2016 Visitor Guide
Welcome to Riding Mountain National Park, where over 3000 km2 of boreal forest, aspen parkland, and fescue grasslands greet visitors of all ages and abilities. Endless opportunities to discover, laugh, and relax help you reconnect with the pristine wilderness which lies within traditional Treaty land of the Anishinabe people. Riding Mountain National Park is filled with memories waiting to be made — it’s time to explore.
17 – World Snow Day
6 - 7 – Winter Adventure Weekend
5 - 6 – Riding Mountain Loppet
TBD – Family Fun Day
20 - 23 – May Long/ Victoria Day, Summer Kick-off
10 – Grey Owl Golf Tournament
18 – 19 Learn-to Camp
18 – 19 Aboriginal Day Weekend Celebrations
1 – Canada Day, Citizenship Ceremony
9 – Clear Lake Celebration Day
14 – 17 Riding Mountain Film Festival
16 – Parks Day
16 – Great Canadian Camp-Out
6 – 7 Wasagaming Chamber Days
19 – 27 Tamarack Golf Tournament
20 – Boo in the Park
TBD – Riding Mountain National Park Outdoor Concert
TBD – Sonics & Sojourns Weekend
TBD – Friends Fright Night
TBD – Christmas Bird Count
Journey into the Visitor Centre in Wasagaming, a remarkable 1930s Federal Heritage Building.
- Guided hikes and outdoor adventures
- Nature Shop
- Discovery Room
- Organically managed English Gardens
- Passes, permits, and licenses
- Park rehabilitation projects
The Park is accessible to persons with mobility, hearing, and visual impairments. The Administration Building, Visitor Centre, select campsites, day-use areas, and selected trails are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs and all-terrain strollers are available at the Visitor Centre.
Visitor Centre Hours
133 Wasagaming Drive
May 20 - June 29
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Everyday)
June 30 to September 4
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM (Everyday)
September 5 to October 10
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Everyday)
Call 204-848-7275 for more information
Follow us on facebook.com/RidingNP and follow us on twitter.com/RidingNP
SUMMER - July 2 to August 26
Your own National Park safari Nature awaits you as you follow an interpreter on a drive through the park during the Call of the Wild car caravan. Be on the lookout for bears, moose, and elk from the comfort of your car. Or you can join a driving safari to see the Riding Mountain bison herd up close.
Guided Hike Challenge yourself to explore the stunning vistas of the Gorge Creek Trail with a guide. For more information visit the Visitor Centre. Tuesdays 10:00 AM
Learn-to-Fish Bring the kids to learn the ins and outs of rods, lures, casting, and the fish species of the Park. Help them write their first fish story about “the one that got away!”
Paddle Clear Lake Explore the beauty of Clear Lake while gliding across its waters on a kayak. The length of this program varies, please check in with the Visitor Centre.
Wolf of Willow Wisdom Wander by the waters of Washagama Saageygun (Clear Lake) in search of the Wolf Willow, a plant traditionally used for medicine and to beautify clothing and other personal belongings. Guided by the Anishinabe of Noozaawiinijiw (Riding Mountain).
FALL - Beginning August 27 to October 10
Elk Expedition Follow a park interpreter from the comfort of your own vehicle and share stories about elk and the park in autumn. Keep your eyes and ears open for other large mammals such as moose, deer, and bison. Pre-registration is advised.
Trek to the Stars Why go to the planetarium when you can see the real thing? Look-up and learn about the blanket of stars that cover you. *Weather permitting.
For more information visit the Visitor Centre or call 204-848-7275. Pre-registration is advised. *Fees may apply.
16 Backcountry campsites in wilderness areas, reservations only, unserviced. For reservations call 204-848-7275.
Anishinabe of Riding Mountain
Tour Manitoba’s first Indigenous-run museum and speak with elders, artists, cultural leaders, and spiritual teachers about traditional music, dance, art, and spirituality. Gifted storytellers narrate accounts of life in “Washagama Saageygun,” the Anishinabe term for “clear water lake,” which is now commonly called Clear Lake.
