A ride through the southern stretches of Manitoba will prove just how surprisingly varied the landscape is in this Canadian province that is the centre of the Hudson Bay drainage basin. Deep forests, freshwater lakes, wandering rivers, and prairie grasslands are dominant features of this bikepacking route. Since about half of the 1,300,000 population resides in the city of Winnipeg, this is largely a journey through a rural part of Canada.
- A ride through Duck Mountain Provincial Park. Rolling terrain of woodland, wetlands and deep clear lakes. It’s part of a long series of highlands known as the Manitoba Escarpment. A variety of wildlife call the park home, including black bear, moose, white-tailed deer, elk, lynx, coyote and wolves.
- Riding the fun and well-built mountain bike trails in the Northgate trail system. It’s not all straight prairie riding out here.
- Taking the trails and dirt roads through Riding Mountain National park, an area of tranquil lakes, windswept grasslands and verdant forests. Black bear, elk, moose, and lynx all call the park home, as well as approximately 30 plains bison that live in an enclosure by Lake Audy.
- Although small in size, many towns on route are big in charm and character.
- A visit to the Forks National Historic Site in Winnipeg - A nine-acre urban park, operated by Parks Canada, where two major rivers come together and is comprised of interpretive exhibits, inspiring sculptures, stone pictographs, walking trails, native prairie garden, and an amphitheater.
- Riding on an seemingly endless string of prairie dirt roads
- Taking advantage of the large network of community trails into and out of Winnipeg
The Hard Stuff
Farm dirt roads can become sandy in very dry conditions and impassable in wet conditions. Alternative routing might be needed in these cases.
A few areas including Duck Mountain Provincial Park and Riding Mountain National Park are bear territory. It’s important to be bear aware including not having any food with you in your tent when camping in these areas.
As is the case when riding through middle Canada, the wind can be your enemy or best pal.
During summer heating events, riding in the open landscape can be rather steamy.
Bike shops are few and far between
For a shorter journey in Manitoba, check out the SE Crow Wing Loop in the GNBR Micro Rides library.
If you have any questions about the Manitoba segment of the GNBR please feel free to use the contact page.