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Riding Mountain National Park

Trail Guide

With more than 400 km (250 miles) of trails, Riding Mountain offers a variety of walking and hiking opportunities for all abilities. You can choose a short walk on one of the self-guided trails, a longer day hike into Grey Owl's cabin or around Moon Lake, or take a multi-day trip into the backcountry.

You are in Bear Country . Avoid a bear encounter, if you encounter a bear, if an attack occurs...

Front Country Trails

NameDistance
(km)
LevelBikeHorseWagonPicnic sitesInterpretive
Arrowhead 3.4 Medium No No No 0 x
Beach Ridges 3.5 Easy No No No 0 x
Bead Lakes 4 Medium No No No 0 -
Boreal Island 1 Easy No No No 0 x
Burls and Bittersweet 2.2 Easy No No No 0 x
Brûlé 2.2-4.2 Easy No No No 0 x
Clear Lake 25.2 Difficult Yes Yes No 4 -
Gorge Creek 6.4 Difficult No No No 2 -
Grey Owl 8.7-17.4 Medium Yes No No 0 x
Kinosao 3.9 Easy Yes No No 0 -
Kippans Mill 1.2 Easy No No No 0 x
Lakeshore 1.0-2.6 Easy Yes Part No 1 -
Loon's Island 2.4 Easy No No No 1 -
Moon Lake 9.2 Difficult Yes No No 1 x
Oak Ridge 3.0-6.4 Easy No No No 0 -
Ominnik Marsh 1.9 Easy No No No 0 x
South Lake 13.4 Easy Yes No No 0 -
Wasagaming Bike 10 Medium Yes No No 0 -

Backcountry Trails

NameDistance
(km)
LevelBikeHorseWagonName of Camp
grounds
Bald Hill 8.4 Difficult Yes Yes No n/a
Baldy Lake 10 Easy Yes Yes Yes n/a
Birdtail 11.4 Medium Yes Yes No Kay's
Central 67 Medium Yes Yes Yes Whitewater,
Gunn Cr
Cowan Lake 7.8 Easy Yes No No Cowan Lake
Crawford Creek 5 Medium Yes Yes No n/a
Grasshopper Valley 17.2 Easy Yes Part No Minnedosa
Gunn Lake 1.9 Difficult Yes Yes Yes Gunn Lake
JET 7.8 Difficult Yes Yes No n/a
Long Lake 14 Easy Yes Yes Yes Long Lake
Muskrat Lake 7 Easy Yes Yes Part n/a
North Escarpment 9.2 Easy Yes Yes Yes East Deep L.,
Breezy Hill
Ochre River 24.9 Difficult Yes Yes No Elk Creek,
Ochre River
Packhorse 11.1 Difficult Yes Yes No n/a
NEW! Reeve's Ravine 11.5 Medium Yes No No n/a
Robinson Loop 6.7 Medium Yes Yes No n/a
Scott Creek 1.8 Easy Yes Yes No Scott Creek
South Escarpment 32.8 Medium Yes Yes No Campbell,
Muskrat Lake
Strathclair 22.9 Easy Yes Yes Yes Vermillion, Kinnis
Sugarloaf 8 Medium Yes Yes Yes n/a
Tilson Lake 38.5 Difficult Part Yes No Tilson Lake,
Birdtail

Trails

Arrowhead

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 3.4 km (return)
TIME: 1 to 2 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 7 km (10 minutes)

With the use of the Arrowhead Trail booklet, available at the Visitor Centre, guide yourself along this rolling terrain. Learn about the flora and the fauna that has adapted to this land once influenced by glaciers

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Bald Hill

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 8.8 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 24 km (40 minutes)

While on your journey look for Bald Hill, a curious natural feature (250 feet above Bald Hill Creek) that can easily be seen from the trail. When planning your trip, keep in mind there are several steep sections along the trail that create a good challenge for those who attempt to ascend its slopes.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Baldy Lake

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 10 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 86 km (1-1.5 hours)

