The Government of Manitoba is allowing free entry to provincial parks for the month of February so visitors can take advantage of the many winter activities they offer.
In a press release, Environment, Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton said “Free park entry gives everyone more opportunities to enjoy nature and the great outdoors. People across our province love Manitoba’s parks and our government is pleased to make it easier to explore them and to experience all that they offer.”
Manitoba Provincial Parks has groomed trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, fat biking, snowshoeing and hiking. Outdoor skating areas, hockey rinks and toboggan hills are also offered at Paint Lake, Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain provincial parks
Vehicle permits will not be required at any provincial park in February, but Snopasses are still needed for snowmobilers using groomed trails in parks. Annual park vehicle permits will be available for purchase beginning on March 1.
Visitors should check trail conditions and weather forecasts before visiting parks to properly plan their outdoor adventures. An online interactive trails map is updated regularly with grooming and condition reports. Remember to use trails that are designated for activities, to keep dogs on leashes, and to practise the principles of Leave No Trace by not littering.
There are a number of guided experiences by Park interpreters to help visitors learn and discover natural and cultural heritage at Birds Hill, Spruce Woods and Whiteshell provincial parks. February will include wolf howl hikes, snowshoe treks, quinzhee building and ice fishing. Event details and registration information can be found under the events tab on the Manitoba Parks Facebook page.
COVID-19 public health orders must be followed, including for physical distancing and group size restrictions. Warming shelters are open with reduced capacity limits and masks are required indoors. Park visitors are reminded to observe capacity signs and to limit their time in shelters to share with others. Don’t forget to read the Manitoba Parks COVID-19 guidelines before you leave.