Tales from the Trails: Karolyn's trail blog
July 30, 2013
Did you know that the eastern edge of Riding Mountain lies on the Manitoba Escarpment? The Escarpment marks the boundary of glacial Lake Agassiz, a massive lake that stretched from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario all the way down to North Dakota and Minnesota around 13,000 years ago. This rise of land is a unique feature in the Manitoban prairies and offers the opportunity for some incredibly interesting trails with a variety of inclines, declines, and breathtaking views. The Gorge Creek, J.E.T., and Bald Hill trails descending the escarpment are sure to present an exciting challenge for any hiker or cyclist. A must do is the new Reeve’s Ravine Trail that runs between the Burls and Bittersweet trailhead and Bald Hill. This 11.5km loop is the first trail designed specifically with mountain bikers in mind. It is a spectacular route for both hikers and bikers. See the map below.
Reeve's Ravine © Parks Canada
Escape the hustle and bustle of Wasagaming and check out the Oak Ridge trail on the escarpment. With so many different things to see this nears the top of my list for favorite trails. This trail takes you through a variety of different types of vegetation, from oak and aspen forests, to grasslands. If you’re lucky, you may see a deer or two grazing in the grass. The highlight is the section of trail following the cliff overlooking the Scott Creek Gorge. From up here you get a great view of Scott Creek and a look at the geology of the escarpment.
Watch out for poison ivy. Remember; leaves of three let them be!
Printable map (PDF, 7.1 MB)
July 9, 2013
July has brought many more visitors to the park, meaning the trails are being used a lot more, too. “Way to go” to the trail crew as it has been hard at work maintaining the trails. Ominnik Marsh Trail has been rejuvenated with brand new boardwalk sections and a new route. One of the crew members who did this great work is in my Picture of the Week. Three lookout points along the way give you spectacular views of the marsh.
Ominnik Marsh Trail © Parks Canada
It has been a rainy couple of weeks here in Riding Mountain National Park, which means the trails are wet and muddy. Typically, it takes about 24 hours for one inch of rain to dry up.
It is recommended that the trails are not used during or immediately following a heavy rainfall. This can cause damage to the trails and makes them more slippery and dangerous for visitors.
Tips from the trails:
- Watch out for muddy sections; there is an increased risk of rolling ankles and fatigue.
- Always be prepared for the elements.
- Stay hydrated.
- Be courteous to others you encounter on the trails; say hi and stay to one side while passing or being passed.
- Don’t forget your insect repellent!
- Be “Bear Aware” (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/docs/v-g/oursnoir-blackbear/index.aspx)
If you have any questions or comments about the trails or want to be involved in RMNP’s Trail Program don’t hesitate to contact the park at email@example.com. Tell us your own trail stories!
June 28, 2013
Hello Parks Canada fans! Welcome to my first blog. I want to start by introducing myself. I’m Karolyn, Riding Mountain National Park’s new Trail Monitoring and Research Student and I am an Environmental Science student from the University of Manitoba. Working on the Trail Program is one of the best jobs in the park. I get to bike and hike every trail looking for special features to promote and problems that we can fix to make the trails more enjoyable for you, the visitor! Our goal is to see who is currently using the trails and see how we can share them with even more people, whether they are experienced hikers and cyclists or novice explorers.
My first few weeks at the Park have been great. The staff are so friendly and always willing to help when I have a question. I sometimes can’t believe that I am living in a national park for the summer. This has been one of the best experiences of my life and I’ve only been here a few weeks! I can’t wait to see what the Park has to offer. On my first drive through the park I saw seven black bears, 3 elk, tons of deer, and the bison at the Lake Audy bison enclosure.
Lake Kinosao © Parks Canada
I started out with some nice and easy trails. Ominik Marsh Trail is great for people with all levels of experience. A boardwalk guides you through the marsh with interpretive signs along the way. It’s a great location to see different species of songbirds, like the red winged black bird. The south portion of the Clear Lake Trail takes you right to the Isthmus, where Clear Lake and South Lake meet. My favorite trail so far has been the Kinosao Trail. The trail takes you to beautiful Kinosao Lake. The day I went was so calm that the water looked like glass and reflected the clouds in the sky.
I encourage everyone to come experience the trails of Riding Mountain National Park. If you see me out there, say hi! Keep an eye out for my next blog, and until then, happy trails!
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