Exploring Manitoba and the glorious Canadian Shield
A kilometer outside of Rennie, Manitoba I found myself reliving memories of my youth many years ago when I was introduced to the wonderful beaches, sunkissed lakes and hiking trails of the Whiteshell Provincial Park. Nestled along the Manitoba-Ontario border, a short two hour drive east of Winnipeg, the destination for this trip was Big Whiteshell Lake to visit friends that have a trailer for the summer. After a busy Canada Day in Winnipeg, there was a lot of excitement to get out of the city and just enjoy nature. In the Whiteshell, that means sun, sand and water and no cell phone signal.
In elementary, I envisioned the Canadian Shield to be one massive rock in the center of Canada. Boy was I wrong! Exploring the Whiteshell, you’ll discover lush green forests and some of the most pristine freshwater lakes in Manitoba. Set against the backdrop of massive rock formations that make up the Canadian Shield, this area is host to many summer activities such as swimming, fishing and canoeing. The beach along Big Whiteshell Lake is no exception as you can enjoy solitude under clear blue skies.
I’m on a boat
While most of my adventures this summer is expected to be on land, my friends offered to take us for a boating expedition to parts of the Whiteshell only accessible by boat. Our afternoon boating trip took us to parts along the Mantario Trail, a secluded boy scout camp, a trapper’s cabin and a trip along the Whiteshell River to Mallard Falls. Speeding along the Whiteshell River, I couldn’t help but feel I was on an episode of River Monsters on the Discovery Channel. The trip along the Whiteshell River was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
Discovering the Master Angler
Looking for a great fishing experience? The lakes in the Whiteshell boast a wide variety of species such as northern pike, walleye, perch and small mouth bass. So grab your fishing license, rod & reel and set your eyes to catching a Master Angler. I found my first and only Master Angler back in 2003 during a golf & fishing trip to Falcon Lake, also in the Whiteshell Provincial Park. It was a 43” Northern Pike. Quite a proud moment in my short fishing career.
Hiking in the Whiteshell
No matter which trail you choose, there is magnificent scenery at many of Manitoba’s finest hiking trails. The novice 1.5km Big Whiteshell hiking trail is an easy trail to get started and offers two scenic viewpoints, one looking over Big Whiteshell Lake and the other that overlooks the never ending boreal forest. If you want to jump to a longer and more challenging hike, the Mantario Trail is one to consider. The 60-km hike can take anywhere from three to six days. Trail conditions will vary throughout the year.
There’s quite a bit of history in this area and boasts several museums such as the Alf Hole Goose Sanctuary and Interpretive Centre, Whiteshell Trapper’s Museum, Whiteshell Natural History Museum, West Hawk Museum and the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery Interpretive Centre. The Whiteshell Natural History Museum at Nutimik Lake is in an authentic log building and boasts a collection of displays of the boreal forest, petroforms and Aboriginal peoples.
Accommodations in the Whiteshell
If you’re looking to spend a weekend in the Whiteshell, there are a whole host of accommodations to fit every budget. You can expect to be sleeping right next to Mother Nature with quaint bed & breakfasts, timber log cabins and lodges, hotels and roughing it at many of the provincial campgrounds.
The Big Whiteshell Lake Campground is located just off Provincial Road #307 and #309, via Rennie, MB which is one of three entry points to Whiteshell Provincial Park.
Interested in experiencing a Whiteshell summer adventure? Just visit the TravelManitoba.com website for more information.
About Explore Manitoba Summer Series
Who says there’s nothing to do in Mantoba? We’ve got lakes, parks, festivals and beaches to keep you busy all summer long. Join the Filipino Journal as we travel all across our beautiful province of Manitoba this summer. What time is it? It’s Manitoba Time!