The Park Insider
Welcome, Bienvenue and Piintikan to Riding Mountain National Park and East Gate National Historic Site.
Whether this is your first time visiting this treasured place, or whether you have been coming here all of your life, you are welcome here. Riding Mountain National Park lies within the traditional homeland of the Anishinabe people. We are in Treaty 2 territory, which is also at the crossroads of the First Nations that belong to the Treaty 1 and Treaty 4.
The Coalition of First Nations with Interest in Riding Mountain National Park and Parks Canada continue to work together to protect and present Riding Mountain National Park. We are always mindful that Riding Mountain National Park is here for our appreciation thanks to the stewardship of many generations that have gone before us.
Riding Mountain National has 3000 square kilometres of protected boreal forest, aspen parkland and Manitoba Escarpment for you to experience and enjoy. Did you know there are over 400 km of trails in the park? In addition, Riding Mountain National Park has one of the few townsites located within a national park, Wasagaming, which has many wonderful and unique shops, accommodations, restaurants, cafés, and services for you to enjoy as you visit.
One of my favourite things to do in Riding Mountain National Park is to paddle a canoe or kayak in one of the many lakes, enjoying the clear water and the abundance of nature. Hearing a loon’s call on the calm water perfectly captures the essence of summer for me. If you also plan to enjoy the lakes in the park this season, remember that all watercraft must undergo a mandatory inspection prior to putting them in the water. It takes everybody’s effort to ensure the water in Riding Mountain National Park stays free of aquatic invasive species.
Finally, if you haven’t experienced Riding Mountain National Park in the fall or winter, I encourage you to make 2019 the year you discover the magic of these seasons in the park: experience fall colours on a hike in the park, or hot chocolate after a peaceful walk, ski, or skate during the winter.
Genevieve Jones, A/Field Unit Superintendent
I want to thank you for taking the time and choosing to connect with RMNP, in the homelands of the Anishinabe and heart of Treaty 2, where we work with First Nations from treaties 2, 4 and 1.
One of the significant relationships I want to share with you is the one between Parks Canada and the Coalition of First Nations who continue to work together to foster positive and collaborative relationships through the Riding Mountain Forum. But did you know that even before the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions report in 2015, Parks Canada was working with the Coalition of First Nations on reconciliation in 2006? Even before that, in 1998, Parks Canada and Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation were establishing protocols to shared responsibility for establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships through the Senior Officials Forum.
The contributions made by Indigenous peoples, specifically, Anishinabe who maintain a special connections with Riding Mountain, who despite being excluded and forcibly removed from their homes to establish the National Park, continue to watch over their homelands and share their perspectives to help protect and present the natural and cultural heritage in Riding Mountain. I encourage you to take time to reflect on the relationships that have led to the establishment of Riding Mountain National Park, be open to listen and work to understand the broader perspectives that may not have shared before. If you listen carefully, as you reflect on these points, the people and the lands may share their perspectives with you.
With this being said, Piintikan (Come in).
Les Campbell, Indigenous Affairs Manager
Printable Version (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Protecting park waters
Help keep zebra mussels out of RMNP! Get your mandatory inspection before launching your motorboat, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and inflatables into the water. Inspections are free and take 15-30 minutes to complete. Permits issued in past years are not valid for 2019.
Due to the increased risk, our Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program is changing for the 2019 season. In addition to daily and weekly permits we are offering Seasonal Permit Orientation Sessions. These sessions provide visitors with hands-on experience and seasonal permits to become stewards of park waters. Please visit our website for more details.
2019 Mandatory Inspection Hours and Locations:
Clear Lake Boat Cove
- Summer hours - June 21 to September 2, 2019
7 days a week: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
East End Boat Launch
- June 21 - September 22, 2019:
Friday - Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mondays of long weekends - 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information visit: Protecting park waters
We will Protect and Restore
We will Protect and Restore our national parks and historic sites through focussed investments, working with Indigenous Peoples, working with provinces and territories, and ensuring ecological integrity is the first priority in considering all aspects of the management of national parks.
