National parks are unique places and therefore require unique rules and enforcement. Park wardens are federal officers responsible for the protection of the national park, and preservation and maintenance of public peace. Their primary responsibility is enforcement of the Canada National Parks Act, however, they also enforce the Criminal Code, as well as liquor and highway regulations.
Laws are designed to protect you, the visitor, and also the park for enjoyment by future generations. It is your responsibility to be aware of the laws. If you have any questions please contact us.
National Park offences can carry heavy fines and could result in jail time. For some offences, such as poaching or pollution, fines can be in excess of $250,000.
For more details on fine structures visit Canada National Parks Act - Offences and Punishment.
What you need to know about...
Aircraft and drones
All aircraft must comply with the Canadian Aviation Regulations, and National Parks of Canada Aircraft Access Regulations. Take-off and landing aircraft in a national park is prohibited without a permit from Parks Canada.
UAVs or drones
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) are increasing in popularity for hobbyists, photographers, and businesses. However, subject to the Canadian Aviation Regulations, and National Parks of Canada Aircraft Access Regulations, take-off and landing a drone in a national park is prohibited without a permit from Parks Canada. Please leave them at home or in your car when you visit us!
Alcohol and Cannabis
Manitoba's Liquor and Cannabis Acts apply within the park. Consumption of alcohol and cannabis within the park is only permitted at registered campsites and at cottages and cabins. Alcohol and cannabis is prohibited at day use areas, cook shelters and trails and on your vessel. It is your responsibility to be aware of the rules regarding alcohol and cannabis consumption.
Area closures and restrictions
There are a number of outdoor activities that are restricted or prohibited; in some cases a permit may be issued to undertake these activities. Check with park staff prior to engagement of non-traditional, unusual or commercial activities. Occasionally, area closures and other restrictions are necessary to protect park resources and for visitor safety considerations. Closures are enforceable by law. These closures will be posted at trailheads, access points, and at the visitor centre. Information on closures is also available online, on our Important Bulletins page.
All motorized and non-motorized vessels are required to undergo an Aquatic Invasive Species inspection and carry an inspection permit before launching in park waters. More information about the inspection program can be found here
Please refer to our boating page for attentional information regarding restrictions on two stroke engines and personal watercraft.
Additionally all vessel users are required to comply with safety equipment and licensing requirements laid out in the Small Vessel Regulations
Camping is permitted in designated campgrounds only. Camping in parking lots, trailheads and day-use-areas is not permitted. Campground locations can be found here. The permit holder for the campsite is responsible for the site, including cleanliness, noise levels and actions of visitors. Follow the BARE campsite program. Coolers, dirty dishes, toiletries etc., must all be secured when no one is on site, or when occupants go to sleep.
Backcountry Camping is by permit only, and reservations are now available online.
E-bikes (pedal assist e-bikes)
Pedal assist electric bicycles (e-bikes) are allowed on designated bike trails at select national parks.
What does pedal assist mean?
- Power assistance is only provided when the bicycle is being pedalled.
- When pedalling stops, the power assistance also stops.
What other specifications does the bike need?
- The motor can generate a maximum of 750W.
- Power assistance stops when the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/h on level ground.
Please note that e-bikes equipped with an accelerator (a throttle) must disabled when ridden on trails.
Electrical bikes (e-bikes) used on Parks Canada’s trails need to respect the following definition
- has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals,
- is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground,
- is capable of being propelled by muscular power only,
- has one or more electric motors which have, singly or in combination, the following characteristics:
- it has a total continuous power output rating, measured at the shaft of each motor, of 750 W or less,
- power assistance immediately ceases when the muscular power ceases,
- it is incapable of providing further assistance when the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/h on level ground,
- is equipped with a safety mechanism that prevents the motor from being engaged before the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/h.
Illegal campfires pose a serious threat to the park. Fires are permitted in a proper Park-approved fire box only. Random fires are prohibited in the park. Do not collect deadfall or cut trees or branches for fires. Never leave a fire unattended and put it out before you leave.
Use of, selling, purchasing or possessing fireworks, or any type of explosive, is not permitted within the national park.
