10 amazing places to visit in Riding Mountain only the locals know about

Posted November 30, 2017 | Author Austin

Many people know Riding Mountain Park for it’s great camping, gorgeous hikes, stunning lakes, watchable wildlife and breathtaking views. But today, we’re going to dig a little deeper and share some of those gems only most locals know about. And the best part, a lot of what you’ll find is within walking distance of the Wasagaming townsite.

1. Deep Bay

Deep Bay is one of the coolest spots to see just a short distance from downtown Wasagaming. In the height of summer, locals swarm to this hot spot on Clear Lake. As the name suggests, the water goes from a depth of 2 feet to 20 feet deep in just a few steps. Deep Bay is home to eight artists in residence during summer, each staying for one week in the rustic log cabin to be inspired and create an art piece to showcase later in the season.

2. Clear Lake Golf Course Boat Launch

Only a five-minute drive from Wasagaming, this is our favourite spot to watch a sunset and do some stargazing. With no lights to get in the way, the sky becomes a blanket of stars come nightfall. To get there, head towards the entrance of the Clear Lake Golf Course and look to your left hand side where two docks provide the perfect vantage point.

3. Crooked Mountain Cabins

This unique cabin destination is almost completely off the grid. A ‘no cellphone service’ kind of off the grid. Yes, they provide free wifi, but if you don’t tell your significant other or family, they probably won’t notice (right away at least.)

This spot is so lovely it hurts. Every cabin sports a unique name and interior. Their most popular one even has a mystical personal sauna attached to it. Each cabin also has its own hiking trail for you to explore. They book up quickly in the summer, so get them while you can.

4. Clear Lake Boat Cove

During the day, the Clear Lake Boat Cove is packed with boaters out exploring the water. However, the best time to visit the shores of the cove is a few hours after sunset when the northern lights begin to dance. This shore faces due north where you can see the aurora borealis in full effect on clear nights.

5. The Little A-frame by Elkhorn Resort

If you’ve ever dreamed of having a little A-frame in the woods, you will appreciate this cute cabin. While it looks like it should be planted alone in the middle of the forest, it’s actually located next to the entrance of Elkhorn Resort and very easy to access. Take your first left before entering the resort, and it will be the second cabin on your right hand side. There’s a little driveway to pull over so you can snap a photo or just take in the beauty of the scene.

6. The Ominnik Marsh

Take a walk along the paths that make up the marsh, located right outside the large parking lot in town. A variety of fish, birds, floating island, cattails and other wildlife call this peaceful spot home. The marsh makes for a wonderful place to go for an evening stroll, especially while the sun sets. And we have it on good authority that you might even spot a moose while meandering along the floating boardwalk.

7. Bald Hill

If you’re up for a real challenge, then look no further than Bald Hill. This 8.8 km trail is one of the most difficult to hike in the park and park staff say that many never even find it’s peak, as it is unmarked. But, here’s our insider tip on reaching this breathtaking view: as you’re hiking the trail, about 4 kms in you will see a sign pointing to Bald Hill Trail in one direction and Reeve’s Ravine in the other. Behind the sign is actually your destination, where you’ll see a visible path leading into the forest. Follow this for about 10 minutes and emerge to the glorious view.

(Luckily Parks Canada also offers this handy map, to help guide your way.)

8. Grayling Lake at Sunrise

This little lake is located about 30 minutes from the townsite down highway 10 towards Dauphin. This little lake has a picnic table, fire pit, and a dock that faces directly east making it the perfect spot for a breakfast picnic (if you’re the ambitious type).

9. The Old Campground

The Old Campground located near the end of Boat Cove Road boasts an array of old and creatively built cabins that are worth exploring, but the best part about the area is the tree line down at the north entrance. When the sun is about an hour from setting, the light shines through the streets and brightens the area. Take note of the unusual symmetry of the trees—you’ll want your camera nearby for this one.

10. Ribs at Barnaby’s Grille

The last item on our list is actually located just outside the park in the nearby town of Onanole. Barnaby’s Grille is an often overlooked spot that is worth a visit. From Thursday to Sunday, they offer up a limited amount of ribs, that are arguably the best you will ever taste. Smoky, sweet, tangy and fall off the bone—they are the perfect ending to a day spent exploring the park.

About The Author

Hi, I'm Austin! I am the Visual Content Creator at Travel Manitoba. I create new photos and videos on a daily basis.

Visual Content Creator