The Roving Route
The Best Winter Day Trips and Overnights from Winnipeg, Manitoba
With an average of 3-4 feet of snow per year in the areas that surround Winnipeg, snowy activities are easy to come by. Everything from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing and even the northern lights are on full display for the next visitor to enjoy.
1. Get your Blood Pumping on the back of a Snowmobile
In addition to hundreds of thousands of km2 of backcountry terrain, there are over 12,000 kms of groomed and maintained snowmobile trails in the province. The varied terrain, deep snow, and sunny days make for a snowmobile haven. Many areas around the city are run by clubs like Cross Country Snow Drifters and Snow Raiders Snowmobile Club which offer anything from rentals, passes, and maps making it easy for your to get your adrenaline pumping!
2. Strap on a Pair of Snowshoes and Check out Some Trails!
In addition to the thousands of lakes in the province, massive boreal forests stretch as far as the eye can see. Add in the flat landscape, frozen lakes, and rivers and you have a top-notch spot for snowshoeing. Snowshoes have been used for transportation for millennia in Manitoba and became extremely important during the era of the fur traders. Grab a pair from one of the many nature or interpretive centres like Oak Hammock Marsh or Fort Whyte and crunch through the snow!
3. Get Onto the Ice
Manitoba has over 100,000 lakes and is covered by roughly 16% of the surface area by water. During the winter, many of these lakes freeze over offering a whole new section to explore. Why not go snowmobiling, ice fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, and of course skating on the frozen wonderland. For a unique experience (and if you are prepared) ice roads are plowed on several lakes allowing you to get out onto the ice without any special equipment. If you do, make sure you understand a few safety protocols and have emergency measures put in place in case something goes wrong.
4. Pick up Some Speed Skiing Down the Hills
While the province may be quite flat, there are still a few downhill skiing hills to pick up some speed. Asessippi is the largest and most popular but is quite far from Winnipeg. Falcon Ridge and Holiday Mountain may be a bit smaller but are easy to do a day trip to. Just remember, you are in the prairies, an area well known for being flat.
5. Hit the Plains on a Pair of Cross Country Skis!
Manitoba is one of the flattest provinces and has more than a few amazing spots for cross-country skiing. While places like Assiniboine Forest within the city have a few trails, clubs like the Whiteshell Cross Country Skiing Club offer hundreds of KMs of trails and the option to rent everything you need to glide across the snow!
6. Be Dazzled by the Northern Lights
While the best northern lights viewing is much further north in places like Thompson or Churchill, during the winter, it is often possible to see the amazing dancing colours once you get away from the light pollution of the cities. With lots of open fields and a low population density, you only have to go about 30 minutes outside the city on a clear night for the chance to be dazzled. Places like Oak Hammock Marsh and Birds Hill Provincial Park are some great places to go as they offer beautiful plains and low light pollution!
7. Escape the World's Largest Snow Maze!
A-Maze-in Corn hosts Manitoba's largest corn maze during the fall and has recently expanded to set the world record for the largest snow maze. The 35,000 SQF maze has 7-foot tall walls and is quite the challenge to get through! It costs $15 for adults and also has a luge and other fun winter activities to keep you entertained for the afternoon!