Looking for an alternative to Central Trail? Whether you hike, cycle or horseback ride, travel is made easy along this route. Wildlife sightings are not only common throughout the prairie-pothole terrain, but an enjoyable experience as well.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Beach Ridges

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 3.5 km (return)
TIME: 1.5 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 48 km (45 minutes)

Are you interested in some natural history? Then take a hike along this interpretive trail to learn how glacial Lake Agassiz formed these beach ridges thousands of years ago. While on the north side of the park stop at the Agassiz Tower to get a view of the farmland below.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Bead Lakes

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 4 km (return)
TIME: 2 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 25 km (15 minutes)

Bead Lakes, an enjoyable day hike for the family, is named for the chain of small lakes found at its mid-point. While on this trail, you will pass through a mature white birch forest, and an understory of hazel, young aspen and white spruce.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Birdtail

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 11.4 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 106 km (1.5 hours)

This species-rich trail is a great choice for a rewarding outdoor experience. You will be introduced to a combination of mixed forest and fescue meadows.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Boreal Island

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 1 km (return)
TIME: 1 hour DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 34 km (20-25 minutes)

Cool, humid, pungent, and alive! This is what you will sense as you hike along the Boreal Island Trail. A great outing for the whole family and accessible for all! Remember to watch for moose along the way.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Brûlé ( Virtual Tour)

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: Short loop - 2.2 km (return), Long loop - 4.2 km (return)
TIME: Short loop - 1 hour, Long loop - 2.5 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 7 km (10 minutes)

Have you ever wondered what the Lilium philadelphicum was? Well, it is the Wood Lily of course! To learn about and view a variety of wildflowers hike the Brûlé Trail. With the help of the guide booklet, available at the Visitor Centre, you will surely enjoy this outing.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Burls and Bittersweet

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 2.2 km (return)
TIME: 1 hour
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 34 km (45 minutes)

This easy self-guiding trail leads you into the diverse, eastern hardwood forest on the base of the Manitoba Escarpment. With the use of a guidebook, available at the Visitor Centre, it is a fun way for kids of all ages to learn about and view the flora and fauna of the area.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Central

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 73 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 43 km (1 hour)

Central is the longest trail in Riding Mountain National Park. No longer used as a patrol road, it is the main entryway into the western half of the park, providing access to seven other trails.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Clear Lake

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 25.2 km (one-way).
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: .5 km or 5.3 km (5-10 minutes)

This trail provides an opportunity to reflect on the beauty of nature and the tranquillity of this spring fed lake. Convenient access to Clear Lake Trail is available at several points along its 25.2 km distance. Before embarking on this long stroll or bike ride, be aware that you'll be crossing through Indian Reserve 61A. It should be noted that this Reserve area is NOT maintained or regulated by Riding Mountain National Park. Therefore, caution is advised as this section of the trail is not clearly marked. If you are going to hike the entire trail, you should get permission from I.R. 61A at 1 (204) 625-2004.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Cowan Lake

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 7.8 km (one way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 15 km (10-15 minutes)

The Cowan Lake Trail is an excellent route for anyone contemplating their first overnight hike Nestled between Whirlpool Campsite and Grey Owl Trail, it offers quick and convenient alternatives for both day and overnight uses.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Crawford Creek

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 5 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 51 km (45 minutes)

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Gorge Creek

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 6.4 km (one-way)
TIME: 3 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 27 km (40 minutes)

Hiking the steep slopes of Gorge Creek trail, one can observe the effects of thousands of years of erosion - a gorge cut out of the bedrock that forms part of the Manitoba Escarpment. A sequence of vegetation types begins with aspen/hazel forests followed by oak/nanny berry scrubland and concludes with Manitoba maple, American elm, green ash, and white birch.

pdf-icon Printable map (PDF, 4 MB)
Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Grasshopper Valley

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 17.9 km (return)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 41 km (1 hour)

Unique as it is rare, this remnant grassland area is representative of the prairie that once extended across most of Western Canada. Skirting the edge of the bison enclosure, this trail evokes an appreciation of the remaining prairie habitat!

