visitor’s Centre. Located in the Township, the Centre acts as a hub for park information. There you will be able to get information about programs and tours available, trails to explore and activities to enjoy. This is also where you can purchase tickets for events and any pertinent licenses you need for activities. The Visitor’s Centre also has all-terrain baby strollers available; so if you have a little one with you, you can still enjoy the trails and scenery.
It’s also important to remember that you are responsible for your own safety when enjoying the park. Park staff at the Visitor’s Center can answer any questions or concerns regarding safety and outdoor etiquette. More information about safety concerns can be found at here.
Riding Mountain Provincial Park offers a plethora of activities for your enjoyment!
- Take a day to relax and do some shopping. At the many boutiques along the main Township road you will find lots of local wares, crafts and fashion all facing the waterfront. Stroll from shop to shop as you enjoy the picturesque scenery. Stop in at a café for a cup of coffee, or get some ice cream and relax in an Adirondack chair and watch the world go by.
- Spend a day at the beach. Equipped with change rooms, a boardwalk, benches and an expansive sandy beach you can plan to relax, swim and take in the sun. If you’re looking for a bit more activity there are tennis courts, mini golf, outdoor chess and checkers, beach volleyball and a playground nearby.
- Enjoy a day of Hiking. Riding Mountain National Park offers over 400 km of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Here you can see plants native to the area such as high bush cranberries and red osier dogwood. Regardless of your fitness level, there will be a trail for you. With clear cut guidelines providing information on the length and difficulty level of each hike, you can choose to enjoy a leisurely hour or two, or take on a challenge and get some cardio for a full day excursion. If you’re not sure which trail is best for you, talk to someone at the Visitor’s Centre. Some of the trails are wheelchair accessible so park staff can provide recommendations. If you want to plan ahead, take a look at the trail details and maps here.
- If an educational trail is more you style, check out The Ominnik Marsh Trail. Here you will see beavers, ducks, pond life and lots of insects specific to the area. The Visitor Centre has explorer kits available to catch little critters making it an excellent adventure for the curious young ones in your family.
- Learn about Turtle Island from the Anishinabe people. The Anishinabe of Riding Mountain are the First Peoples of the land with their history beginning over 10,000 years ago. You can tour the Anishinabe Sharing Lodge in the Townsite to see Manitoba’s first Indigenous-run museum. There you can learn about traditional dance, music, art and spirituality.
- See Bison up close on a driving safari. Riding Mountain National Park has a protected grassland area with a bison enclosure. This area has been preserved as natural Canadian prairie and is home to about 40 bison. Here you can also encounter numerous birds and wildflowers that can only be found in this kind of grassland. It’s best to register for this experience ahead of time at the Visitor’s Center. There you will receive information about the tour and some safety guidelines.
- Enjoy a day of golf on one of North America’s top courses. The Clear Lake Golf Course offers a stunning natural landscape with lush fairways, manicured greens and challenging holes. The course is also praised for their sustainability efforts and their commitment to caring for the environment.
- Enjoy a leisurely boat tour. The Park’s biggest boat, The Martese, offers an afternoon cruise, dinner cruise or a sunset cruise. A lovely scenic trip to sit back and relax while enjoying the water and a view of the park from a new perspective.
- Rent your own boat at the Clear Lake Marina. Conveniently located at the main pier the Marina offers several rental options for those who want to explore the water on their own. Motorboats, kayaks, paddle-boats and stand up paddleboards are available.
- If you’re planning a winter trip, the park stills has lots of great activities including Ice Fishing, Snowmobiling, Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, traction kiting and skating.
Whether you are just staying a couple of days, or spending an entire week you will have no trouble filling your schedule with all that the park has to offer. With endless options, you can enjoy relaxation, adventure and fun at Riding Mountain National Park.
Other programs at Riding Mountain National Park
- Explore, enjoy and experience snow with lots of great activities during the World Snow Day Weekend – January 18 – 19, 2020
- Skate, ski, snowshoe, eat, explore, learn, play during the Winter Adventure Weekend – February 7 – 9, 2020
- Riding Mountain Loppet during March
- Discover the artisan gifts and farm fresh products “At The Farm Gate” Spring Market & “At The Farm Gate” Fall Market
- Celebrate summer at the Clear Lake at the Wasagaming Chamber Days
- Annual Riding Mountain Triathlon taking place during August.
WHEN TO VISIT RIDING MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
The park is open all year round with various activities for any season. But the best time to go is between late May to early October when the weather ensures you get the most out of nature.
HOW TO GET TO THE PARK
The park is easily accessible by car. It’s 265 km northwest of Winnipeg or 95 km north of Brandon. Because of the beauty of the surroundings, even the drive will feel like part of the holiday, taking you on winding roads through the forest to your destination.