Don’t let the headline fool you. Manitoba has its fair share of scenic drives, but for the purpose of this piece, we’ve decided to steer you along three specific routes. Of course, if long drives and day trips are your go-to when you want to get away and three routes alone simply won’t do, we’ve got a few more that you can add to your list here. One thing’s for certain, no matter where you are, or where you have been, there’s always something new that you can discover along the way. So sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Sometimes even the best destinations are all about the journey.
Highway 10 through Riding Mountain National Park
Riding Mountain National Park is a popular destination. Fall, however, offers the perfect combination of a destination with a view while en route. Your journey north along Highway 10 will take you across stunning prairie landscapes of vibrant yellows, golden browns and robust reds. But the beauty of the scenery doesn’t stop at its colours. The wildlife adds to the magnificence of this scenic drive, with countless side roads and trails in the park meandering through wooded areas, tall grasses and forests revealing bison, black bears, deer, moose, elk and even wolves. For a hearty meal, head to the Lake House, a boutique lodge located in the Wasagaming townsite, or the rustic dining room at Elkhorn Resort. Not quite ready to head home yet? Then head back to Highway 10 and ride north through more secluded portions of the park like Moon Lake before driving in to the stunning sunset on your way to Dauphin.
Yellowhead Highway to Minnedosa Valley
When sunny blue skies give way to brilliantly green star-filled horizons, all that’s left to do is to sit back and enjoy one of nature’s most stunning shows. While northern lights are always a treat, they aren’t always a guarantee, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to see and fall in love with on your way to Minnedosa. As you head west along the Yellowhead, Highway 16 will wind you through scenic spots, rolling hills, stunning valleys and quaint little towns like Gladstone, where you simply have to stop for a photo in front of the Happy Rock roadside attraction. And since you’re well into the prairies, you might as well make the most of this drive with a stop in Neepawa at the Farmery Estate Brewery before you get to your ultimate destination of Minnedosa, known for its historic stone buildings, which date back to the fur trading era.
Western shore of Lake Winnipeg through New Iceland
Sure you can take Highway 8 all the way north to Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, wind your way through the Interlake via PR 232 that takes you past the beach hamlets of Whytewold, Dunnottar and Ponemah. North of Gimli, PR 222 will usher you towards Camp Morton Provincial Park and its historic chapel perched on the limestone cliff overlooking the lake. Hnausa Beach Provincial Park and Balaton Beach follow with more eye-catching views of limestone cliffs along the scenic shoreline of Lake Winnipeg until the road’s end at Riverton, where the LED-lit pedestrian bridge spans the Icelandic River and offers the perfect opportunity for a fall evening stroll. As you depart the mainland along Highway 8, you’ve got about 7 km left for soaking up the views of Lake Winnipeg with Black Island as its backdrop, before you get to Seagulls Restaurant and Lounge at the stunning Lakeview Hecla Resort, and your final feasting destination.