Top Reasons to Visit Birds Hill Provincial Park

Birds Hill Provincial Park, St. Clements

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204-945-6784//1-800-214-6497

Year Round

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Credit: Travel Manitoba

Opened in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s centennial (officially opened on July 15, 1967), the park is home to the Winnipeg Folk Festival and is also a stage for various entertainments and sporting events. This 35.1 km2 or 13.6 mi.2 park is a mixture of open prairie and forest. One can find esker ridges, dry prairie, wet meadows, bogs, and Aspen/Oak Parkland.

The Park is named after the Bird family who settled along the Red River in the early 19th century. The story of these early settlers can be found along the many trails at the park.

 

Scattered throughout the park are massive boulders or erratics that originated from the Precambrian Shield (found northeast). These were dropped here by melting ice sheets many many years ago. When the ice melted, the meltwaters carved steep channels in the glacier. Water poured through these ice tunnels (water and finer particles drained to the Lake Agassiz) and left behind large amounts of gravel and sand which formed snake-like ridges called eskers. Several of such eskers combined to form Birds Hill. Two such gravel ridges can be seen at the Garven Road (PR 213).

The landscape of Birds Hill was also shaped by Lake Agassiz as it drained – forming gravelly beaches. These beach ridges can be seen along the Cedar Bog Self-guiding Trail or along the Chickadee Trail (just north of Group Use Area #1). Here are some of the best things you can experience while there! Provincial Park Map.

Things to Do at Birds Hill Provincial Park

Spring/Summer/Fall Activities

Hiking Trails

Birds Hill Provincial Park is a popular place to enjoy hiking. You can choose from short 1 km trails to longer 16 km trails. Go prepared with proper walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and drinking water.

Bicycling Trails

  • Lakeview Trail – The Lakeview Trail is a 7.2-km paved trail that winds through the woods and around the lake. The trail can be accessed from the beach parking lots, the campground or the riding stable.
  • Bluestem Mountain Bike Trail – This is an unpaved bike trail that is 14 km long
  • 7.2 km looped trail Lakeview trail
  • Oak Ridge Trail – A 7 km trail with three single-track loops. The trail is used by experienced technical riders as well as youth cyclists.
  • 9.4 km Trans Canada Trail

Bird watching

The park is a popular place for birdwatchers with sightings of over 200 bird species. Horned lark, Indigo bunting, Clay-coloured sparrow, numerous fall birds, Juncos, and warblers can all be seen here.

 

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Wildlife viewing

Bird’s Hill’s plant communities provide habitats for a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Frogs, toads, garter snakes, hawks, red squirrels can frequently be seen here.

The Park is also the home of white-tailed deer. If lucky, you can spot one of these elusive creatures, with sightings mostly during dawn and dusk. More information on the habitat of these animals can be found along the Prairie Winds Self-guiding Trail.

Camping

Birds Hill Provincial Park is a very popular place to camp out. The campgrounds are located along the South Drive. There are 257 unserviced sites, 174 electrically serviced sites (including 5 disabled-accessible sites), and 45 fully serviced sites, as well as 2 fully serviced sites for volunteer Campground Hosts. Campground Map

Historic Sites

Visit the Pine Ridge Cemetery and see the monument commemorating the Polish contingent of the de Meuron Regiment that arrived in 1817 to help Lord Selkirk establish peace and order in the Red River colony. Explore the site where Pope John Paul II conducted a multicultural celebration of faith on Sunday, September 16, 1984. There is a picnic shelter and a short, asphalt walkway to the Papal Site – accessible from Festival Drive. Return distance is 1 km (45 minutes).

Winnipeg Folk Festival

An annual event taking place in July with live musical concerts, workshops, children’s events, an international food village, and a handmade craft village. Details

50 Outdoor Adventures in Manitoba

Other Summer activities

Summer sees people flocking to explore Birds Hill.

  • Horseback Riding Trails – 16 km Bridle-path trail, 7.5 km Carriageway, 6 km Esker, 6.2 km Hazelnut trail, 10.5 km return Spruce trail.
  • Driving Tour – Go on a driving tour around the North and South Drives
  • Recreational and sporting events – Many triathlons, orienteering, and equestrian events occur in the park every summer.
  • Sample wild fruits including chokecherry, saskatoon,, wild plum, high bush-cranberry, nannyberry, pincherry, and rosehips.
     
  • Swimming – The park has a swimming area.
  • Interpretation Programs – Many interpretation programs on the natural and cultural history of the park are offered at the centres during the summer months. See events here.
  • The park is also the home of Winnipeg Folk Festival.
  • Go on a Circle Drive Tour while here.

Winter activities

Birds Hill Provincial Park is known for its all-season trails. Visitors during the winter season can enjoy skiing, riding horse-drawn sleighs, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Winter Trail Map

During February, the park is the site for Winter Safari- a family event with theatre, campfire, bannocks, snowshoeing, and more!