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Grey Owl

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 8.7 km - 17.4
TIME: 5 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 7 km (10 minutes)

Take a day out of your visit to Riding Mountain National Park to explore the wilderness that Archie Belaney (commonly known as Grey Owl) experienced during his six-month stay at Beaver Lodge Lake. The cabin at the end of the trail is named for the first naturalist hired by the national parks. Although Grey Owl only resided here for 6 months in the summer of 1931, his stay and this cabin represents one of the earliest efforts to practice conservation in Canada's national parks. As "caretaker of park animals," Grey Owl focused Canada's, and the world's, attention on the plight of wild animals and wild spaces. His job also included the education of park visitors. Today, you can still enjoy the spirit of Grey Owl's educational talks by attending one of the park interpretive programs. The trail length is 17 km return, and makes for a great day hike (and a slightly rough mountain bicycle trip). Inside the cabin there is a display on Grey Owl's life while he stayed in the park.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

JET

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 7.3 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 24 km (40 minutes)

Named after James E. Thomlinson, the J.E.T. Trail offers an exhilarating ride for mountain bike enthusiasts . The reward along this trail is the great view from the ridge, allowing one to scan the horizon for miles. For alternative sights follow the two spur trails (2.4 km along the descent) to see Packhorse Creek or the shaled slopes of Bald Hill.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Kinosao

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 4 km
TIME: 1 to 1.5 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 7 km (10 minutes)

Similar in terrain to the Grey Owl and Brûlé Trails, Kinosao guides you along a gentle rolling path to the shore of Kinosao Lake. While resting at the dock, hikers can dangle their feet in the water, enjoy a snack or just relax before hiking the remainder of the trail.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Kippan's Mill

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 1.2 km (return)
TIME: 1 hour
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 40 km (40 minutes)

Step into the past as you hike this short trail that explores the remnants of the park's logging history. Don't expect to see any lumberjacks today, but you may spot some old foundations and paraphenalia from this logging camp of the 1940s.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Lakeshore

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: Short loop - 1 km (return), Long loop - 2.6 km (return)
TIME: Short loop - 30 minutes, Long loop - 1 hour
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 5 minute walk from the Visitor Centre

While enjoying your after dinner ice cream, treat your family to a sunset walk along this accessible trail. Here you can feel a cool, summer breeze while watching the twilight colours dance off the waves.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Long Lake

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 14 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 50 km (1-1.5 hours)

One can take a break from Central Trail and head south to Long Lake. Here you will find a tranquil, picturesque campsite where you can swim, relax or fish for northern pike.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Loon's Island

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 2.4 km (return)
TIME: 1 hour
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 9 km (10-15 minutes)

Loon's Island Trail requires you to use your senses! While hiking along the shore of Lake Katherine listen for the echoing call of the loons, watch them dive and swim in the nearby water as you inhale the fresh, clean air. Along this trail, nature will surely "touch" you!

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Moon Lake

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 9.2 km (return)
TIME: 3-4 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 35 km (20-25 minutes)

Easily accessible from Moon Lake campground and picnic site, Moon Lake Trail gradually becomes easier as it encircles the north Eastern Shore of the lake. Interested in bird watching? Watch for osprey and bald eagles, or their nests along the trail. This trail is "difficult," due to its length and low lying wet spots.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Muskrat Lake

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 7 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 27 km (1 hour)

This gentle rolling trail heads eastward from Rolling River Road to the intersection with the South Escarpment Trail. Due to beaver activity, it is highly recommended that you check the trail conditions before heading out on your excursion.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

North Escarpment

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 9.2 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 24 km (40 minutes)

Explore the North Escarpment Trail with its eastern hardwood forests and scenic highlands. This trail provides access to three trails that descend the escarpment: Bald Hill, J.E.T., and Packhorse. A circular route can be travelled beginning at any one of these trailheads, thus creating several unique trail loops.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Oak Ridge

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: Short loop - 3 km (return), Long loop - 6.4 km (return)
TIME: Short loop - 1.5 hours, Long loop - 2 to 2.5 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 60 km (1 hour)

If you want to take "the road less traveled," this is the trail for you. See the sights that few have seen: the Manitoba Escarpment, Scott Creek Gorge and a forest of oak and hazel.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Ochre River

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 24.9 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 23 km (20 minutes)

Plan your first trip well and you will be tempted to come back year after year to trek this rugged and exhilarating trail. There isn't another experience in Riding Mountain National Park that equals a trip on Ochre River Trail.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Ominnik Marsh

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 1.9 km
TIME: 1 hour
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 5 minute walk from the Visitor Centre.

