Secrets from Manitoba’s Southwest
This central Canadian province is known for its iconic wildlife experiences, including seeing polar bears and beluga whales in Churchill. Its capital city—Winnipeg—is celebrated for its diverse arts and culture and red-hot food scene. But for those wanting to explore beyond these top tourist destinations, Manitoba’s south and western regions offer some exceptional student experiences.
Visit Manitoba’s most accessible national park, Riding Mountain National Park. Set above the prairies on the Manitoba Escarpment, where a variety of landscapes converge, the park is a four-season playground. The townsite of Wasagaming on the shores of Clear Lake offer cute shops, restaurants, resorts, and boutique hotels, while the nearby campground features unique accommodation options such as oTENTiks, a cross between a tent and a cabin. The oTENTiks come fully furnished; a few are even insulated for winter stays.
Parks Canada offers a variety of educational programming, in addition to tried-and-true favorite activities like hiking, boating, swimming and wildlife viewing. Don’t miss the Lake Audy bison enclosure and keep an eye out for bears, elk, moose, owls and more!
The International Peace Garden straddles the Canada/U.S. border and was established as a symbol of the long-lasting peaceful relationship between the two nations. The park features an array of flower beds, including a huge floral clock display, and its collection of cacti and succulents is the most diverse in North America. The Peace Chapel, Bell Tower and 9/11 Memorial are among the attractions that remind visitors of all ages about the power of peace. Camping is available onsite, and other activities include cycling, canoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.
Eighty-million years ago, most of Manitoba was covered by a shallow sea. Today, the treasures of this time can be found at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden. About an hour and a half south of Winnipeg, this museum houses a huge collection of ancient marine reptile fossils, including the Guinness Record-holding mosasaur named Bruce. Bruce is 43 feet long and was at the top of the food chain when he lived during the late Cretaceous period. The museum also offers the incredible opportunity to get out into the field where new fossils are regularly being found. Their fossil dig adventure tours take place on one of 30 active dig sites in the area and range from half-day to five-day excursions. Eager student groups could be next to unearth the next big—and we mean big—find.
To learn more about these and other great experiences in Manitoba, visit Travel Manitoba.
Content and photo courtesy of Travel Manitoba.