Surprising Discoveries

Manitoba has a knack of surprising people, with curious creatures and ancient signs of animals and people who came before us.

Narcisse Snake Dens

Drive time: 1.5 hours
Everyone loves getting out and about in that warm spring sun - even the tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes that can be found at the Narcisse Snake Dens. After a long winter, the snakes slither to the surface from their dens to begin their annual mating ritual. A three-kilometre self-guiding interpretive trail links the four active dens in the area. The observation platforms next to the dens are the best place to observe the snakes. Warm, sunny spring days offer the best chance to see the biggest number of snakes.

Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre

Drive time: 1.5 hours
Journey back to Cretaceous times when dinosaurs roamed the earth and giant reptiles ruled the sea that covered much of Manitoba. The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden showcases some of the incredible fossils discovered right here in Manitoba. These include Bruce, an 80-million year old, 43-foot-long mosasaur fossil - the Guinness World Record holder for the largest mosasaur on display. Join paleontologists on an authentic fossil dig and excavate an ancient sea floor to find fossils of Bruce's friends and other ancient animals. Apply a plaster field jacket to protect newly exposed fossils and record the findings in the centre's collection.

Bannock Point Petroforms

Drive time: 1.75 hours
The Bannock Point Petroforms, near Nutimik Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park, are stones laid out on the bedrock in the shapes of turtles, snakes, geometric designs and a Thunderbird. It is believed these shapes were made centuries ago by First Nations for all people as a means for teaching and healing. This sacred place, still used by First Nations people today for ceremonial purposes, is open to interpretation. Leave an offering near the stones, such as a prayer cloth or coins.