Get away from it all on the rivers and lakes of Manitoba, the Canadian province where you can fish and hunt, follow thousands of miles of trails or watch wildlife ranging from birds to polar bears and herds of caribou. The information you’ll need is only as far away as your connection to the Web.
It’s easy to see the wilder side of Manitoba in the province’s broad selection of parks, such as Hecla-Grindstone, on a series of islands in Lake Winnipeg, about 100 miles north of the city of Winnipeg. From the main page, click on “Popular Parks” and look for the “Interlake Region.” Manitoba Parks provides information on camping, recreation and driving directions.
The national Parks Canada is represented in Manitoba by Riding Mountain, which rises above the surrounding prairie, and Wapusk, a remote preserve that protects polar habitat on the western shore of Hudson Bay. The entry for Wapusk includes links to tour companies licensed for the area, including Tundra Buggy Adventures, which can get you close to the polar bears in safety.
Spend some quality time in Winnipeg or make it a base for your travels elsewhere. Click on “Play” to find the site’s useful information on places to go and things to do, along with a directory of places to stay. Then look over “Travel Tips &Itineraries” for suggested scenic tours around the city and the surrounding area.
One spot to see in Winnipeg is The Forks, a development at the historic junction of the Assiniboine and Red rivers that includes exhibits, parks and shops.
Outside Winnipeg, whether you’re hitting one of the parks or heading into the woods, the official Travel Manitoba site will help you plan your travels with maps, directories of places to stay, promotions, and “Free Stuff” that includes a library of photos. Be sure to check out the menus at the top of the page for activities and regional maps.
You might want to just go straight to Travel Manitoba’s “Adventure Guide,” where “Waterways,” “Trails,” “Wildlife” and “Winter” will take you to detailed information for each category, including an “Activity Chart” with links to outfitters and guides that will help you get to wherever you want to go. “Master Angler” has links to just about anything you need to know for fishing, from regulations to air charter services.
If you just want to relax at a lodge on a lake, the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association has a directory you can search by the activity you want or even by the type of fish you’re after.
And if you’re not camping or staying at a backwoods lodge, consider Bed and Breakfast Manitoba, which offers directions to more than 100 bed-and-breakfast inns scattered around the province.
Roger Petterson, Associated Press