Wailin’ Wednesday: How to Get Through a Manitoba Winter
Our Manitoba winters breed hearty folk. With our winters being so long, we’d go stir-crazy if we stayed inside for the duration of it, so we’ve learned to embrace the cold!
We are so lucky to have a park like Bird Hill so close to Winnipeg. Our festival home is a great place to enjoy the outdoors in the summer (especially during Folk Fest!), but did you know that the park is equipped for you to do plenty of winter activities?
There are cross-country skiing trails specifically groomed for your “waxy pines” – Lime Kiln, Esker, Chickadee, Bluestem and Aspen. Glide down one of those trails and feel the refreshing bite of January air on your cheeks – it might be what it takes to shake your winter blues!
Zipping around on snowmobiles on the designated trails is a popular past time, but did you know that you can also ride those trails on dogsled? The dogsled trails staging area is at Nimowin Road and the Tamarack and Hazelnut trails are open and ready for your pups to “mush!”
Kick-sledding and skijoring are two other exhilarating activities you can do at the park with your dogs. A kick-sled is similar to a dogsled, but far more lightweight and requires only one or two dogs to pull it. Also unlike dogsledding, you push the sled along with your feet, making it a more active sport.
Skijoring comes from the Norwegian word for ‘ski driving.’ The skier straps on cross country skis and attaches their dog’s harnesses to a belt around their waste. The dogs add some extra power and speed to your ski. Group use No. 1 Road acts as a track for you to kick-sled or skijor. Bring some friends and have a race!
If a leisurely pace is more your speed, try the 3.5 km Cedar Bog self-guiding winter hike. Read this information so you’re well-prepared to identify animal tracks, spot birds in the bare tree branches and appreciate the varied plant life along the trail.
You have to BYOS – bring your own shack – but you can go ice fishing on Kingfisher Lake. The lake is stocked with rainbow and brown trout every spring so you can go out any time of year and throw your line in the water.
Take a trail ride on one of the designated winter horse trails. If you call ahead, you can book a sleigh ride!
For trail maps and more information about winter activities at Birds Hill Provincial Park, visit the parks website.
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