Riding Mountain National Park is a protected area created in 1895. The East Gate is located 57 km north of Neepawa on Highway 5 (and 157 km NW of Portage la Prarie), while the West Gate is located 52 km north of Minnedosa on Highway 10 (and 182 km NW of Portage la Prarie).
The park began as a forest reserve in 1895, due to concerns about deforestation and wildlife conservation, and was upgraded to a National Park in 1929, when the federal government was establishing a number of national parks across the country.
The park’s history is a testament to the First Nations peoples, who inhabited the area for thousands of years before the arrival of European explorers and settlers. The Anishinaabe people, also known as the Ojibwe, were the original inhabitants of the area and lived off the land for many centuries before the arrival of European fur traders and settlers.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the area around Riding Mountain became a popular with European settlers who came on the Canadian Pacific Railway to farm here the area’s fertile soil. Many small towns and villages were established in the area, including Wasagaming, which later became the heart of Riding Mountain National Park. Over the years, the park has undergone many changes and improvements. These included the construction of roads, campgrounds, park gates, and visitor centers.
The park is also home to several important ecological features, including mixed-grass prairies, aspen parkland, and boreal forest. Riding Mountain National Park is a popular destination for nature lovers, who come year-round for the hiking, camping, fishing (atch and release), and wildlife. These diverse ecosystems support a wide variety of plant and animal species, including bison, elk, moose, black bears, and more.
The park is also home to several historic sites, including old homesteads, fire towers, and abandoned logging camps, which offer a glimpse into the park’s rich history.
Riding Mountain National Park Attractions
Here are some of the top attractions in Riding Mountain National Park, along with their phone numbers, addresses, and web addresses:
Wasagaming – Wasagaming is a small community located in the heart of Riding Mountain National Park. It features a variety of restaurants, shops, and accommodations, as well as a beautiful sandy beach on Clear Lake. Phone: (204) 848-7275. Address: Wasagaming Dr, Wasagaming, MB R0J 2H0. Website: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/mb/riding/visit/lieux-places/wasagaming
Bison Enclosure Rd, Riding Mountain National Park, MB R0J 2H0
The Bison Enclosure is a large fenced area where visitors can see bison roaming freely in their natural habitat. The enclosure is located in the southeastern part of the park and is open year-round.
Bald Hill Hiking Trai
Bald Hill Trail, Riding Mountain National Park, MB R0J 2H0
The Bald Hill Hiking Trail is a 5.5-km trail that offers stunning views of the surrounding area from the top of Bald Hill. The trail is located near the town of Onanole and is open year-round.
Lake Audy Rd, Riding Mountain National Park, MB R0J 2H0
Lake Audy is a large, natural lake located in the western part of Riding Mountain National Park. It offers excellent fishing and boating opportunities, as well as several hiking trails and picnic areas.
Grey Owl’s Cabin
Ajawaan Lake, Riding Mountain National Park, MB R0J 2H0
Grey Owl’s Cabin is a historic cabin that was once home to Archibald Belaney, also known as Grey Owl, a famous conservationist and writer (and popularized in a 1999 movie starring Pierce Brosnan). The cabin is located on the south shore of Ajawaan Lake and can only be accessed by hiking or canoeing.