Let the wonders of nature be a backdrop for reflection on the power of the human spirit at Whiteshell Provincial Park.
Begin your Whiteshell journey at the Bannock Point Petroforms near Nutimik Lake. The petroforms 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, as you look inside yourself to determine their meaning to you.
Get in touch with nature and your thoughts on a hike. The Whiteshell has thousands of kilometres of trails. Embark on a three to six day trek on the Mantario Trail. Following 60 kilometres through rugged Precambrian terrain, this trail is recommended for experienced backpackers. For a less intense journey, try the eight kilometre trail at Rainbow Falls starting at Jessica Lake Lodge. Make your way through the forest to White Lake, then climb a small rock ridge to arrive at Rainbow Falls. Enjoy the impressive views and stay for a picnic.
Bring your tent for a night under the stars, or choose one of the park’s many comfy resorts. The next morning, head out to Caddy Lake for a canoeing adventure. Paddle through the rock caves created by railroad construction. Stay for a picnic at the wilderness campground on the other end of the rock tunnels. Then make your way to Lily Pond. This spot is a treat for senses – breathe in the fragrance and delight at the bursts of happy yellow and white water lilies. The bedrock cliffs that rise dramatically over this pond were formed by ancient glaciers scooping away the soft rock.
Head to West Hawk Lake and choose a campsite or resort to spend the night. The deepest lake in Manitoba, West Hawk Lake was created by a meteorite. The shores of the lake are a good place to contemplate the mysteries of the universe.
On your final day, pay a visit to the Alfred Hole Goose Sanctuary. Created as a safe place for orphaned geese, the area now sees thousands of Canada geese pass through during the spring and fall migration. Follow the self-guided walking trail through the forest and to the observation gallery overlooking the pond.