It's no wonder that Whiteshell Provincial Park is one of the province's most popular parks. Characterized by stunning lakes, rivers, boreal forest and of course the rugged Precambrian Shield, the Whiteshell is a nature lover's sanctuary. This year, make a point to explore more of this park with these 10 amazing spots and be prepared to fall in love all over again.
1. Bannock Point Petroforms
For thousands of year, Indigenous people have used the area for hunting, fishing, dwelling, trade and more. The Bannock Point Petroforms (known to the Anishinaabe as Manitouabee , or where the spirit sits) are one such place to see this history. The sacred site holds stones laid out on the bedrock in the shapes of snakes, turtles and a Thunderbird, and are believed to have been made centuries ago for teaching and healing ceremonies. You'll get even more out of this significant site with a tour from Diane Maytwayashing of Whiteshell Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom. If you prefer to trek to the site on your own, view the trail information here.
2. Pine Point Rapids
There are several hikes to choose from when planning your trip to Pine Point Rapids. Families may favour the easier trail that goes directly to the rapids, while more avid hikers opt for the second section that offers a more challenging trek over rocky landscapes. Either way, you'll want to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy against the backdrop of this gem.
3. Whiteshell River Suspension Bridge
When camping at Nutimik Lake Campground, don't miss a visit to the stunning Whiteshell River Suspension Bridge. The hiking trail (4.2 km, in and out) is located right off the campground and is well marked with signs. The 86-metre bridge was constructed in 2010 and is the perfect spot for photo ops.
4. Caddy Lake Tunnels
Looking for a paddling route in the Whiteshell? Caddy Lake connects to North Cross Lake and South Cross Lake through granite tunnels and offers both short and weekend canoeing options. You won't be disappointed with the scenery, either! Seasonal canoe rentals are available at Caddy Lake Resort.
5. West Hawk Lake
Did you know that West Hawk Lake is Manitoba's deepest at 115 metres? Formed by a meteorite crashing into the Earth, the lake is a hotspot for scuba divers as a training zone and a favourite for swimmers and cottage-goers. Here, you can stay overnight at the campground, West Hawk Lake Resort or just hang out for the day on the beach. Word of warning: the water can be a wee bit chilly, but oh so refreshing!
6. Rainbow Falls
Loved by anglers and photographers alike, Rainbow Falls is a nice stop to make while driving or hiking through the Whiteshell and can be reached from the White Lake Resort access road.
7. Top of the World Hike
Get one of the best views in the Whiteshell from the Top of the World hike. The 4 km trail is gorgeous in all seasons (snowshoes recommended in the winter) and brings you to the highest elevation in the area, with spectacular views of Falcon Lake. The trailhead is accessible from the parking lot at Falcon Trails Resort.
8. Falcon Lake Beach and Boardwalk
Spend a day with your toes in the sand or walk the boardwalk at Falcon Lake Beach. There are a few fun facts to note here: Falcon Lake is named after Métis poet and songwriter Pierre Falcon and was also the site of an unusual, extraterrestrial encounter.
9. Alfred Hole Goose Sanctuary and Interpretive Centre
What impact can four orphaned goslings make? See for yourself at the Alfred Hole Goose Sanctuary and Interpretive Centre. The sanctuary was established in 1939 after Alfred Hole rescued the four goslings and was inspired to do more. Today, visitors can enjoy free admission and a Visitor Centre that shares the story of the sanctuary, explains the biology of Canadian geese and offers opportunities to view the birds up close. Don't miss the sanctuary from late August to Thanksgiving, when hundreds of geese are staging for the fall migration.
10. McGillivray Falls Trail
Relish in the beauty of the Whiteshell on this moderate hike, which provides rewarding views of McGillivray Lake (bring your bathing suit in the summer months). The falls themselves are located near the beginning of the trail, with the spring season being the best time to see the rushing waters.
Breathe in the outdoors: plan your trip to Whiteshell Provincial Park.