A common belief among Indigenous groups in Canada is that North America has been home to their people since time immemorial. Oral history and archaeological records support this belief, and that the First Peoples have been residing in the Riding Mountain area since the great glacier moved off the land at least 10,000 years ago. For the Anishinabe, North America, also known as “Turtle Island,” was chosen as their homeland by their creator “Kizhe Manitoo.” This ancestral oral tradition has been passed down through many generations to the Anishinabe of today.
The First Nations of Ebb and Flow, Gambler, Keeseekowenin, Rolling River, Sandy Bay, Waywayseecappo, and Tootinawaziibeeng are recognized Anishinabe nations that have maintained traditional connections to the Riding Mountain area. As a result of this kinship with the land, these seven First Nation communities share a common interest and work together with Parks Canada to protect this very special place. Visit us at the Anishinabe Sharing Lodge at 126 Ta-Wa-Pit Drive in the townsite of Wasagaming, to learn more about the First Peoples of Riding Mountain.
Explore the Bison Enclosure
From the comfort of your vehicle, view the bison of Lake Audy roaming the rough fescue grasslands bison enclosure, an increasingly rare example of natural prairie in Canada.
Home to numerous birds, insects, and mammals including close to 40 bison, the fescue grassland of RMNP also support a diversity of plants and wildflowers found only in this type of grassland.
Bison can quickly reach speeds of up to 50 km/hr. For this reason, exercise caution while driving in the bison enclosure and please stay in your vehicle; these are wild animals!
A Special Relationship with Bison
The Anishinabe term for bison is “Mashkode Bizhiki”, and means “the fire under the bison’s feet as they stampede into the sunset.”
Join a driving safari to see the Riding Mountain bison herd up close. For more information visit the Visitor Centre or call 204-848-7275. Pre-registration is advised. *Fees may apply
The bison is not only important spiritually, but they were an important resource. Here are some of the ways parts of the bison can be used.
- Bones: tools
- Hide: clothing, ropes, snowshoes and drums
- Hooves: glue, rattles
- Horns: utensils, cups, ladles and decoration
- Fat: soap and candle tallow
- Liver and brain: tanning solution
- Stomach: water bottle
For details on each trail, a trail guide is available for purchase at the Nature Shop in the Visitor Centre. For updated trail information please go to Trail Guide
ATTENTION HIKERS AND BIKERS
Explore Riding Mountain National Park’s newest trail, Reeve’s Ravine.
The Reeve’s Ravine trail has been developed in partnership with the Manitoba Escarpment Trail Society and various volunteer groups 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.
Wasagaming and Clear Lake
A town within a national park. Everything you need and want for the perfect getaway.
Visitor Centre Discover the mysteries of the park while talking with park interpreters and exploring the park museum. Riding Mountain interpreters are more than happy to share their knowledge and suggest activities.
The Ominnik Marsh Experience the beauty of Riding Mountain on the Ominnik Marsh Trail. Visit the Visitor Centre and grab an explorer’s kit for catching critters and walking on the marsh in the presence of beavers, ducks, and beautiful pond life.
Start your day with a coffee Stop by one of the many local coffee shops and cafés in Wasagaming that offer delicious specialty coffees and baked goods.
Grab some grub The Wasagaming Townsite has many local restaurants to choose from. Want to get out of the townsite and explore more of the park? Check out the Clear Lake Golf course for an amazing steak, or the tenth hole snack bar for the infamous bear-paw burger.
Take a hike Grab a group of friends and hit the trails. Spend your morning hiking the Gorge Creek and see some of the most beautiful sights of the east escarpment. For a complete list of trails visit pc.gc.ca/riding
The Martese Enjoy the beautiful parkland sunset while coasting the great lake water on the park’s biggest boat—The Martese. Choose from an afternoon cruise, dinner cruise, or sunset cruise.
