Top Things to Do on Your Trip to Whiteshell Provincial Park

Whiteshell Provincial Park, Whitemouth

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

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Sturgeon Lake; Credit: Wafna’s Custom Shots

 

Lakes, rivers, towering trees, fens, and bogs attract visitors to this 2729 km² natural space that is the Whiteshell Provincial Park. The undisturbed beauty of the Precambrian Shield characterized by water bodies and forests provide many recreational opportunities to its visitors from hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, camping, angling, and others. Park Map

Best Manitoba Provincial Parks for a Day Trip or Weekend Getaway From Winnipeg

Things to Do at Whiteshell Provincial Park

Summer or winter, this park has many attractions that can be enjoyed by its visitors.

Spring/Summer/Fall Activities

Hiking Trails

There are many scenic trails at the Whiteshell. Hiking or cycling these trails is a very popular activity with visitors. These trails range from distances of 3 km to 60 km with difficulty ranging from easy to difficult. Some of them cross steep rock outcrops, beaver dams, while some others may be wet or muddy after rainfalls. Go prepared with proper walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and drinking water. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars!

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Bicycling Trails

  • Blue Highway Mountain Bike Trail – Mountain bikers should check out this trail for their next biking adventure. This out-and-back route with a “lollipop” loop at the end has some of the most bike-friendly granite ridges and plateaus in Manitoba. The trial, accessed via the Centennial trail, can be navigated using the GPS tracks from the Trail Forks website or using the free Trail Forks app. Details
  • South Whiteshell Trail – The multi-use trail accommodates cyclists, runners, walkers and cross-country skiers connecting Falcon Lake to Caddy Lake. 29 kilometres in length.
  • Sturgeon Falls Trail
  • Forrester’s Footsteps Trail

See Lillies / Rock Climbing

If you are visiting during the summer months, be sure to include Lily Pond, when the pond is fully covered with white and yellow water lillies; with some provincially rare (PDF) species. Created 3.75 billion years ago by advancing glaciers, the high rock cliffs surrounding the pond is of immense geological importance. The lily pond is located on Highway #44 just west of Caddy Lake.

Rock climbing is very popular as the rock cliffs offer lots of options from moderate to challenging. Details

Tour the Hatchery

Visitors to the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery Interpretive Centre can go on a hatchery tour to understand its operation and its importance for a sustainable future.

Bird watching

The park is a popular place for birdwatchers with sightings of over 200 bird species.

Falcon Lake Townsite

Explore the Falcon Lake townsite area. Here, there is miniature golf course, an 18-hole golf course, lawn bowling, horseshoe pitch, tennis courts, as well as a riding stable.

Canoeing

  • Caddy Lake Tunnels Connecting the North Cross Lake and South Cross Lake are granite tunnels that are great canoeing routes. These tunnels were made by blasting solid granite rock while building railways in the area. You can rent canoes from Caddy Lake Resort or Green Bay Resort. Details

 

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  • Hanson Creek to Frances Lake: This is a 17 km paddle route that starts from the East of Rennie on PTH 44 and ends at a secluded camping area on the Frances River. There are three portages en route, each of which is marked.
  • Whiteshell River – This is a 161.7 k round trip starting from Caddy Lake on PTH 44 and may take 3 to 6 days depending on your route. Do check with Manitoba Conservation before departing for this challenging route. Backcountry Map and Trip Planning Guide

Paddlers can also check out Seagrim Lake, Chain Lakes, Beaver Lake, for short trips. For slightly longer ones, check out Mantario, and Crowduck Lake. If you are looking for fast-moving waters and rapids try canoeing the Winnipeg River.

For more canoe routes see here.

See Bannock Point Petroforms

 
The Aboriginal people believe that Bannock Point Petroforms are sacred places where the spirits communicate with them. Here, you can find stones laid out on the bedrock in the shapes of snakes, turtles, humans, a Thunderbird or other abstract pattern. Details (PDF)

The site is accessible from PR 307 about 6 km east of Nutimik Lake. Use the trail map to trek to the site.

West Hawk Geological Museum

For more information on Aboriginal people, petroforms, sturgeon, and Winnipeg River, head over the Museum. This log-constructed museum, located at the Nutimik Lake, is open daily from May long weekend to September long weekend.

Scuba Dive at West Hawk Lake

West Hawk Lake is Manitoba’s deepest lake at 111 meters. Formed by a meteorite, this is a popular spot with scuba divers. You can also camp overnight at the West Hawk Lake Campground or at the West Hawk Lake Resort. Accessible from the Trans-Canada Highway and PTH 44.

West Hawk Museum

Located adjacent to the campground office, the West Hawk Museum offers more information on the geology of the park, crater, and early mining operations. Details

Whiteshell River Suspension Bridge

The 86-metre bridge constructed in 2010 is the perfect spot for photo ops. The bridge can be accessed along the Sturgeon Falls Trail (4.2 km) and is located right off the Nutimik Lake Campground.

Visit the Goose Sanctuary

Established in 1939 by Alfred Hole when he rescued the four goslings, today the Interpretive center displays the history of the sanctuary and the biology of Canada geese. Park Interpreters offer scheduled programs, activities, and park information from spring to fall. The best times to visit is between mid-May to July. Accessible from PTH 44 at Rennie. Details

Wildlife viewing

Enjoy the Beach

Cool off the summer heat at the many beaches in Whiteshell!

