PHOTO COURTESY OF PARKS CANADA
Visitor experience manager Richard Dupuis shows off the newest addition to the Wasagaming Campground. The oTENTik tents in Riding Mountain National Park offer a convenient and affordable option for visitors who like to travel light and still have an authentic outdoor camping experience.
WASAGAMING — Riding Mountain National Park has several new programs for campers this summer.
They cover all spectrums from Parks Canada’s new hassle-free way to camp, (the oTENTik tent) to learn-to-camp activities for new Canadians, and the campground host program that will give visitors the information they need to make their stay better than ever.
"Riding Mountain National Park provides all the amenities, outdoor activities and special events you could ever ask for, making it the prime tourism destination in Manitoba," said Richard Dupuis, RMNP’s visitor experience manager.
"We are excited about offering our visitors another great summer experience."
This year, the park is introducing the oTENTik, the ultimate camping experience with all the comforts of home. The spacious wood and canvas framed structure, exclusive to Parks Canada, sleeps six on two queen size and one double size sleeping platforms.
They come with a table and seating for six people, wood stove, deck, picnic table, propane barbecue and firepit.
All the camper needs to bring on this stress-free holiday are sleeping bags, food and cooking utensils.
At an introductory rate of just $70 per night, the oTENTik is simple and affordable — no wrestling with tent poles in the dark and no big fuel bills for the RV.
In addition to the 10 oTENTiks in the Wasagaming Campground located next to Clear Lake, there is also a yurt available for rent, as well as more than 400 serviced and unserviced sites.
Parks Canada is hosting Learn-to-Camp weekends for New Canadians in RMNP this summer in collaboration with Mountain Equipment Co-op, Parkland Immigration, Westman Wilderness Club, Scouts Canada, l’Amicale and l’Acceuil francophone.
The program's aim is to provide an opportunity to try a "typically Canadian" first-time camping experience for young families and new Canadians while learning about camping basics.
Events scheduled in June, July and August will feature workshops that will focus on camping-related skills, such as how to set up a tent and cook in the great outdoors. Participants will also have the opportunity to enjoy inspiring interpretive programs and activities.
Meanwhile, campers at Lake Audy and Moon Lake Campgrounds will see the return of the popular Campground Host program this summer.
Campground Hosts are trained volunteers who stay at the outlying campgrounds during summer and are available to answer visitors’ questions, and share information about special events, interpretive programs and local attractions.
Among the many events planned at Riding Mountain this summer:
• Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra outdoor performance at Clear Lake (June 30)
• Canada Day Celebrations with free admission (July 1)
• Canada's Parks Day (July 21)
• RCMP Musical Ride in Onanole (July 29)
• Wasagaming Weekend (August 10-12)
Campsite reservations can be made at pccamping.ca or by calling 1-877-737-3783.
For more information on the oTENTik tents and camping, as well as special event listings in Riding Mountain National Park, visit parkscanada.gc.ca/riding.
What to do at RMNP:
• Take a sunset trip aboard the Marina on Clear Lake’s tour boat, The Martese.
• Enjoy sticky cinnamon buns at the Whitehouse or Sparrow’s Bakery.
• Hike to Deep Bay, one of the deepest points in Clear Lake. While you're there, see the Artist-in-Residence cabin and take in an artist’s presentation at the Visitor Centre.
• Drive to Lake Audy to see if you can spot the young bison calves born this year.
• Spend a day getting pampered at the Elkhorn Resort and Spa.
• For information, visit parkscanada.gc.ca /riding
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 18, 2012