Immerse yourself in nature and camp in comfort inside one of our newly installed oTENTiks! Sleep between the trees, beside the lake, and under the stars at our new Moon Lake and Lake Audy locations. Available as of June 21. Call 204- 848-7275 to book one.
REMINDER: As of 2018, backcountry sites are now reservable online!
Stay up to date with the activities happening in the park this summer! Check out our Calendar of events!
Riding Mountain Souvenirs
Looking to bring back a souvenir for a friend, or want your own RMNP gear? Visit Friends of Riding Mountain National Park or the Administration building for your official Parks Canada merchandise!
Friends of Riding Mountain National Park has temporarily relocated as the building undergoes foundation repair work. Visit their new location at 146 Ta-Wa-Pit Drive!
Bald Hill Trail
Hike to one of our newest trail upgrades! We designed, fabricated and installed a set of stairs at the Bald Hill lookout to provide trail users safe, direct access to the views, and to prevent erosion and vegetation impacts.
We will continue to monitor how visitors are using this new addition and invest in our trail network with the environment, visitor safety and unique experiences in mind.
The Bald Hill Trail is 8.4 km one way, so be prepared to sweat! Bring water, food, and a first aid kit. Visit our online trail guide for more information.
Artists’ Residency Program
Slam with a poet, join a pinhole photography workshop, bead with an artist, explore a “Museum of Fallen Objects,” or kick back and enjoy a playwright’s reading. These are just some of the opportunities waiting for you with this year’s artists.
The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency Program provides professional Manitoban artists with space and time to connect, contemplate, and create their work in the park. This program enriches the artist’s and visitor’s park experience by giving unique opportunities to share their perspectives and insights.
The park is pleased to continue to work with the Manitoba Arts Council so we may continue to offer the Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency Program. Its success is thanks to its passionate supporters including several volunteers, plus organizations and venues such as the Wasagaming Community Arts Centre, Poor Michael’s Emporium, and the Clear Lake Bowling Greens.
For more information go to www.artscouncil.mb.ca or drop by the Park Visitor Centre.
Message from the Wardens
Park Wardens would like to remind residents and their guests:
- Anyone using a watercraft in park waters is required to obtain and carry an Aquatic Invasive Species permit.
- Furthermore watercraft may require a decontamination prior to entering any park water body.
- The operation of drones for personal use is prohibited within Riding Mountain National Park.
- While fishing, the possession and use of barbed hooks and lead tackle weighing less than 50g is prohibited.
- 2-stroke motors and personal watercraft are not permitted to be used in the park.
- Dogs must be on leash at all times.
- All food and garbage must be put away prior to leaving a campsite or day-use-areas.
- Birdfeeders, mineral licks and any other food left out for wildlife is not allowed in Riding Mountain.
Report any illegal activity to Park Wardens by calling Parks Canada Dispatch: 1-877-852-3100
National parks are NO-DRONE ZONES
In Canada’s national parks, the landing and take-off of an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) – also known as a drone – is prohibited. In Canada, a UAV is considered aircraft. Their use is governed by Transport Canada and regulated under the National Parks Aircraft Access Regulations which prohibit a person to take-off or land an aircraft in a national park.
Anyone wishing to use a UAV in Riding Mountain National Park must submit a written proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org. ca clearly indicating how the intended use of the UAV supports the management of the park.
If you witness the use of a UAV in Riding Mountain National Park, please report the incident to Park Wardens at 1-877-852-3100.
Protect yourself from lyme disease
Lyme disease is a serious illness that is present in Canada and spreading. Canadians at risk from Lyme disease include those who live, work, and/or play in close proximity to ticks that spread the disease. A number of deer ticks sent in for analysis from RMNP have come back as carrying Lyme disease and people should be vigilant in taking precautions such as:
- Wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Pull socks over pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up legs
- Wear light-coloured clothes to spot ticks easier
- Do a daily “full body” check for ticks on yourself, children and pets
Deadwood Wednesdays brush clean-up days
FireSmart Wasgaming! Help make your lot safer and more attractive by removing fuel sources like brush, branches, tree limbs, and other natural woody debris.
