Explore Clear Lake like never before

Clear Lake Country describes the communities in and around Riding Mountain National Park, located 265 kms northwest of Winnipeg in the rolling river valleys of the Parkland region. Riding Mountain is Manitoba’s only national park that welcomes guests, which it has done for generations of local families while remaining largely off-the-radar for international travellers.

Clear Lake Country logo

Locals simply call the area Clear Lake because of the deep, crystal waters at the park’s heart. Along the south shore is Wasagaming, a charming resort town with streets lined with independent shops, restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals. Beyond the energy of Clear Lake, Riding Mountain has a serene backcountry of boreal and deciduous forest, grassland meadows and marshy wetlands.

Hundreds of kilometers of trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing crisscross the park - many along the dramatic elevation of the Manitoba Escarpment. Clear Lake Country is also home to Manitoba’s most iconic wildlife - black bears, elk, moose, lynx and bison - that can be viewed in any season.

Clear Lake Country is located on Treaty 2 territory.

Fall-Winter Trip

Top Stops

  • Friends of Riding Mountain Learning Centre: trail maps, interpretive tours and souvenir shop
  • Lakehouse: heated patio and fireside cafe with après ski vibe
  • Clear Lake: winter serenity from trails on and around the lake

Where To Stay

  • Hotels: Elkhorn Resort, Arrowhead Family Resort, Lakehouse
  • Unique Stays: Riding Mountain House, Crooked Mountain Cabins, Honeycomb B&B
  • Campgrounds: Wasagaming campground, Sporty’s RV Park, Whirlpool Campground

If There’s Time

  • Lake Audy Bison Enclosure: do a self-guided drive to view the resident herd of bison
  • Clear Lake Golf Course: play a round at this Stanley Thompson-designed golf course

PART 1 - Snow time like winter

Visitors to Riding Mountain National Park in the winter are not the type who prefer to hibernate. Winter in the park is a peaceful time of year to hit the trails and be active. Friends of Riding Mountain Learning Centre has fat bike and snowshoe rentals so you can turn any trail in the park into a winter adventure. Cross-country ski trails maps are also available here (no equipment rentals) to help you safely find your way around kilometers of trails around Clear Lake and the Wasagaming campground. In town, an ice skating trail through the forest is located behind the Parks Canada offices, and a sledding hill is near the Anishinaabe Sharing Lodge.

Kinosao bridge Riding Mountain National Park

Play outside!

While summer might seem like the season for national parks and outdoor adventure, winter makes a very good case for why it should be the reason you embark on adventure to Riding Mountain National Park while there is still snow on the ground.

More Info

PART 2 - Where to rest your head

Winter camping is available in Clear Lake Country with Park Canada’s rentable, winterized oTENTiks in Wasagaming campground. These spacious, insulated a-frame structures can sleep up to six people and are equipped with electric heat and a wood stove. Elkhorn Resort and Conference Centre is a top option for families with kids needing to burn off energy. The waterpark features a waterslide, obstacle course and outdoor hot tub. The resort offers various styles of hotel room and suites, as well as stand-alone chalets to rent in winter. At the heart of Wasagaming, Lakehouse boutique hotel offers stylish guest suites with a trendy but homey cabin feel.

Two chalets at Elkhorn Resort in the winter.

Detour!

While Riding Mountain National Park does not have a downhill ski option, two nearby ski hills are worth the drive when on a winter getaway in the region. Ski Valley is 40 kms south of the park near Minnedosa, and this small ski resort features nine runs that are ideal for beginner skiers.

Those needing more of a rush should travel 150 kms west of the park to Asessippi Ski Resort. Asessippi is the province’s premier downhill ski resort with 19 runs groomed for skiing, snowboarding and tubing.

Ski Valley and Asessippi Ski Resort are two downhill skiing options near Clear Lake Country.

PART 3 - Eat, eat and eat some more

Nothing is more welcome on a cold day of biking, skiing and snowshoeing than heaping plates of comfort food. Dine your way around Clear Lake Country starting at the Lakehouse for pub options like their popular nachos, burgers and wings, which can be ordered takeout or dine-in on a heated patio. Lakehouse is also the top stop to warm up over a latte or hot chocolate. Over at Elkhorn Resort, The Buffalo Bar is open daily for serving family favourites like fluffy pancakes to home-made pizza to elevated dishes like poke bowls and smoked brisket.

OTHER ACTIVITIES
Riding Mountain National Park ice hockey

Mark on your calendar: the first weekend in February in Clear Lake Country is Winter Adventure Weekend, a celebration for visitors to embrace the snowy season. Hosted by Friends of Riding Mountain, organized events include winter camping demos, a scavenger hunt, a sleigh ride through the woods, fat bike tours guided by Parks Canada, and more. Don’t forget to stop by the S’mores Bar at the cookshack near the skating trail in Wasagaming.