Ominnik Marsh provides excellent opportunities to experience one of the park's busiest environments. Borrow a Marsh Kit from the Visitor Centre before walking the boardwalk at Ominnik Marsh.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Packhorse

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 9.5 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 24 km (40 minutes)

Having a gentler slope than Bald Hill and J.E.T., this trail still offers adventure for those interested in experiencing the escarpment's ruggedness. Following a gorge cut by Packhorse Creek, this trail exemplifies the gradual process of stream erosion.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

NEW! Reeve's Ravine

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 11.5 km
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 34 km (40 minutes)

Be one of the first to explore Riding Mountain National Park’s newest trail: Reeve’s Ravine. Reeve’s Ravine was developed in partnership with the Manitoba Escarpment Trail Society and is ideal for mountain bikers seeking a new adventure. This unique escarpment experience along the ravine’s edge boasts some of the most spectacular views in the park.

pdf-icon Printable map (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Robinson Loop

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 6.7 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 27 km (40 minutes)

This scenic trail branches off the South Escarpment trail and rejoins it further south to form a loop. The trail crosses patches of prairie grasslands along stretches of the McFadden Valley.

pdf-icon Printable map (PDF, 4 MB)
Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Scott Creek

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 1.8 km (one-way)
TIME: 1 hour
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 60 km (1 hour)

Easily accessible from Agassiz Ski Hill Road, this trail is a great hike for first time backcountry campers. It offers you a brief and exciting introduction to the escarpment and the eastern section of the park.

pdf-icon Printable map (PDF, 4 MB)
Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

South Escarpment

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 31.8 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 27 km (40 minutes)

Venture out on this scenic trail which begins in an old burn area and proceeds over a prairie landscape into the McFadden Valley. The autumn season accentuates the numerous breath-taking viewpoints encountered along the trek.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Strathclair

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy
TRAIL LENGTH: 22.9 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 43 km (1 hour)

Used for centuries by the natives and early settlers of the area, the Strathclair Trail has often provided north-south passage through this highland region. Its mixture of forest and meadows provide a great opportunity for wildlife viewing, especially elk and white-tailed deer.

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Sugarloaf

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: 8 km (one-way)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 123 km (1.5-2 hours)

At the southern tip of this pleasant trail you will reach the Birdtail River Valley and connect to Central Trail. Keep your eyes open for the usual signs of wildlife: tracks, scats and the live one!

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Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Tilson

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Difficult
TRAIL LENGTH: 38.5 km (return)
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 106 km (1.5 hours)

Take advantage of the diverse photographic and wildlife viewing opportunities along this trail. Tilson Campsite, situated high above the surrounding aspen parkland offers a splendid view of the lake below. Don't forget to bring your binoculars and camera! A word of advice to potential bikers, "Tilson is hell for wheels", quoted from park Warden Steve Malcolm.

pdf-icon Printable map (PDF, 4 MB)
Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index

Wasagaming Bike

TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Medium
TRAIL LENGTH: Short loop - 10 km (return), Long loop - 15 km (return)
TIME: Short loop - 1 hour, Long loop - 1.5 hours
DRIVING DISTANCE TO TRAILHEAD FROM WASAGAMING: 5 minutes from the Visitor Centre

Are you looking for a leisurely bike trail that is close to Wasagaming? Then this is the trail for you! It is ideal for all ages and provides an excellent experience for the beginning trail rider.

pdf-icon Printable map (PDF, 4 MB)
Front Country Trail Index
Back Country Trail Index


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