Whiteshell Provincial Park, MB trail map

Where to go in an area that is both beautiful and vast.

by Thomas Shirtliffe

Whiteshell Provincial Park is a staging area for one of the best winter adventures around. Since it is located on the Manitoba and Ontario border, you can go east into northwestern Ontario, south to the United States or west to connect to the trails at Seven Sisters Falls that could lead you all the way up to Lac du Bonnet and beyond. This area, with its great number of lakes and rivers, provides adventure whether you stay in the park or go abroad. But if you want to stick around Manitoba, let’s check out the three main areas in the park.

South Whiteshell

If you want to see the southern area of the Whiteshell, then your main staging areas will be Falcon Lake, West Hawk Lake and Caddy Lake. Each provide some great trails and some will connect you from staging area to staging area. Snowmobilers will find a variety of challenging terrain, ranging from jack pine forests to rugged snow-capped granite ridges. The two main trails that will lead you from Falcon to West Hawk are 16 and 22 kilometres long.

Central Whiteshell

Longer trail rides await you when you stage out in the central area of Whiteshell Provincial Park. Starting at Rennie, Brereton, Jessica, White or Big Whiteshell Lake, you can head far into the park on trails that will take you to some spectacular scenic overlooks. These trails are great for photographers as well as for those who love a good view. If the Otter Falls is your destination, there is a trail just for you. Leaving from Rennie, a trail will take you northwest all the way to the falls. Bring fuel with you, though, as the trail is 68 kilometres long just to reach the falls. Another long trail ride is going from Rennie to the Big Whiteshell Lake. It’s an 80 kilometre trek, but once you are there you can ride on a number of smaller lakes, such as Turtle Lake, and check out some excellent play areas.

Northern Whiteshell

One of the staging areas for the northern portion of the Whiteshell is Seven Sisters Falls. Interestingly enough, it can also be a staging area for the Lac du Bonnet area. Near Seven Sisters is the Otter Falls, which is only 15 kilometres away. From there you can head all the way back down to the central area of the Whiteshell. The trail leaving Seven Sisters Falls heads east and parallels a number of small lakes until it begins to head south to the central region and deeper into the Whiteshell Provincial Park.

While the Whiteshell area is split up into three sections, they are easily connected by the main trails for someone who may be looking for an adventure. You can start from West Hawk Lake and make your way on a long trip northwest to Pinawa and that puts you in an entirely new area. A long cross-country trip would be an excellent endeavour for a group ride or serious snowmobiler.

For information regarding their trails, check out the Whiteshell Provincial Park website at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/eastern/whiteshell.html

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