Endless trails in Whiteshell Provincial Park

Each of the staging areas in the park has a shelter within a 10-kilometre distance

by Gail Jansen-Kesslar

Mother and child in a snowmobile tobaggan
Pam and Mason Mutcher enjoy a family ride to the Red Rock Shelter in Whiteshell Provincial Park. Photo courtesy of Kris Mutcher

The main draw

Snowmobilers in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park have a unique relationship with Manitoba Conservation that ensures all of their 450 kilometres of trails are professionally groomed, without the need for volunteers. This arrangement allows club members to spend the majority of their efforts creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind shelters for snowmobilers in this 2,729-square-kilometre park just east of Winnipeg.

Since a comprehensive main trail system runs north and south, few sledding visitors ever veer off the well-groomed paths to discover some of Whiteshell’s hidden trails. But those who do are delighted by what they find.

One such route is the Beauchemin Lake loop. A trail not often travelled by casual visitors to the park, it offers an easy ride far from the park’s main traffic areas and gives a taste of terrain that can make you feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere, despite being not all that far from Whiteshell cottages. The Beauchemin Lake loop provides access to areas that at any other time of the year would be inaccessible except by float plane, and at a length of just 60 kilometres, it can be included in a long-day route or made a short-day destination all its own. This loop can be accessed from more than a dozen designated staging areas located throughout the park, including Falcon Lake, Rennie and Nutimuk Lake.

Each of the staging areas in the park has a shelter within a 10-kilometre distance.

Sledders’ hangouts

The club shelters throughout Whiteshell Provincial Park act as gathering points for outdoor enthusiasts. Here you’ll often find people from Winnipeg who have driven out from the city with one of the shelters as their destination. Upon arrival, they’ll simply cook lunch, have a chat with the sledders they meet and then turn around and head back home.

Offering an open, casual and friendly environment, the shelters are the most popular places in the park to meet other snowmobilers and share sledding stories. But Whiteshell also offers a host of year-round accommodations, including:

  • Riverview Lodge
  • Brereton Lake Resort
  • Caddy Lake Resort
  • Whiteshell Lake Resort
  • Betula Lake Resort
  • Barrier Bay Resort
  • Big Whiteshell Lodge
  • Pinewood Lodge

For an extended stay

With many all-season accommodations in the park and 450 kilometres of trails to explore, staying for an extended period of time in the Whiteshell area is an easy prospect. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious vacation experience with a Jacuzzi and fine dining or a rustic cabin getaway, there’s something for every rider. Even beyond the park boundaries, the interconnectedness of the trail system ensures that every trail that leaves the park joins up with another club’s trail system.
From Whiteshell Provincial Park riders can access trails that travel down into the U.S., eastward into Ontario or westward to Winnipeg. There are even trails that head northward up into the Lac du Bonnet area. No matter the direction, there’s a natural connection. So if you want to spend a weekend or a week, you’ll never be lacking in trails to ride.

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