Playground Share some laughs while you slide down the slides or swing on the swings. There are no monkeys in the park except you!
Lawn bowling Who said bowling lanes should only be inside? Test your bowling skills at the Clear Lake Lawn Bowling Green.
Cook shack End your day dining amidst nature. Riding Mountain gives access to many cook shacks and fire pits dispersed throughout the park. Visit the Visitor Centre or pc.gc. ca/riding to find the best spot to enjoy a barbecued meal.
Cruise the park on a bike Try something new and rent a specialty bike from the Clear Lake Tempo, or try the Surrey bikes at the Old Surrey Bike Rentals!
Beach volleyball Challenge some friends to a game of beach volleyball in the west corner of the Main Beach. Nestled beside the main pier and the clear lake, this beach volleyball court is a perfect place to let off some steam.
Paddle boats Spend an hour paddling along Clear Lake watching the fish swim below your feet. It’s a great way to watch the sun set. You can rent these from the Marina on the Main Pier.
Dive in Located on Wasagaming Drive, the main beach is home to Clear Lake - the clearest lake in Manitoba. Enjoy your sunny afternoon swimming off the docks, or relax on one of the many beaches. Dive into the great depths of Deep Bay, the deepest beach in the park, lay amongst the sand beach of the Main Beach, or play along the sand bars of South Beach.
Mini golf Practicing for the PGA tour? Show off your skills at mini golf, just beside the Clear Lake Tennis Courts. Some friendly competition never hurt anyone.
Experience Riding Mountain National Park
Be sure to check the local bulletin boards for information on activities that are occuring during your stay at Riding Mountain. These activities include yoga, mountain biking, social events, and more.
Fishing in Riding Mountain
Riding Mountain has many fish friendly lakes throughout the park. Anglers are required to have a national park fishing permit. Tackle restrictions include no use or possession of barbed hooks, and no lead tackle under 50g. For more information visit pc.gc.ca/riding
Family Picnic or Cookout
Riding Mountain has many beautiful locations available for visitors to enjoy the outdoors while cooking. Stop by the cook shacks located in the Wasagaming townsite or explore other locations which have access to fire pits! Find out which park locations have access to fire pits by visiting the Visitor Centre or online at pc.gc.ca/riding.
Projects in the Park
2016 will be an exciting year for Riding Mountain National Park and Parks Canada sites throughout the country. In 2015, the Government of Canada announced significant investments in national parks and historic sites. This investment will allow Riding Mountain in particular to address some outstanding maintenance in order to better serve your experience in the park. This will include, but is not limited to, improvements to campgrounds, Highway 10, Wasagaming townsite, and visitor facilities.
In Riding Mountain National Park we are doing our best to minimize construction activities in high-traffic areas during the peak visitor season. We would like to remind our visitors to slow down around construction, keep a distance from workers and equipment, to respect area and building closures, and to be patient when encountering delays. Maintenance to national parks and historic sites is important in order to maintain a quality visitor experience and the future of the park. For more information about infrastructure projects in Riding Mountain, please contact us at 204-848-7275, visit our website at pc.gc.ca/riding, or come down to the Visitor Centre open May 20 to October 10.
Riding Mountain East Gate Riding Mountain East Gate Registration Complex National Historic Site, built in 1930, is the only park gate of its kind left standing in Canada.
Prisoner of War Camp 440 German POW’s were sent to Whitewater Lake during WWII.
Wishing Well Toss a coin and make a wish — one of the oldest traditions in the Park.
Grey Owl In 1931 Archibald Belaney, his wife Anahareo, and their two pet beavers, Rawhide and Jellyroll, lived at Beaver Lodge Lake where Grey Owl’s Cabin is located.
The official grand opening of the park was July 26, 1933 with around 2000 people in attendance! In 1932, the Parks Branch proposed an essay competition for children. The winner would win $50 in addition to having their entry selected as the new name of the Riding Mountain Townsite. Edna Medd, a girl from Winnipegosis, suggested “Wasagaming,” the Cree word for “clear water,” which has been the name of the townsite ever since.
