Nothing feels more magical than hiking through a forest lush with trees that are slowly turning burnt colours of yellow, orange and red. Of course, provincial parks are best visited in the summer months with boaters happily enjoying the water and sunbathers baking on the hot sand and docks. But, there’s something soothing about visiting the woods when the air gets crisp, and oh so clean, and you can do so with a salted caramel mocha in hand.
I’ve favourite parks from around the world and from my Canadian backyard, but my favourite to visit – any time of the year – is Nopiming Provincial Park. Just about two and a half hours from Winnipeg, this beautiful park is covered in dense forest and includes tons of hiking and hunting trails appealing to any type of seasonal outdoorsperson.
Like all parks, there is tons of camping to choose from. Whether it’s the wide open spots at Bird Lake Campground or the private setting of the campsites in Tubali Falls Campground – or back-country sites available – you’ll find the campsite that fits your needs. The Bird Lake Campground is perfect for those wishing to be right on the waters’ edge, ready to pull their boat out and start fishing; the boat launch is just steps from your tent or trailer. Be prepared: when I say open, I truly mean no privacy in between neighbours or cabin-owners who may be walking/driving by. The parking may have more privacy than your campsite, but there is lots to explore surrounding you. Take your canoe out for a nice day on the lake at Bird Lake Campground and try to find the hidden waterfall just behind one of the larger islands. I won’t give you specific directions (I always get lost every time) because it’s the journey, not the destination, right? For a more private setting, head a little bit further to Tubali Falls for more ‘forested’ campsites, rushing water, great views, quiet trails, and a small beach. Try out the shorter trails for a bit of nature and insta-worthy shots of the waterfall (easily accessible). Both campgrounds are open until October 9th for a ‘refreshing’ camping experience.
For those that are thinking more about a quick day hike ending with some hot chocolate warm in a cabin (or maybe some ‘juice’ in camping-proof wine glasses), then a cottage rental will be right for you. There are cottages to rent right beside the Bird Lake Campground, Nopiming Lodge. Something to keep in mind if a brutal storm is passing through and your hand-me-down tent just isn’t going to make it through the night.
Here, you can find a few cabins that should fit your needs and your tastes with some including A/C, heating, a cozy wood-stove, or for higher comfort in the larger chalet: a sauna and hot tub. You may like the outdoors, but you can also like the outdoors from the comfort of a bed. You’ll also find a restaurant on site, saving those from the campground from having to make dinner after a long trek in the woods in the cold of the evening, and making breakfast easy for those in the cabins. The menu is typical of what you’d expect from a campsite/cottage restaurant with burgers, fries, and onion rings being a staple.
It doesn’t really matter which route you choose to explore the great outdoors, as long as you get out there.