Provincial Parks to Visit During Winter in Manitoba

Bird watching and Wildlife – Be it summer or winter, you will have abundant opportunities to view wildlife at the park. Winter is a good time to see the yellow Grosbeak on a Maple tree. Look out for the bird feeders placed around the park. Winter birds such as the Black-capped Chickadees and Redpolls can be found at these feeders.

Cross-country skiing – Zoom across 30-km of cross-country ski trails that criss-cross the park. The trailheads are at the riding stable restaurant and at the Chickadee Trail parking lot. These trails are designated for novice to intermediate skiers and vary in length from 4 km to 14 km. Want a breather? Skiers can find shelters with wood stoves and firewood along the path.

The Lime Kiln, Aspen, and Chickadee ski trails are novice-level trails. Bluestem and Esker are intermediate-level ski trails.

 

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Snowmobiling – 21-kms of groomed snowmobile trails are available for use. These are accessible from the riding stable, PTH 59 (north of the east park gate), and PR 206 (north of the east park gate). Warming huts with woodstoves can be found along the trails.

Other Activities – Skate-skiing, skijoring and kick-sledding can be enjoyed in the Group Use 1 Road and on Spruce Trail. Do keep in mind that these activities are not permittted on the cross-country trails. In-line skaters can use the shoulder of the main road in the park. Winter cyclists can enjoy the Oak Ridge Mt. Bike and Sparrow Trails.

Oak Ridge and Lakeview trails are groomed solely for fat bikes!

Winter Hiking – There are a number of trails at the park that can be used for winter hiking or running.

  • 3 .5 km Cedar Bog Self-guided Trail
  • 1 km Bur Oak Trail
  • 2 km Duff Roblin Trail
  • 2.4 km Pine Ridge Trail (not groomed)
  • 1 .8 km Nimowin Trail
  • 1 .5 km Prairie Winds Trail
  • 4 .5 km Sparrow Trail
  • 1.5 km Prairie Winds Trail (not groomed)

15 Places to Go For A Winter Walk in Winnipeg

Horse riding – Many horse trails used in summer are designated for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in winter. Those who want to enjoy horse riding in the winter can use the Carriage Way and the Briddle Path.

Dog-sledding – Visitors can also enjoy dog-sledding at the park. The sled staging area is located at Nimowin Trail /Interpretive workshop parking lot. Dog-sledding is permitted on Spruce Trail.

25 Outdoor Winter Activities in Winnipeg

Attractions near Birds Hill Provincial Park

Very near to the Park are the Birds Hill Park Ranch and Deer Meadow Farms. To learn about fur trading and the life of trappers visit Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site.

Located within half an hour’s drive are Pine Ridge Golf Club, Elmhurst Golf & Country Club, and Heritage Golf Course.

During winter, head to Spring Hill Winter Park or Stony Mountain Ski Area for exciting winter activities.

Head to Pine Ridge Hollow for great food.

When to Visit Birds Hill Provincial Park

The park is open year-round, with camping from May to October.

Check the trail conditions before starting.

How to Get to Birds Hill Provincial Park

From Winnipeg: follow PTH 59 north, 24 km/14.9 mi. to the west park entrance.

Email: ParkInterpretation@gov.mb.ca

Manitoba Conservation Public Information (Toll free) 1-800-214-6497 or, in Winnipeg 204-945-6784

Emergency Telephone Numbers:

  • Emergency Services 911
  • T.I.P. Line (Toll free) 1-800-782-0076
  • (Turn in Poachers, Report Wild Fires)

How much to visit

 
Park Vehicle Permit is required and must be displayed year-round.

2020 Entrance Fees
Base permit fees remain unchanged from last year. An additional $4.50 administration fee has been added to all permits to provide the new elicensing service.

Vehicle Permits

  • Annual $44.50 (valid until April 30, 2021)
  • Casual $16.50 (valid for three consecutive days)
  • Daily $9.50 (valid until midnight on the date of purchase)

Free Park Entry Dates for 2020 (Vehicle permits are not required)

  • February 1-29, free for the entire month
  • Family Fishing Weekend (June 12-14)
  • Canada’s Parks Day Weekend (July 17-19)
  • Labour Day Weekend (September 4-7)

Nightly Camping Fees

  • Basic Services $11.55 to $23.10
  • Electrical Services $15.75 to $27.30
  • Electrical/Water Services $18.90 to $26.25
  • Full Service $23.10 to $28.35
  • Yurts $56.50

For campsite and group use reservations: www.manitobaparks.com or 1-888-4U2-Camp (1-888-482-2267). In Winnipeg call 204-948-3333.

For further information, write Birds Hill Provincial Park, District Office, Box 183, R.R. 2, Dugald, Manitoba R0E 0K0, or telephone 204-654-6730, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

For more information or last minute campsite availability call 1-800-214-6497. In Winnipeg call 204-945-6784

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Posted in Attractions, Cruises, Hikes & Scenic Drives, History & Culture, Nature, Provincial Parks and Winter Activities

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