Celebrating the road to 2017 The Parks Canada Discovery Pass is now valid for 24 months instead of 12 months. This is our first step toward celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation! Purchase one when entering the Park, online, or phone 1-888-773-8888.
The Riding Mountain UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE
The Biosphere Reserve is made up of a core protected area, RMNP, and the surrounding 12 rural municipalities. The Biosphere Reserve fosters and encourages a sustainable, community-based regional economy, with high biodiversity on a rural landscape.
- At the Farm Gate: Farmers’ markets and a listing of local producers and artisans in the Biosphere Reserve.
- Use of native species plants in landscaping and develop community garden program.
- Adult education workshops and school programs to raise awareness of the conservation of biodiversity.
For more information call 204-848-2085 or visit rmbr.ca
Meet the Artist
Unwind with friends at the “Meet the Artists” events and discover how new works of art are created.
The Deep Bay Cabin at Riding Mountain National Park was renovated by Parks Canada in 2006 to become the home of the Manitoba Arts Council’s Deep Bay Artists’ Residency program. Here, in the beautiful natural setting of the Park, artists reflect, experiment, and create new art. Throughout the season the artists feature their work through the “Meet the Artists” events hosted in and around Wasagaming. Look for posters or ask at the Visitor Centre for a listing.
The Shops at Clear Lake
Visit DiscoverClearLake.com for more information. The Official Site of Wasagaming Chamber of Commerce
With fantastic dining options and beautiful accommodations, enjoy exploring this unique National Park townsite and the great diversity in its shops, restaurants, and services. Visit discoverclearlake.com for more information, the official site of Wasagaming Chamber of Commerce.
Save our Wildlife
Keep bears wild and alive. Please leave any items that will attract wildlife in a hard-sided vehicle when your picnic or cook shelter is unattended for ANY length of time. When using the cookout behind the Visitor Centre, there are bear proof boxes for your use.
Feeding wildlife may...
- Cause animals to become a nuisance.
- Result in the animal being destroyed.
- Can lead to a maximum fine of $5,000 underneath the Canada National Parks Act.
Items that attract wildlife...
- Food, coolers, bottles, and cans
- Garbage and food packaging
- Pet food / pet dishes
- Toileteries, suntan lotion and insect repellent
- Any items associated with food preparation or clean up
- Grey water pails
- BBQs and bird feeders
For current trail conditions, bear information, and to report bear sightings, please call 204-848-7275, or for wildlife emergencies please call 1-877-852-3100.
Wondering where to spot wildlife?
Ask the friendly staff at the Visitor Centre or check the wildlife observation boards located in the lobby of the Visitor Centre or Administration Office for the latest sightings. Record your observations here as well.
Always Keep Your Distance.
No matter how tame they may seem, ALL park animals are unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
Do Not Move Firewood
Invasive forest pests (non-native pests and diseases) can have serious negative impacts on forests, both in your home town and in wilderness areas such as Riding Mountain National Park.
Currently, pests such as the emerald ash borer (EAB) and Asian long-horned beetle are threatening Canadian forests.
The EAB has killed millions of ash trees in North America, and is spreading toward Manitoba quickly. Forest pests such as the emerald ash borer can be transported to unaffected areas through the movement of firewood.
When you are vacationing this summer, please purchase firewood locally and leave it where you brought it.
Don’t Move a Mussel!
Stop Aquatic Invasive Species Before Launching and Before Leaving
Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are a Prohibited Species under The Fisheries Act. Possession and release of zebra mussels in Manitoba are illegal.
Help protect our precious lakes, rivers, and wetlands by taking a few important precautions when moving watercrafts, trailers, and aircrafts, or before moving any water-based equipment and gear such as docks, nets, bait buckets, ropes, buoys, life jackets, anchors and totes between water bodies.
