On this list are 10 local family favorites. Try them out in the summer heat or bundle up for the colder seasons. There is something on this list for every type of family hiking adventure:
Nestled along the Seine River Valley in Bois-des-Esprits Park, the Sine River Greenway is a local family favorite. The 3km (out and back) trail is well maintained and meanders through large oak trees. Kids will be delighted with the abundance of wildlife, including snakes, turtles, birds, and lots of deer. Also keep your eyes peeled for the numerous tree carvings that are scattered along the trail.
Assiniboine Park is a well known attraction for families in Winnipeg. The paved trail loops around the park and zoo and is perfect for families looking for a longer walk within the city with lots of interesting scenery. Deer are often sighted along the river and there are a number of picnic tables available for a quick lunch stop in the summer. As a bonus, the Assiniboine Park offers many additional attractions to treat your family to, including the miniature train!
FortWhyte Alive is another well known attraction for families in Winnipeg and their floating boardwalk trail is perfect for the whole family. Meander along the various trails and boardwalks over and around the marshes in this unique ecological area. Kids can even borrow dipnetting equipment from FortWhyte and discover the diverse marsh insects!
Located about 30’ minutes south of downtown Winnipeg, La Barriere Park is a lovely spot to get out in nature with your family. The Loop Trail is a relatively easy, 2.9km, hike that hugs the Salle River. There is a large parking lot with numerous sports fields and Disc Golf nearby. Hikers begin by crossing the park’s iconic red bridge before being immersed in the natural Manitoba wilderness.
The Wild Grape and Elm Trails join together to make a relatively easy, 5.8km loop hike in beautiful Beaudry Park, about half an hour east of Winnipeg. It is most famous for the beautiful wild flowers that can be found along the route along with the local deer, fox, owl, beaver and muskrat residents.
There is free parking, washrooms, and picnic tables which makes for an enjoyable family outing. Because it is just a bit further outside the city than many other trails, the park is often much less trafficked by other hikers.
Bird’s Hill Provincial Park has many trails to choose from. The 3.5km Cedar Bog Trail is a family favorite due to the diverse landscapes you journey through. At the farthest point of the loop you will find yourself in a cool, wet, marshy, bog which is rarely found in Manitoba. Just be sure to bring a pair of boots and change of clothes as it is almost always a muddy experience!
On the other side of the park, the 4km long Chickadee Trail loop is a somewhat dryer option that is also ideal for families. The loop is full of wild flowers and brings hikers to Griffiths Hill and an exciting viewing tower at the halfway point.
A short half hour drive north of Winnipeg is the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Visitor Centre. Surrounding the marsh area is over 30km of trails to explore which is free for the public to explore. The Coot and Teal trails are located opposite the visitor centre and are right out in the middle of the marsh. Kids will love the abundance of birds and other critters who call the marsh home, including a colony of adorable ground squirrels!
Families who make the journey east to Whiteshell Park are rewarded with one of the best hikes displaying the stunning beauty of the Canadain Shield. The 4.6km McCillivary Falls Trail is easily accessed and starts off with a bridge over the falls before hugging majestic McCillivary lake. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy the lakeside in the picnic shelter before looping back to the trailhead.
Certainly the most unique hike on this list, Sand Spirits Trail takes hikers through Manitoba’s only sand dunes, located in Spruce Woods Provincial Park about 180km West of Winnipeg. Kids will love exploring the sand dune areas and may even get to spot one a northern prairie skink (the only type of lizard native to Manitoba) or a western hognose snake!
Hecla - Grindstone Provincial Park is located 150km north of Winnipeg. The Gull Harbour Lighthouse Trail is a 5km out and back hike which follows the shoreline and sandy spit. Kids will be delighted to discover the massive Gull Harbour lighthouse which was built in 1926 and is still in operation today. Hecla park offers many other family friendly points of interest including the Hecla Quarry (with interesting rock formations) and the Grassy Narrows Marsh Trails.
Exploring hikes and trails as a family is, in my experience, one of the best ways to get fresh air, exercise, and be constantly entertained. Pack a picnic, bathing suit, and even the family pet. Check out one or all of these 10 spots listed as they are sure to leave your family with a stronger bond and an overall “feel good” experience.
Also, feel free to check out our other articles for families in Winnipeg below!
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