Dates for Summer 2019:
- June 26
- July 31
- August 28
Call (204) 848-7200 to book a time for the truck to stop at your lot (no later than the Monday prior to pick-up). If possible, please be available to assist with loading.
Deadwood Wednesdays are brought to you by the Wasagaming Vegetation Management Committee: Working for a safe community and a healthy forest.
Be bear smart
Bears can lose their fear of humans when they are attracted to inappropriate food sources such as coolers, bird feeders, barbecues, pet food, garbage and recycling. Resource Conservation staff urge the securement of all wildlife attractants in order to deter unwanted visits. Unfortunately, when a bear keeps coming back to these easy food sources and continues to come into conflict with humans, it is the bear who loses and often pays for our mistakes with its life. Please secure all wildlife attractants on your property safely and responsibly.
Discover + Connect
We will enable people to further Discover and Connect with our parks and heritage through innovative ideas that help share these special places with all Canadians.
Fire Program Update
This spring, the fire management team conducted a prescribed fire in the Lake Katherine Fire Management Unit.
Grasslands are one of the three ecosystems found in the park. This prescribed fire included areas that had previously been forested with white spruce plantation and is an important part of the park’s grasslands restoration project and reducing fuel loads to lessen the severity of wildfires. The targeted areas were East of the townsite of Wasagaming in the compound prairie area, around Arrowhead Trail, and along Whirlpool River to restore these grasslands to their original extent in this area.
Through safe and effective fire management, we are reducing the danger of wildfire to the public, infrastructure and neighbouring lands, while improving the ecological health of our forests and grasslands.
A total of 20 hectares were burned in the compound prairie area. Prescribed burning wrapped up in mid-May once we were no longer within prescription. Prescribed fires are only conducted under exacting conditions (e.g. weather, moisture, wind direction, supporting resources, etc.) and will only go forward when the safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure and neighbouring lands can be assured.
A number of songbirds listed on the Species at Risk Act are associated with fire dependent ecosystems and will benefit from this prescribed burn.
The list includes, the Golden-winged warbler, Common nighthawk, Eastern whip-poor-will, and the Red headed woodpecker. By increasing the extent of open grasslands in the area it will also increase suitable habitat for at risk species such as Monarchs, Dakota Skippers and the Yellow-banded bumblebee.
Wasagaming Wildfire Risk Reduction
Through the Recovery and Discovery of the Aspen Parkland Project, Park Canada continues to use prescribed fire to help restore native prairie grassland and reduce fuel loads.
The Wildfire Risk Reduction project wrapped up its third and final year. Our fire management team has been hard at work removing 1 hectare of spruce plantation at the intersection of Hwy 10 and TaWaPit Drive, and 1.5 hectares west of the Compound Road.
Parks Canada crews and members of Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation felled trees and park staff processed the wood, which will be used in park operations. The processing of the logs into firewood is expected to take 2-3 years and is anticipated to create over five years’ worth of firewood available for the park. To date, crews have removed 18.5 hectares of plantation.
Projects in the Park 2019 Update
Townsite Parking, Street, and Trail Paving Project:
Construction in the main parking lot began last September but was delayed due to poor weather conditions. Continuing this spring, work includes paving the lot and properly delineating parking spaces. In addition, accessibility to and from the lot and wayfinding for visitors will be improved and surface water drainage issues will be addressed. Additional work is planned for three small parking areas within the townsite of Wasagaming, and one access road.
Riding Mountain Infrastructure Program: Stay up-to-date with all of the projects in the park! Visit our Infrastructure program page.
Highway 19 Rehabilitation Project: This project will help improve the safety and reliability of road infrastructure, improve ditches and drainage, and offer safe vehicle access through the East Gate and eastern corridor of RMNP on Highway 19. As necessary, the road will be re-graded/widened and culverts added or replaced. Work began in fall 2018 and is expected to be completed in spring 2020.
Wasagaming Stormwater Management: Phase 1 work on Wasagaming Drive and Boat Cove Road to increase the capacity of the townsite’s stormwater system has wrapped up. Phase 2 is nearing the tendering stage and will focus on storm water retention and reduction within two small parking lots in the townsite of Wasagaming. This work is anticipated to begin in 2019.