A national park fishing licence is required. Be aware that specific regulations apply within Riding Mountain National Park. For more information see Fishing in Riding Mountain National Park.
Garbage and litter
Play your part in a litter-free Riding Mountain National Park. No littering or leaving food or garbage where wildlife can access it (all food and garbage must be stored or disposed of in bear-proof containers and/or packed out).
Hunting - firearms
Firearms and hunting are not permitted in national parks. If you are transporting a firearm, it must be unloaded and securely encased. Firearms include, but are not limited to: slingshots, bows, BB guns, cross bows and paintball guns. Hunting is a serious offence within a national park.
Natural and historic objects
It is illegal to collect plants, mushrooms, berries, animals, animal parts (including antlers), fossils, driftwood, rocks, or any historic or natural objects. If you believe you have found something significant, leave the item in place and report your finding to the nearest parks staff. Please leave these natural and cultural items for others to enjoy as well.
Noise and park enjoyment
It is an offence to interfere with others quiet enjoyment of a park during any part of the day or night. This includes loud music and shouting in campgrounds, and day use areas. Visitors should be aware that quiet hours are enforced between 23:00 and 07:00 hours in all campgrounds.
Off road vehicles including Over Snow Vehicles
All motorized vehicles must remain on paved and gravel roads. The use of quads, snowmobiles, dirt bikes or other off-road vehicles is prohibited anywhere in Riding Mountain National Park. One exception to this is for *Over-Snow Vehicle use on the ice surface of Clear Lake for ice fishing purposes only.
Off road travel can result in long term damage to vegetation and soils, and can enable unauthorized access to sensitive areas of the park. Keep your vehicle on the pavement to avoid inadvertent infractions.
* An Over-Snow Vehicle means a vehicle that is designed to be driven by means other than muscular power, runs on tracks or skis, and operates on snow or ice. All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) with tracks are not permitted.
All visitors who are stopping in Riding Mountain National Park are required to purchase and display a valid park pass. This requirement is in effect year round and applies to the use of all facilities and services in the park. The fees collected stay in the park to help fund its operation.
Visitors travelling through the park non-stop on Hwy 10 or 19 are not required to purchase a pass.
Pets and service animals
- At all times, pets must be kept on a leash or in suitable confinement.
- Don’t leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, on your campsite, or anywhere else, during your visit to Riding Mountain National Park. Wildlife, weather, and an unfamiliar environment can be scary or dangerous for your pet.
- Don’t allow your pet to chase any wild animal - it’s illegal and dangerous.
- Pets are not allowed in some areas. Look for notices at trailheads and info centres to find out where these restrictions are.
- Remember to clean up after your pet.
- Service animals are welcome, in the company of their handlers. Please keep service animals on a leash or harness during your visit.
It is illegal to entice, pet or attempt to pet, harass or feed wild animals in the park. Pursuing animals with cameras is considered harassment. Animal behaviour is unpredictable and could result in injury if they are not given enough space. Obstructing traffic to view wildlife is an offence and a hazard to other motorists.
Pull over in designated pull outs to view wildlife from a safe distance, only if safe to do so. If there is a wildlife "jam", keep driving.
We need your help
If you see something suspicious, do not hesitate, let us know. Record the following information and report to Parks Canada dispatch 1-877-852-3100 (available 24/7) or park staff:
- Time occurred
- Location (road, trail day use area)
- What happened (offence believed to have occurred)
- Vehicle licence (include province)
- Vehicle description (make, model, color)
- Number of persons, age, description (gender, race, hair, height, clothes)
- Identifying features (vehicle dents, stickers)
- Other notes
Please report any activity such as poaching, vehicle off-roading, littering or polluting, illegal fires, removal of artefacts, damage to plants, fishing offences, feeding and harassment of animals and public liquor use.
If you know of any unauthorized activities such as operating a business without a license, or planned trips into areas that are closed or restricted, please contact our 24 hour dispatch centre.
Your information and participation contributes to the protection of this special place for all visitors. Your information can remain anonymous. If you are willing to assist further, please provide your name, address, and phone number.
This is only a summary of some common regulations governing national parks and has no legal status.
For a complete listing of the Canada National Parks Act and regulations please visit: Canada National Parks Act