Clean and inspect watercraft, trailer, aircraft, and all waterbased equipment or gear. Remove all plants, animals, mud. Rinse using high pressure hot water for at least 2 minutes.
Drain all water from watercraft, equipment, and gear including the motor livewell, bilge, bait buckets and toss before transporting.
Dry watercraft, trailer and all water-based gear and equipment for at least five days in the hot sun, 18 days in the spring / fall, or freeze for 13 days.
Dispose of unwanted live bait and worms in the trash, and dump all water from bail buckets and totes on land away from any water body.
Clear Lake Living Waters
Clear Lake’s crystal clear waters attract thousands of visitors every year. Parks Canada, Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation, as well as many stakeholders and volunteers, are working to protect the cultural and ecological qualities of Clear Lake.
Initiatives to keep the lake clear...
- Boat emission guidelines
- Improvements to wastewater treatment facilities
- The use of lake friendly products
- Aquatic monitoring
- Raising public awareness about boating safety and etiquette
The efforts to protect Clear Lake emphasize the value of traditional and local knowledge partnered with scientific research.
Friends of Riding Mountain National Park
Promoting and providing opportunities to increase public awareness, appreciation, and enjoyment of the natural and cultural heritage of Riding Mountain National Park. Official Parks Canada Merchandise is available exclusively at the Friends of RMNP Nature Shop in the Parks Canada Visitor Centre and The Friends Learning Centre located at 154 Columbine Street.
Junior Naturalist Programs (Friends Learning Centre)
Monday to Friday (10:00 AM to noon and 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM)
Young Explorer Programs (Friends Learning Centre)
Tuesday and Thursday (7:00 PM to 9:00 PM)
Li’l Critter Camp (Friends Learning Centre)
Monday to Friday (4:00 PM to 5:00 PM)
For more information about programming please visit www.friendsofridingmountain.ca
Contact email@example.com for more information
2016 Riding Mountain Photo Contest
- People in the Park
Prize First place prize package includes a Riding Mountain National Park Annual Family Pass.
Contest is open to everyone, including professional photographers. There is also a special Junior Photographer category.
For Full Details
Inquire at the Nature Shop in the Visitor Centre, the Friends Learning Centre at 154 Columbine in Wasagaming, or visit www.friendsofridingmountain.ca
Deadline: December 05, 2016
Play it safe — and enjoy your experience!
Whether you are looking to connect with nature, experience adventure, or escape from your daily routines, we want to share with you the 3 T’s — Trip Planning, Training, and Taking the Essentials — to make sure you stay safe and enjoy your visit.
Plan your route. Know the terrain conditions. Check the weather. Always fill out a trip plan and leave it with a family member or friend. Trip plans are available online www.adventuresmart.ca or at the Visitor Centre.
Taking the Essentials
Carry the essentials and know how to use them. Add other equipment specific to your activity, the season, and location.
• Flashlight • Fire making kit • Signalling device (ie. whistle) • Extra food and water • Extra clothing
• Navigational/ Communication devices • First aid kit • Emergency blanket/shelter • Pocket knife • Sun protection
Obtain the knowledge and skills you need before heading out. Know and stay within your limits.
24 Hour Park Emergency Service, Visitor Safety, Wildlife and Park enforcement Toll-free 1-877-852-3100.
Did you know?
A Riding Mountain National Park fishing license is required to fish in park waters.
Leave it for others to enjoy
Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but your footprints.
A Backcountry permit is required for overnight backcountry visits. Fees apply.
Protect your pets
Wild animals roam free in National Parks. Keep your pets on a leash and supervised so that they do not harass wildlife, provoke attacks or endanger people. Please be courteous and clean up after your pets.
Parks Canada offers a Safety Registration service for people engaging in potentially hazardous activities.
REMINDER: if you register yourself “out”, then you must, by law, register yourself back “in” to prevent an unnecessary and costly search.
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