Watch the skies

If you are camping out at night, look up and appreciate our beautiful universe. You can even see Northern Lights on some nights.

 

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Other Summer activities

Summer sees people flocking to explore the Whiteshell.

Interpretation Programs – The amphitheatres located at Nutimik, Big Whiteshell, West Hawk and Falcon Lake campgrounds are the hub of the activities. Take part in guided tours, special events, children’s activities, films, guest presentations and more.

Water Skiing There are plenty of water bodies in the Whiteshell which makes water skiing a popular fun sport for many. The Freeriders Club, The White Lake Ski Club, and the Betula Lake Skibees are all present in the area.

 

Angling – With over 200 lakes and rivers, Whiteshell Provincial Park is an angler’s dream. Big northern pike, bass, walleye, lake, and rainbow trout are abundant at the Park.

A valid Manitoba Fishing Licence is required to fish in provincial parks. Be sure to read the annual Angler’s Guide for regulations. Licenses can be purchased online at manitobaelicensing.ca.

Horseback Riding – Explore the boreal forest of the Whiteshell on horseback. For more information, contact Falcon Beach Ranch.

Golf at Falcon Lake Golf Course.

Winter activities

Explore the winter adventures at the Whiteshell. See the Winter Adventure Map.

  • Skiing – There are several ski trails at the Falcon Ridge Ski Resort. Foresters Footsteps & Falcon Trails Resort trails offer skate skiing. The Falcon Ridge Ski Slopes is also a great place for downhill skiing & snowboarding.
  • Winter walking / Snowshoeing – Explore the groomed walking trails in the North Whiteshell, Pine Point (5 km), and Forester’s Footsteps (4.2 km), or trek down the South Whiteshell Trail from West Hawk to Falcon Lake (16 km). You can also try the Jessica lake Loop B trail, Rainbow Falls, Pine Point trail.

15 Places to Go For A Winter Walk in Winnipeg

  • Ice fishing – Some of the most popular spots are Falcon, West Hawk, Camp, Lyons, Bear, Brereton, Jessica, Big Whiteshell and George lakes.
  • Horseback Riding and Sleigh Rides – Winter horseback riding and sleigh rides are offered by Falcon Beach Ranch.
  • Skijoring & Kicksledding – Try skijoring or kicksledding at Foresters Footsteps trail.
  • Snowmobiling – There are over 300 km of snowmobile trails that are a part of the extensive SNOMAN‘s Snofund trail system. A valid Snopass is required to use the trails.

25 Outdoor Winter Activities in Winnipeg

  • Shared use trails: Foresters Footsteps, Pine Point trails can be used to enjoy classic/skate skiing, walking/snowshoeing, and fat biking. Fat bikers must yield to walkers and skiers. Please remember fat bikes and other cyclists are not permitted on any designated skiing-only or snowmobile trails.

Provincial Parks to Visit During Winter in Manitoba

Where to Stay

There are many options for accommodations. Basic to Full-service campsites are available for rent. In addition, there are a number of resorts all over the park — choose what suits you best. Whiteshell offers also fall camping sites until Thanksgiving weekend.

Walk or Hike-in Backcountry Camping Locations:

  • The Cabin Lake has a walk or hike-in (4.6 km; 2-3 hours) campsite accessed by starting at the Cabin Lake Hiking Trail and is also used by paddlers entering from White Lake.
  • Meditation Lake has 3 walk-in campsites that are accessed by a 3 km (1 hour) hike.
  • Mantario trail (63 km; 3-5 days) features 14 walk or hike-in backcountry campsites. The Mantario hiking trail is intended for experienced backcountry users. Bear Boxes are located in the southern campsites. Two vehicles are required, drive time between sites is 2 hours. Staging area distance from Winnipeg is the same for both trailheads.

For water route backcountry camping available by canoe or boat, see here.

Riverview Lodge, Big Whiteshell Lodge. Enjoy the water activities at the Falcon Trails Resort, and resorts at the Big Hawk lake. Tall Pine Lodges, Betula Lake Resort, Jessica Lake Lodge, Nutimik Lodge, Barrier Bay Resortare also great options. Details

 

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When to Visit Whiteshell Provincial Park

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

Check the trail conditionsbefore starting.

 

How to Get to Whiteshell Provincial Park

Leaving Winnipeg, take Hwy 1, 126 km/78.3 mi. east to Falcon Lake and West Hawk Lake. Additional entry points to the park include PR 307 at Seven Sisters Falls and PTH 44 at Rennie.-

Email: ParkInterpretation@gov.mb.ca

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

 

Park Offices
Falcon Lake 204-349-2201
West Hawk Lake 204-349-2245
Rennie 204-369-3153
Seven Sisters Falls 204-348-4004

Emergency Services
North Whiteshell RCMP 204-348-7177
Ambulance 204-348-7700
South Whiteshell RCMP 911

How much to visit

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

2021 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.

Campground Reservation

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 2021 (Vehicle permits are not required)

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

Seasonal Camping Fees

  • Basic Services $453.60 to $838.95
  • Electrical Services $588.00 to $981.75
  • Electrical/Water Services $880.43 to $946.05
  • Full Service $1061.03 to $1173.90

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, Nature, Provincial Parks, Water Activities and Winter Activities

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