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Dec 20

Riding Mountain National Park Journey to the centre of North America

Take a journey to the center of North America, geographically speaking that is. Established in 1929, Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) is located in the southwestern part of Manitoba and is surrounded by farmland.

There are several environmental regions contained within the park; the Manitoba Escarpment, the Northern Boreal Forest; Southern Boreal Plains; Western Highlands and the Plateaux Natural Region. RMNP is 2973 sq kms in size and offers several car camping areas and backcountry camping opportunities.

Wasagaming Campground has a beautiful beach on Lake Wasagaming, also known as Clear Lake. The campground is conveniently located within walking distance of the town. Facilities include full service washrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Kitchen shelters are provided within a short distance of each campsite and there are sites for the physically challenged. Site types include ones with full service, electrical and water, electrical only and sites with no service. The park staff provides interpretative programs during the summer months.

Moon Lake Campground is about 20 minutes north of Wasagaming and you must self-register. Moon Lake also has a very pretty hiking trail that takes you 9.2 km around the lake. Facilities include washrooms with flush toilets and running water. Moon Lake has wheelchair accessible sites and the washrooms have facilities for the physically challenged. Like Wasagaming there are kitchen shelters, a picnic area and a small beach. Please note that you cannot access the beach with a vehicle therefore you will have to carry your boat about 100 metres.

Lake Audy Campground is located near the park’s Bison Enclosure and is about 41 km from Wasgaming. This campground has less service than Wasagaming and Moon Lake campgrounds but you can enjoy horseback riding trails, mountain biking and hiking trails. There is well water and the privies are also wheelchair accessible. This is a small campground and once again you must self register. Lake Audy has a small beach where swimming is allowed. If you travel from one of the other campgrounds to see the Bison enclosure, Lake Audy would be a beautiful stop for a picnic.

Deep Lake Campground is further away from Wasagaming and more remote than the other campgrounds. This campground has similar services to Lake Audy campground.

For those of you with RVs there is Shawenequanape Kipichewin, Southquill camp. This used to be called Lake Katherine. The unique feature of this camground is, beyond tent camping and RVing, you may also rent one of 40 teepees.

Whirpool Lake Campground is a tenting only area and you must walk in to your site. There is a kitchen shelter, well water and privies in this small campground. Motorized boating is not permitted.

There are many activities for visitors to Riding Mountain National Park. Activities include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, sailing, swimming, scuba diving, tennis and golfing. Clear Lake (Wasagaming) is said to have one of the nicest 18-hole golf courses on the continent. You may also wish to join a guided car caravan in the summer to visit other areas of the park. For a unique experience you can take a pioneer wagon on some trails to backcountry campsites.

There are excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, moose and elk are among the animal inhabitants of the park. You may also see animals such as bison, wolves and cougars. Riding Mountain National Park boasts the largest population of black bears in North America therefore you must be extremely cautious and hang your food. RMNP is also well known for its wildflowers. You might also find it interesting to know that a species of waterfowl that was nearing extinction, the Trumpeter Swan, has made its summer home in the park.

Riding Mountain National Park is a diverse region that provides something for every member of the family. From the luxury of camping in a RV to roughing it on a walk-in campsite, there is an experience to suit every lifestyle.