Winter Trails & Experiences

In Manitoba provincial parks, winter is a season worth celebrating. Exploring trails in winter is an excellent way to get some fresh air and exercise in the great outdoors. On groomed trails sheltered by thick forests, even the coldest day can become a memorable outing.

Whether you go for an hour or stay for a weekend, outdoor activities in winter are an invigorating and enjoyable winter experience. Choose from a variety of trails - your destination is limited only by the distance you want to travel, the skill level of your group and whether you want to soak in a hot tub afterward.

Review our Winter Safety Tips and always check local Trail Conditions and Weather Forecasts to plan your winter excursions.

Cross-country Skiing
Manitoba Parks has hundreds of kilometres of groomed and tracked trails in 12 parks suitable for all ski levels and techniques - classic skiing, skate skiing and skiing with dogs (skijoring).

  • Read our skiing information sheet for details on where to ski including trail use designations.
  • Dogs are NOT permitted on groomed ski trails except those designated for skijoring.  Remember to always clean up after your pet.

For more information on skiing in Manitoba, click on the Cross Country Ski Association of Manitoba logo to go to their website.

Dog sledding
If you have a dog sledding team, check out the new Spruce Trail at Birds Hill Provincial Park.

Snowshoeing & Winter Walking
Several trails are packed for snowshoeing and winter walking in Beaudry, Birds HillHecla/GrindstoneSpruce Woods and Whiteshell provincial parks.

  • Dogs are welcome on these trails, remember to always keep your dogs on leash and clean up after your pet.
  • Do NOT snowshoe or walk on groomed ski tracks.
  • Backcountry Snowshoeing is permitted on any trail that is not already groomed for skiing or snowmobiling.  Consider the better part of a park's backcountry yours to explore.  Keep a watchful eye as you tramp through the woods - you may be lucky enough to see a moose, white-tailed deer, rabbit or Ruffed Grouse.

There is nothing more exhilarating (or more Canadian) then sliding down a hill on a wooden toboggan or crazy carpet.  Large hills are packed for tobogganing at Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain and are equipped with warm-up shelters.

  • These hills are unsupervised.  You are tobogganing at your own risk.
  • Parental supervision and helmets are strongly recommended.

Ice Skating
Outdoor skating opportunities are available at the Winter Recreation Areas in Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain. Each offers a hockey rink and a separate skating oval, in addition to the toboggan hills. Both have warm up shelters and are lighted for evening use. Skating surfaces are also cleared on the lakes at Hecla/Grindstone and Paint Lake.

Ice Fishing
Ice fishing is a popular winter activity throughout Manitoba. Most of the fish sought during the summer such as Walleye, Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Northern Pike are still waiting to be caught beneath the winter's ice cap. Remember that a fishing license is required- check the Angler's Guide for details and regulations.

  • Caution!  Ice conditions can change daily. The marking of a trail on a map does not suggest that ice travel or crossings are safe.  Always asks several local people and visit a local Sustainable Development District Office for information on present ice conditions before venturing out on any river or lake.

Snow Cycling (Fat Biking)
Snow cycling, commonly called fat biking, is a growing sport across North America.  Fat bikes are a specially designed mountain bike with extra wide tires, making them perfect for travelling on snow. While a relatively new activity in provincial parks, we are exploring new trails and more riding areas specifically for fat biking, while effectively managing trail user conflicts.

  • Fat bikes have minimum 3.8-inch wide tires and tire pressure must be under 10 PSI or low enough not to leave ruts.
  • Fat bikes are welcome to use the Oak Ridge Mountain Bike Trail in Birds Hill Provincial Park. This trail is dedicated for cycling-only year round.
  • Fat bikes are also welcome on the Foresters Footsteps Trail (multi-use) in Whiteshell Provincial Park, and the Yellow Quill & Seton Trails (multi-use) in Spruce Woods Provincial Park.  These trails are multi-use, please yield to walkers and skiers.
  • Please remember fat bikes and other cyclists are not permitted on any designated skiing-only or snowmobile trails.

Manitoba Parks offers the snowmobile enthusiast kilometre after kilometre of designated snowmobile trails where you can ride all day enjoying the cool, crisp days of winter.  All these trails offer prime snowmobiling through spectacular snowscapes, forests and lake country and are part of the extensive SNOMAN trail system, linking to communities across the province. 

Whiteshell Provincial Park offers almost 300 kilometres of trails in the striking terrain of the Canadian Shield.  Grand Beach and Hecla/ Grindstone Provincial Parks both offer extensive networks of trails in Manitoba's Interlake region.

In the western region, sled on one-way trails through the backcountry of Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain - both parks offer riders unique prairie and woodland landscapes to explore.  With its steep terrain, lakes and remote setting, Duck Mountain Provincial Park is a great destination for sledding.

Travelling north, ride between Thompson and Paint Lake Provincial Park, or head to The Pas to ride the trails of Clearwater Lake Provincial Park, linking to the incredible 144 kilometre trail to Flin Flon.

All snowmobile trails in provincial parks are a part of SNOMAN's Snofund Trail System; therefore, a valid Snopass is required.  These are available to purchase from Manitoba Public Insurance when you register your snowmobile.  For more information on snowmobile trails throughout Manitoba including those in our provincial parks, click Snoman's logo below to go to their website.

Snowmobilers of Manitoba