Hazardous Tree Removals, FireSmart, and Prescribed Fires: This winter 198 hazardous trees were removed from the townsite and Parks Canada staff worked on maintaining FireSmart areas, focusing on the south side of TaWaPit Drive, between Balsam and Viburnum.
This project culminates this spring with the undertaking of the Lake Katherine Prescribed Fire. This 1400 hectare prescribed fire was focused on three main areas, some of which have had 3 previous prescribed fires. The primary objective was to burn areas where spruce plantations have been removed since 1994 to aid in grassland restoration and reduce fuel loads.
Visitor Centre Renewal: An architectural and engineering firm has been hired to provide detailed design and construction administration services for the renewal of the Visitor Centre and surrounding landscape. The main objectives of the project include the following:
- Repair and upgrade roof
- Upgrade the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
- New washroom configuration
- Improve the building to easily host events
- Improve accessibility to the building and the grounds
A design firm has been hired to provide turn-key exhibit services for the Riding Mountain National Park Visitor Centre to renew the interpretive exhibits, update audio visual equipment, renew the visitor service reception area, and accommodate for a Parks Canada store. The Visitor Centre is scheduled to be closed after the September long weekend to begin construction. The grand opening of the renewed facility and site is planned for spring/ early summer 2020. Watch for information on the conceptual design this summer at the Visitor Centre.
Conservation of Heritage Buildings:In 2018, restoration began at Grey Owl’s cabin and log repairs started at the Gatekeeper’s Cottage at East Gate. Work on Grey Owl’s cabin will resume in May. Three heritage buildings require new foundations and will be under construction during the spring and summer of 2019: the former Dr.’s Residence and Clinic at 140 TaWaPit Drive, 154 Columbine Drive (Friends of RMNP), and the former Whirlpool Warden’s Residence at the East Gate. These construction areas will be fenced off and some large truck traffic can be expected as the old foundations are reduced to rubble and hauled off site. Beginning in the fall, work crews will be removing trees around 126 TaWaPit Drive, the former Fire Hall, currently used as the Anishinabe Sharing Lodge. Plans to re-paint and re-shingle the building are also underway. Over this past winter, the Tennis Clubhouse was re-shingled and the windows were removed and repaired in the Parks Canada restoration workshop; the Bandstand was also re-shingled.
Location of Recycling & Garbage Bins:Community feedback helped guide the decision to relocate the recycling and garbage bins to an area at the end of TaWaPit Drive. We will continue to explore ways to improve our program and continue to work in partnership with the local municipality for solutions that will serve us into to the future. Alternatively, recyclables and waste can be taken to the Onanole Landfill site, located 1.5 miles west of Onanole along P.R. 354 on the north side of the road, open 6 days a week from 8-5 (Closed Wednesdays).
2019 VISITOR CENTRE HOURS
May 18 to June 27
Every day, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
June 28 to September 1
Every day, from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
September 2 to October 8
Every day, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Guided hikes and outdoor adventures
- Nature Shop
- Discovery Room
- Organically managed English gardens
- Passes, permits, and licenses
- Park rehabilitation projects
Monday to Friday, all year
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed from 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
EMERGENCY : CALL 911
Police | Fire | Ambulance
ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
24 HOUR PARK EMERGENCY SERVICE
Visitor Safety, Wildlife & Park Enforcement
WASAGAMING CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS
- Toll-Free 1-877-737-3783
ONANOLE MUNICIPAL WASTE:
1 ½ miles west of Onanole on the north side of P.R. 354 Hours: Open daily from 8-5 p.m. CLOSED Wednesdays.
In order to comply with environmental regulations, the municipality requires the cooperation of residents and ratepayers who utilize the Waste Disposal Site.
- Burning by the general public is strictly prohibited
- All loads must be secured when hauling to the site
- Waste must be deposited only in designated areas
- Upon arrival, all persons must report to the site attendant.
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.
We will Sustain for generations to come the incredible value – both ecological and economic – that our parks and historic sites provide for communities.