The Manitoba government will continue the tradition of offering free park entry for the entire month of February so Manitobans and visitors can enjoy the great outdoors at no cost.
“Manitobans love the great outdoors and our parks are just as beautiful at this time of year as they are in the warmer months,” Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires said. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of the activities and the scenery our parks have to offer.”
Vehicle permits are not required in any provincial park this month, but SnoPasses are still required for snowmobiles using groomed trails in the parks, and entrance fees still apply in national parks. There are groomed trails in 12 provincial parks across the province for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and hiking. Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain provincial parks also offer outdoor skating areas, hockey rinks and toboggan hills while fat biking is welcome on designated trails in Birds Hill, Spruce Woods and Whiteshell provincial parks.
Trail grooming reports are updated online every Thursday throughout the winter. Manitobans are encouraged to check trail conditions and weather forecasts before visiting parks to properly plan their outdoor adventure. Maps of winter trails and updated reports can be found at www.manitobaparks.com.
In addition to free access to provincial parks this month, anglers are reminded they will not need an angling licence to try their luck during this year’s Winter Family Fishing Weekend from Feb. 17 to 19. Anglers will be able to fish without a licence provincewide. Conservation limits will apply and a federal licence will still be required to fish in national parks.
Anglers are reminded to be sure conditions are safe before venturing onto the ice. It is important to let someone know the fishing location and to wear appropriate clothing so the ice-fishing experience will be enjoyable.
For more information on fishing regulations in Manitoba view the Manitoba Anglers’ Guide at www.manitobafisheries.com.
Park interpreters are offering several guided experiences this winter. Interpretive programs are free and offered year round in Birds Hill, Spruce Woods and Whiteshell provincial parks. Highlights for the month of February include:
- a cross-country ski clinic in Birds Hill Provincial Park on Sunday, Feb. 4;
- a guided snowshoe trek in Whiteshell Provincial Park on Sunday, Feb. 11;
- learn to ice-fish sessions in Spruce Woods Provincial Park on Saturday, Feb. 17 and Whiteshell Provincial Park on Monday, Feb. 19;
- a winter family fun day at the winter recreational area in Spruce Woods Provincial Park on Saturday, Feb. 24; and
- a winter safari in Birds Hill Provincial Park on Sunday, Feb. 25.
Interpretive programs are happening every week in February. More information on these events and other upcoming programs can be found under the events tab at the new Manitoba Parks Facebook page.
Teachers can also book free guided school programs throughout the winter season. For more information on winter activities and interpretive programs in provincial parks, visit www.manitobaparks.com. (Source: Corwyn Friesen, mySteinbach.ca)