Manitoba’s huge province covers not just a lot of ground, but a lot of tremendously varied ground: prairies and broadleaf woods, seemingly endless boreal forest, granite uplands, and countless lakes, wild muskeg, and tundra rolling to the polar-bear realm of Hudson Bay. Winter’s the dominant season here, and a snowshoer experiences its purest magic.
What follows is a non-exhaustive roundup of some of the best snowshoeing destinations in the province, from urban forests to back-of-beyond wilderness! Grab those Crescent Moon foam snowshoes and get out there.
Snowshoe Assiniboine Park & Assiniboine Forest
Manitoba’s capital of Winnipeg is fortunate in hosting one of the great urban greenspace complexes in Canada: Assiniboine Park along the south banks of the Assiniboine River and the aspen-oak woods of Assiniboine Forest southward provide snowshoers with a readymade tromping zone right in the heart of the city. Explore the hilly “Monkey Trails” (nicknamed by mountain bikers) in Assiniboine Park, or scheme up an extended circuit—with a good chance of spotting white-tailed deer in their gray winter coats—via the Assiniboine Forest’s Oak Ridge, Preston, Traverse, Aspen, Harte, and Sagimay trails.
FortWhyte Alive Snowshoe Routes
Also easily accessed from Winnipeg, FortWhyte Alive—dedicated to conservation, sustainability, community-building, and environmental education—offers some 660 acres (267 hectares) of aspen woods and prairies to explore under a winter coat. Among its seven kilometers (four miles) of snowshoe-friendly trails, the Storied People’s Trail is particularly recommended, given it provides a good chance of seeing the center’s resident bison herd.
Beaudry Provincial Park Snowshoeing
A quick trip west of Winnipeg, Beaudry Provincial Park invites wintertime exploration of its towering floodplain hardwood forest along the meanders of the Assiniboine River. Avoid the groomed ski tracks and, instead, try snowshoe-friendly routes such as the Cottonwood Trail.
Snowshoe Whiteshell Provincial Park
Boreal woods, ancient crystalline knobs and crests, and an abundance of lakes and rivers await you in Whiteshell Provincial Park, set on the Canadian Shield in southeastern Manitoba on the Ontario line. Snowshoeing gives winter visitors just about the best chances for finding the tracks of such Whiteshell critters as wolves, lynx, red foxes, and moose—maybe even a glimpse of them in the flesh. Fine treks to tackle include Forester’s Footsteps, Pine Point Rapids, and South Whiteshell trails.
Riding Mountain National Park Snowshoe Trails
One of Manitoba’s natural treasures, Riding Mountain National Park, lies in the Manitoba Escarpment highlands in the province’s southwest: a bastion of wilderness amid lower-lying farm country. Its unique geographic position and terrain make for a fascinating ecological mix: a place where eastern deciduous forest, aspen parkland, and boreal forest mingle and where northern and southern species of animals and plants cross paths. Snowshoeing—whether pursued on the park’s designated trails or out in the pristine drifts of its backcountry—allows you to soak up plenty of wildwood flavor and to keep your eyes peeled for sign and sightings of diverse wildlife such as moose, elk, wolves, lynx, and fisher. (There’s also a captive herd of plains bison over at Lake Audy, by the way.)
Explore Manitoba’s Snowshoe Routes With Crescent Moon
We’ve only scratched the surface of snowshoeing possibilities in Manitoba: From Birds Hill and Spruce Woods provincial parks to bucket-list forays up to Churchill and other remote tundra locales, there’s plenty more to explore on a pair of Crescent Moon snowshoes here! You can’t beat the rocker-style comfort, robust insulation, and won’t-let-you-down traction of our Eva and Luna foam snowshoes: pushing the boundaries of snowshoe technology while expanding your winter-adventure options left and right.