Detailed Description: Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park is a wilderness nature park located on the western shores of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The park extends out onto a peninsula and protects some nearby islands. West of the peninsula is Washow Bay while Deer Island, Hecla island and Black Island are situated on the east side of the peninsula.
The Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park protects the land and the history of the First Nation and Icelandic people since it was established in 1975. A large section of the park falls within the Manitoba Lowlands Natural Region. It is a wilderness park - a diverse environment measuring over 1084 square kilometres.
The park includes sections of mixed boreal forests, bogs, rugged coastlines, dolomitic limestone cliffs, shale ridges, sandy beaches, wetlands, lakefront and marshes. And off shore there are islands left behind from the glacial melt of the ice age.
Some of the popular features to visit when in the park include the historic buildings in Hecla Village; the waterfront in Gull Harbour; the First Nation history on Black Island; the views from North Point cliffs; the Quarry Picnic Site and the many hiking trails leading to bird blinds, viewing towers and wildlife sightings.
The Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park has two main sandy beaches which attract attention. On the northwest coastline of Hecla Island is Sunset Beach. While... the other beach - Gull Harbour Beach - is located in Gull Harbour on the northern tip of Hecla Island near the main campground.
Birdwatching and wildlife watching are enjoyed throughout the park. There are trails with bird blinds and there are viewing towers for sightseeing song birds, waterfowl and predator birds.
Bird sightings are many. Just a few of the birds to look for while in the park include white pelicans, golden-eyes, spotted sandpipers, caspian terns, American redstarts, red-winged blackbirds and bald eagles.
Moose live in the park. So... when exploring the marshes and wetlands keep an eye out, as well, for an elusive moose.
The park is developed with boat launches, lighthouses and safe harbours. Fishing is popular. Most come to fish perch, pickerel, bass and/or catfish. Those who like to fish from shore visit the docks in Gull Harbour and Hecla Village.
There are many other popular adventures and activities enjoyed in the park during the summer months. People like to go swimming, sightseeing, wind surfing, biking, camping, golfing, picnicking, sailing, boating and hiking.
When the lakes and rivers freeze in the winter it becomes ice fishing season. There are over 25 kilometres of trails in the park and some are explored year round. During the winter the now covered trails, lakes and backcountry roads quickly become cross-country skiing and snowmobile routes.
In the summer people hike and bike the trails. The Grassy Narrows Marsh Trails explore a wetland marsh. The marsh trails follow gravel, boardwalk and dyke trails before connecting to viewpoints, bird blinds and viewing towers.
Another trail in the Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park is called the West Quarry Trail (10 kms return). It is located in Gull Harbour on the northern tip of Hecla Island. It is a sightseeing trail as well.
There are two villages in the Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park with services - Gull Harbour and Hecla Village. Gull Harbour has the most services like campgrounds, resorts, cottages; gas station, restaurant, B&B, tennis courts, laundromat, museum, day use picnic areas, golf course, conference centre, marina and boat launch.
Hecla Village is a historic Icelandic site with basic services, restored buildings and guided tours. There is a convenience store, accommodation, boat launch and gas station.
Guided tours are required to access all aspects of the Icelandic village. A peek into some of the exhibits is possible while walking a 1 kilometre self guided trail. The museum, restored church, 1920s school and fish station are the main attractions in Hecla Village.
The closest towns with services is Arborg and Riverton located near the south entrance of the park.
Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada