Best Hikes in Manitoba Canada

Best Hikes in Manitoba Canada Top 6 Hiking Trails in Manitoba on Trans Canada Trail

Top 6 Hiking Trails in Manitoba on Trans Canada Trail

Popular Trails of Manitoba to Hike and Bike

This list of the best hikes in Manitoba Canada includes our favourite sections of the Trans Canada Trail in the prairie province of Manitoba for hiking and cycling. With more than 1400 km of the Trans Canada Trail (formerly the Great Trail) in Manitoba, choosing the best paths, rail trails, cycling routes, and cross-country ski trails is challenging. Manitoba's section of the Great Trail allows hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers to traverse the vast Boreal forests of Whiteshell Provincial Park. Alternatively, hikers and mountain bikers can enjoy the beautiful Asessippi Valley or venture through Spruce Woods Provincial Park. Or, cyclists can explore the open landscapes of the prairies or explore the urban pathways of Winnipeg. Regardless of whether you set out to explore a single trail, trek the entire system, or cycle across the province, the top sections of the Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba are worth a place on your bucket list!
The best hikes in Manitoba Canada. Photo Credit: Sean Morton
Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba. Photo Credit: Sean Morton

...the sea, the woods, the mountains
all suffer in comparison with the prairie ...
the prairie has a stronger hold upon the senses.

by Albert Pike

Best Hikes in Manitoba Canada includes the South Whiteshell Trail

The South Whiteshell Trail runs from the Ontario border to Rennie, through the stunning forested landscapes of Whiteshell Provincial Park. In addition, the 59 km long South Whiteshell Trail is part of network of over 100 km of pathways within the park. Specifically, the well established route begins by taking hikers and cyclists through the resort community of Falcon Beach on the shores of Falcon Lake. Next, this part of the Trans Canada Trail circles West Hawk Lake, which was famously created by a meteor strike. Finally, it heads north to Caddy Lake, venturing over the rugged Canadian Shield, granite cliffs, dense Boreal forests, and to the shores of gorgeous lakes. Hiking, cycling, camping, fishing, hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, relaxing at a lakeside resort, and visiting the Bannock Point Petroforms are just a few of the outdoor activities that can be enjoyed along the Trans Canada Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park.


Insider Tip: The South Whiteshell Trail overlaps with the Pine to Prairie International Birding Trail, which is a must-do trail for birders!

Pinawa Trail

The Pinawa Trail is located just north of Whiteshell Provincial Park. As part of the Trans Canada Trail, the Pinawa Trail is a multiuse, all-season pathway. It stretches 28 km from the Seven Sisters Generation Station to Pinawa Dam Provincial Heritage Park. Interestingly, it passes through the planned community of Pinawa, which is also known as the Deer Capital of Manitoba. This nickname seemed highly appropriate during our visit, when large groups of deer were hanging out in the middle of town! As a result, the Pinawa Trail provides a wonderful of mix of urban and backcountry wilderness pathways, taking people past ponds, rivers, and forested areas. Highlights along the route include the Pinawa Heritage Walk, the Pinawa Suspension Bridge, and the historic Pinawa Dam.  These are just a few of the reasons the Pinawa Trail made it onto our list of the best hikes in Manitoba Canada.


Insider Tip: Bring your camera! The Pinawa Suspension Bridge is a great spot for a selfie, and you're sure to spot some deer along the trail.

Duff Roblin Parkway Trail

The Duff Roblin Parkway Trail is the third choice on our list of the best hikes in Manitoba Canada to hike and bike as we move from east to west across the province. The Duff Roblin Parkway Trail is a 44 km section of the much longer Red River North Trail. Specifically, it follows the Red River Floodway from Lockport to Duff Roblin Provincial Park, passing Birds Hill Provincial Park and skirting around Winnipeg on the way.

Red River Floodway

Provincially known as "Duff's Ditch", the Red River Floodway was built between 1962 and 1968. Amazingly, it is one of the country's most expansive flood protection measures ever undertaken. Specifically, it was designed to protect Winnipeg and the surrounding agricultural land from floods along the Red River. Therefore, since its development it is believed to have saved tens of billions of dollars in flood damage! In 2013, redevelopment of the floodway included the creation of a 44 km long section of paved, level, walking, jogging, and cycling pathway around the eastern edge of Winnipeg from Lockport to St. Norbert.

Wildlife viewing along the Duff Roblin Parkway

One of the key reasons we included the Duff Roblin Parkway on our list of best trails in Manitoba Canada is the opportunity to view birds and wildlife so close to the city limits. During our cross-Canada Come Walk With Us Expedition, we spotted red foxes and coyotes on the open grassy fields bordering the floodway.  In addition,  large flocks of American White Pelicans and other waterfowl were swimming in its waters. Further, while only a small segment of this well developed path is part of the Trans Canada Trail, the entire route is worthwhile. From end to end, additional wildlife viewing opportunities along the Duff Roblin Parkway can be experienced in Birds hill Provincial Park, Duff Roblin Provincial Park, and St. Norbert Provincial Heritage Park. 

City of Winnipeg Manitoba Trails

The City of Winnipeg Trails form a terrific network of well developed and maintained paths across Winnipeg that includes some of our favorite trails in Canada. The Trans Canada Trail in Winnipeg allows hikers, cyclists, and joggers to visit urban green spaces like Fort Douglas Park, Whittier Park, and Sir John Franklin Park. In addition, users pass historic sites like Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park. Furthermore, there are opportunities to learn about Indigenous culture and test your skills on epic mountain bike tracts – all in the same city!

Highlights of the City of Winnipeg Trails

Specifically, highlights along the Trans Canada Trail in Winnipeg include visiting The Forks National Historic Site of Canada at the cultural and social centre of the city.  Furthermore, you can enjoy amazing wildlife viewing opportunities by following the Aspen to Preston Trail through Assiniboine Park or venturing along the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail out to Beaudry Provincial Park.  Finally, exploring the Thundering Bison Trail through Fort Whyte Alive takes you to one of the best birding hotspots in Winnipeg. The ability to connect with nature, venture along trails through tunnels of trees, and visit nature sanctuaries and historic sites along one pathway are some of the reasons the City of Winnipeg Trails are on our list of best hikes in Manitoba Canada. Furthermore, if you're visiting Winnipeg, the Trans Canada Trail is a great way to explore the city and to foster a deeper connection with nature and with yourself.

Insider Tip: If you are looking for an epic mountain bike challenge of fat biking adventure in the City of Winnipeg be sure to check out the trails of Fort Whyte Alive!

Crow Wing Trail Pilgrimage Route

The Crow Wing Trail Pilgrimage Route is the next choice on our list of the top sections of the Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba to hike and bike. It is also one of our favourite Canadian Camino routes, like the pilgrimage route in Ontario. In addition, at 198 km in length, it is the longest Trans Canada Trail section in Manitoba. The Crow Wing Trail begins at the southern edge of Winnipeg and runs south to Emerson, on the Canada-US border. Furthermore, it follows the historical route of the Red River Ox Cart Trail. Interestingly, this route was used throughout the 1800s to transport goods to and from both the Red River and the Crow Wing Settlements.

More than just a trail

Much of the pilgrimage route follows backcountry gravel roads. However, it offers opportunities to visit the famous Senkiw Swing Bridge over the Roseau River. In addition, it takes hikers and cyclists to the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine and Grotto in St. Malo. Furthermore, if offers opportunities to learn about early setter history at the Mennonite Memorial Landing Site at the junction of the Rat and Red Rivers. Finally, in Emerson hikers have the opportunity to walk along the international boundary between Canada and US.

A Camino Experience

Along the Crow Wing Trail, hikers, cyclists, and pilgrims enjoy a true prairie experience, which is reminiscent of the Meseta landscape along the Camino Frances in Spain. In addition, pilgrims can collect stamps in a pilgrim passport at accommodations, businesses, and attractions in the communities of St. Adolphe, Niverville (the home of GORP), Shelburne, St Pierre-Jolys, St. Malo Provincial Park, and Emerson. Moreover, the Crow Wing Trail is partnered with the Camino de Santiago in Spain. This means that pilgrims who have trekked 25 km of the Crow Wing Trail can count this towards receiving their Compostela (certificate of completion) on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Insider Tip: To learn more about Canadian Caminos and pilgrimage routes across Canada check out this article!

Crocus Trail


The Crocus Trail is the final choice on our list of best hikes in Manitoba Canada. This is the most westerly section of the Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba, extending 145 km north from Russell to the Saskatchewan border. Interestingly, the Crocus Trail picks up where the Rossburn Subdivision Trail ends, which is one of the top ATV routes on the Trans Canada Trail. Much of the route follows backcountry gravel roads. However, major highlights along the route include visiting Asessippi Provincial Park and the Inglis Grain Elevators National Historic Site - a national treasure that was featured by Rick Mercer.

Connecting to nature on the Crocus Trail

The final 17 km of the Crocus Trail leaves the backcountry roads and becomes a gorgeous footpath through the lush Duck Mountain Provincial Forest. In this stretch the trail builders and volunteers of the Crocus Trail have done an outstanding job connecting visitors and hikers to nature. In particular, hikers can enjoy a walk in the woods, spot amazing wildlife, and view dozens of bird species. In addition, the trail skirts around the beautiful Benson, Bird and Slip Lakes. As an added bonus, while the Crocus Trail technically ends on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, the route of the Trans Canada Trail takes visitors into the wonderful Duck Mountain Provincial Park in Saskatchewan which has great opportunities for camping.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, our list of the best hikes in Manitoba Canada includes our favourite sections of the Trans Canada Trail for hiking and biking in this beautiful prairie province.Simply put, the great trails of Manitoba showcase amazing landscapes, terrific wildlife viewing opportunities, and a glimpse of prairie life.  Furthermore, there are plenty of fantastic options for weekend walkers, thru-hikers, long-distance cyclists, mountain bike enthusiasts, and ATV drivers. There is something for everyone on the great trails of Manitoba!

Best Hikes in Manitoba Canada

Top Sections of the Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba

Location (Map)

Manitoba, Canada
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Trans Canada Trail Section in Southern Manitoba
 

Comments 10

Lisa Muldoon on Monday, 10 April 2023 19:44

I have not explored very much of Manitoba yet. These hike recommendations are a great place for us to start. Thanks for sharing!

I have not explored very much of Manitoba yet. These hike recommendations are a great place for us to start. Thanks for sharing!
Sonya Richmond on Tuesday, 11 April 2023 02:29

Manitoba has a lot to offer, including some wonderful trails and some fascinating history. Definitely worth a visit!

Manitoba has a lot to offer, including some wonderful trails and some fascinating history. Definitely worth a visit!
EH Canada Marketing Group on Monday, 10 April 2023 21:12

Another quality article Sonya Richmond

Another quality article Sonya Richmond
Sonya Richmond on Tuesday, 11 April 2023 02:27

EH Canada Marketing Group Thank you! We certainly learned a lot on our hike across Manitoba, and there was some wonderful scenery along the way too!

EH Canada Marketing Group Thank you! We certainly learned a lot on our hike across Manitoba, and there was some wonderful scenery along the way too!
Rene Coatta on Tuesday, 11 April 2023 16:26

This is awesome, thank you so much for sharing! I grew up in Manitoba and spent most of my summers out at Falcon Lake! I had no idea about all these trails!

This is awesome, thank you so much for sharing! I grew up in Manitoba and spent most of my summers out at Falcon Lake! I had no idea about all these trails!
Sonya Richmond on Tuesday, 11 April 2023 19:49

We loved the Falcon Lake area, and the rest of Whiteshell Provincial Park! It reminded us a little of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, where we both spent many happy summers. Whiteshell has plenty of paddling routes and trails that we'd love to return to explore one day.

We loved the Falcon Lake area, and the rest of Whiteshell Provincial Park! It reminded us a little of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, where we both spent many happy summers. Whiteshell has plenty of paddling routes and trails that we'd love to return to explore one day.
Diana Mohrsen on Tuesday, 11 April 2023 19:36

Excellent article, Sonya. I've spent some time in and around Winnipeg, plus have taken several road trips around the province. It was great to see all the photos and be reminded of what I love about Manitoba.

Excellent article, Sonya. I've spent some time in and around Winnipeg, plus have taken several road trips around the province. It was great to see all the photos and be reminded of what I love about Manitoba.
Sonya Richmond on Thursday, 13 April 2023 19:22

Thank you! I'm glad the beauty of Manitoba shone through - it has so much to offer, but I think it is quite underappreciated. Winnipeg is amazing, but it is definitely worth exploring the rest of the province as well.

Thank you! I'm glad the beauty of Manitoba shone through - it has so much to offer, but I think it is quite underappreciated. Winnipeg is amazing, but it is definitely worth exploring the rest of the province as well.
Diana Mohrsen on Tuesday, 11 April 2023 19:43

Sonya, I'm really enjoying your series of "Best Hiking Trails" across the country. I can't help but be aware of the lovely photos, winding trails, and sunny days, and know all days were not like that. Have you considered doing a blog about rainy days, broken laces, tent problems, after you've finished the provincial hiking trails? It would be interesting to see a "blooper" style blog about hiking mishaps.

Sonya, I'm really enjoying your series of "Best Hiking Trails" across the country. I can't help but be aware of the lovely photos, winding trails, and sunny days, and know all days were not like that. Have you considered doing a blog about rainy days, broken laces, tent problems, after you've finished the provincial hiking trails? It would be interesting to see a "blooper" style blog about hiking mishaps.
Sonya Richmond on Thursday, 13 April 2023 19:27

I love this idea! When I think about it, we don't tend to photograph those toughest of moments, and when we do, somehow people often read them as epic or beautiful rather than the total disasters they felt like at the time. Good opportunity for some humour at our own expense

I love this idea! When I think about it, we don't tend to photograph those toughest of moments, and when we do, somehow people often read them as epic or beautiful rather than the total disasters they felt like at the time. Good opportunity for some humour at our own expense :)
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Tuesday, 03 October 2023