Cross-country skiers take to the trails at Spruce Woods Provincial Park, which is open 24 hours a day and encompasses a multitude of trail systems.
Spruce Woods Provincial Park has a myriad of winter activities available for the family, the avid outdoorsman or the city weekender.
Cross-country skiers take to the trails at Spruce Woods Provincial Park, which is open 24 hours a day and encompasses a multitude of trail systems. (SUBMITTED)
With opportunities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, tobogganing, curling, snowmobiling and ice-fishing, you are sure to find something to do on these beautiful winter days.
It’s available whenever you are, open 24 hours a day. With its fresh air, beautiful scenery and wildlife in their natural habitat, Spruce Woods Provincial Park is the perfect place to become healthy by nature and enjoy the many winter recreational activities the park has to offer.
A multitude of trail systems in the park allow visitors to explore the unique forest and mixed-grass prairie winter landscape of Spruce Woods.
The Seton and Yellow Quill trail systems are track-set for cross-country skiing and groomed for snowshoeing and walking.
The Epinette Trail Systems are also track-set for cross-country skiing. The 40-kilometre round trip out to Jackfish Lake on the Newfoundland Trail is great for the really adventurous or take a shorter trek such as the five-kilometre Cree Trail, perfect for family outings.
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship staff maintain the trail system, ensuring they are in the best condition for your enjoyment.
A trail groomer provided by the Friends of Spruce Woods allows you to explore the backcountry of the park on nicely groomed trails. Numerous warm-up shelters are located throughout the park and are a great spot to rest, warm up around a wood fire and take in the scenery.
Looking for something to do with the whole family? Why not bring them down to the Winter Recreation Area, located in the Kiche Manitou Day Use Area.
Here you will find two log cabin warm-up shelters, an outdoor fire pit, hockey rink, skating oval with an extended area for those loop-de-loops and a version of jam pail curling.
Try out the fast toboggan hill, or if you’re looking for something a little less challenging for those beginner tobogganers, drive over the river to Parsons Hill, where visitors can slide down at a more moderate pace.
Now on to one of the best things to do at Spruce Woods — ice fishing. Wondering where to go? The Assiniboine River, Marshs Lake and Kiche Manitou Lake are all great spots to try for the big one.
Using an ice auger, drill holes in the same areas that you would fish in the summer time. Fish will take shelter in areas such as rocky reefs and shelves, sand bottoms and along the edge of weed beds.
Be sure to read the Manitoba Angler’s Guide for local fishing regulations — and remember, in Manitoba you must use barbless hooks.
Never ice-fished before? Don’t have a licence? No problem! Feb. 16-18 is Family Ice Fishing Weekend across Manitoba and you can try your hand at ice-fishing for free. No licence required for this weekend; however, you must follow the local conservation limits set in the anglers’ guide.
Curious about the techniques and what fish you’ll find? Don’t have a reel? Come join the Spruce Woods Park Interpreter at Marshs Lake on Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Learn to Ice Fish Program. You can learn ice fishing skills and try them out on our pre-drilled holes. If you get chilly, we will even have a nice big fire ready to warm you up, with a cup of hot chocolate.
For even more fun events this February, come out for the Winter Fun Day on Feb. 23 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Winter Recreation Area. The Friends of Spruce Woods will be setting up many fun activities for the family to enjoy.
Snowshoes and skis will be provided if need be for a mini trail, show your artistic side with snow painting, try out our scavenger hunt, or watch a skijoring display by Snow Motion with their family dogs as they speed around a loop being pulled by their canines.
Free chili, buns, cookies and hot chocolate are an added incentive.
For more information on different winter activities, nature-related questions, interpretive programs and Spruce Woods Provincial Park, feel free to call 204-827-8850 or email Jennifer.Bryson@gov.mb.ca.
Be sure to visit us online at ManitobaParks.com.
Share your park experiences: tweet #MBParks.
» Jennifer Bryson is the senior park interpreter at Spruce Woods Provincial Park.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 8, 2013