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Located along the scenic Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16), two hours west of Winnipeg, Neepawa is renowned as one of the most picturesque towns in Manitoba. Rolling hills, majestic stone buildings, and a penchant for gardening - particularly for lilies - add to the community’s charm and welcoming spirit for visitors.
From the Cree word of ‘Land of Plenty,’ Neepawa is a quintessentially prairie town in all seasons. Fall is the perfect time to check out two premier courses in the town: the Hylife Back Forty Multi-Use Trail Park has one of the top mountain biking courses in the province, and Neepawa Golf and Country Club on the banks of the Whitemud River is one of the most scenic courses for perfecting your swing.
Wander the town’s portion of The Great Trail - the Langford Trail- ideal for outdoor lovers who prefer to walk, cross-country ski or sled. Don’t leave Neepawa without visiting these two stops: local craft brewery Farmery to purchase a tasty souvenir grown in local farm fields, and historic Margaret Laurence House, childhood home of Canadian literature icon (The Stone Angel, The Diviners), to snap a pic.
Outdoor recreation is a great excuse to plan a getaway to Neepawa in fall or winter. The town’s new multi-use Hylife Back Forty Trail Park boasts one of the province’s top mountain biking skills courses, which has 5.1 kms of adrenaline-pumping features including rock and wood drops, logs rides and berns. The trail park is suitable for all ages and skill levels. Nearby, the Langford Walking Trail is the town’s local portion of The Great Trail and is a great source of community pride. Over 10 kms of trails will take visitors through Neepawa’s Riverbend Park, downtown and to landmarks such as the Stony Creek School No. 133.
Langford Winter Park, tucked away in a forest off Highway 16 just a few kilometers east of town, is where cross-country skiers escape along groomed trails and families spend time sledding down small hills. Nearby Lake Irwin is an ice-fishing destination in the region, and many kilometers of snowmobiling trails, maintained by local Prairie Mountain SnowDrifters, encompass the town. In Neepawa, more winter fun is found at The Flats, a gathering place for outdoor ice skating and sledding.
Farmery is the farm-to-table story of local beer entrepreneurs Lawrence and Chris Wawaruk whose mission for the estate brewery is to use barley and hops grown on their family farm outside of Neepawa. Visitors can stop by the Farmery Craft Beer Store any time of year to purchase a flat of premium lager or cans of small-batch, exclusive beers and malted sodas. Spend time browsing the line of Farmery merchandise such as hand-sanitizer and lotion (which feature their product) and cute gift ideas like toques and sweatshirts, perfect companions for a fall or winter’s getaway in Neepawa.
A visit isn’t complete without a self-guided tour of the many historic buildings that give Neepawa its character. Whether done by foot or by car, a tour should include photo-worthy stops such as Beautiful Plains County Courthouse, a national historic site and oldest courthouse on the Canadian Prairies; the Romanesque revival style of the 1891 Knox Presbyterian Church; and the majestic Margaret Laurence House, the childhood home and living memorial to the world-renowned novelist who wrote about ordinary life on the Canadian Prairies. Finish with a stop at Riverside Cemetery, arguably the most famous in Manitoba, to view the Davidson family ‘Stone Angel’ memorial, which served as inspiration for Laurence’s most famous novel.
Two undiscovered gems in Neepawa’s culinary scene are Rotor’s Bakery n’ Pizzeria and Lola’s Bakery. These cafes specialize in authentic Filipino sweet pastries such as pianono (rolled sponge cake) and turon (fruit-filled spring rolls), as well as savoury dishes such as pancit (fried noodles) and siapao (steamed buns). Visitors and locals also rave about Rotor’s and Lola’s homemade pizza and breakfasts.
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