Given our National Reputation as a leading Province for agriculture, it may surprise visitors to learn that Southwestern Manitoba is home to some of the Province’s finest beaches and lakes! Here are just some of the outstanding locations where you can bring the whole family to soak up the sun or make a splash, as well as enjoy some local gems along the way…
Pelican Lake, Ninette/Belmont
Boasting its status as the largest navigable body of water in Southwest Manitoba, Pelican Lake is great for swimming and boating, but is also popular with fishermen and bird watchers. Ever wanted to learn how to sail? Pelican Lake Yacht Club offers a premiere destination for those who want to pick up that skill with sailing lessons offered each summer! Make a weekend out of it and stay at Happy Land Campground in Ninette (Northern shore of lake) and enjoy the nearby Terry Fox Memorial Park which offers a playground, dock, anchored swim platform, groomed sand beaches and more or Strathcona Memorial Park, located on the East side of Pelican Lake (2 miles West of Belmont), where you can find a maintained beach with swimming, camping, play areas, store and boat launching facilities. Golf lover? Head down to Pleasant Valley Golf Club nearby – you will not be disappointed! Elevations rise up 125 ft. on beautiful tree lined fairways, a winding creek meanders through out the course and large manicured, undulating greens challenge you on every hole. You can also find a licensed club house on-site, offering up delicious fare and friendly staff. Hiking your thing? Be sure to check out Strathcona Centennial Trail, where over seventeen miles of recreational trails are accessible from Belmont.
William Lake, William Lake Provincial Park (Boissevain)
Located just east of Turtle Mountain Provincial Park is another discovery that outdoor lovers will want to be sure not to miss. William Lake Provincial Park is well-liked by windsurfing enthusiasts because of its rounded shape, clear water and gas-motor restrictions. But that’s not all there is to experience! Located on the South side of William Lake is the Turtle’s Back Trail; a prominent feature, rising about 84 metres above the lake, and giving a spectacular view of the surrounding area — plains to the North and the hills, trees and lakes of the Turtle Mountains to the South. As you near the summit the trail becomes fairly steep, but don’t give up, as the view from the top of the tower is very rewarding. Be sure to take binoculars with you, and a camera as well to take some panoramic photos. Stop by Boissevain’s Busy B Drive In along the #10 highway for some grub or a cool treat on the way and don’t miss a photo opp with Tommy Turtle – a 28 foot roadside attraction you are sure not to miss!
Kiche Manitou Lake, Spruce Woods Provincial Park Beach (Carberry/Glenboro)
Kiche Manitou Lake & Campground, located within Spruce Woods Provincial Park has a wealth of nearby activities to keep the family busy, including interpretive programs, miniature golf at the Pine Fort IV, concession, fishing, biking, swimming, bird watching, hiking and equestrian trails. “Kiche Manitou”, an Indigenous phrase meaning “Great Spirit” boasts 200 + camp sites, offering both electrical and basic camping. One of the parks largest draw and most surprising features you will find is Spirit Sands – Canada’s desert on the Prairies! Take the Spirit Sands Trail; a 4 sq km tract of open blowing sand dunes that tower 30 metres above the surrounding prairie and provides a habitat for such rare species as the western plains hognose snake and the northern prairie skink. If you are on the lookout for fresh produce and baking, be sure to stop by the Farmer’s Markets in Glenboro and Carberry on your
way to Spruce Woods. While in Carberry be sure to visit the Carberry Plains Museum, along with the fully-restored Gingerbread House next door, a unique and stunning building that is 1 of the only 3 in Canada! If coming in to the park from the Glenboro side, stop along the junction of Cochrane Street and Highway #2 for a selfie with Sara the Camel, one of Westman’s famous roadside attractions!
Minnedosa Beach, Minnedosa
Situated on the Eastern shore of Minnedosa Lake; a man-made reservoir along the Little Saskatchewan River, Minnedosa Beach welcomes visitors as soon as the temperatures make water recreation possible. Recognized as one of Western Manitoba’s premiere venue for paddling and rowing, the lake is regularly used by kayakers, dragon boaters and other water sport activities. For it’s second year running, you can find Manitoba’s very first floating Splish Splash Water Park. Have fun getting launched from the jumping pillow, blasting down the big slide or hanging from the jungle bar on the 100-person water park playground and one of a kind attraction! Take a short walk over to the Minnedosa District Museum & Heritage Village for a history lesson of the town. When in Town, stop by Farmhouse 50 for some delicious fare, a cool drink and some retail therapy and be sure to also check out Inspire Studio of Fine Arts, owned by a local artist who makes beautiful & unique items. Both locations have a strong focus on offering Manitoba Made products, so perfect opportunity to shop & support local! Need a place to rest your head for a night (or two)? Book a site at the Minnedosa Campground located right at the Lake or experience the comforts of home at the quaint Fairmount B&B 1914 Farmhouse, just a short drive out of town or Farmhouse 50 Bed & Breakfast Loft, conveniently located upstairs from the cafe & shop downtown!
Lake Wahtopanah, Rivers Provincial Park (Rivers)
Most popular for its beach and as a destination for fishermen angling for pike, walleye and perch, Rivers Provincial Park is comprised of 38 hectares of mixed grass prairie. Situated on man-made Lake Wahtopanah, an Indigenous word meaning “canoe people”, the park is the jewel of the town of Rivers, and just a very short drive from Brandon, to boot! After your arrival, have a picnic at your site, or spend the afternoon working on your tan at the beach. A playground, beach facilities, concession & mini golf can also be found on site. The town of Rivers is less than three kilometres away, and offers visitors access to golf, tennis, badminton, baseball, boating, fishing and other water sports. Stay at the beautiful campground on site at the Provincial Park or the brand new 30-room Blue Crescent Hotel in town, which includes a complimentary breakfast daily. Pop in for a cup a’ Jo and quick bite at Forbidden Flavors Coffee Shop, known for having the ‘freshest coffee beans’, roasted right on site only hours before it is sold. Love history? 7 miles from Rivers, you will find Clack Family Heritage Museum, located in Oak River and housing 20 themed museum buildings that display pioneer artifacts and beautiful antiques.
Oak Lake Beach, Oak Lake Provincial Park (Oak Lake)
*Oak Lake Photos: Sandy Black Photography
Oak Lake, located in Oak Lake Provincial Park, is one of the largest lakes in its area with approximately 15 square miles of water. The lake offers exceptional fishing and water sports. A marina is located just north of Oak Lake Beach Resort area. Head over to Oak Island Resort , right next door to the park, where you will find a world class 18 hole golf course with a pro shop and Restaurant, as well as a campground that offers 270, 30 amp serviced lots, grocery store, drive-in restaurant, cabin rentals, mini golf and 2 swimming pools. And if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, Oak Lake Provincial Park offers beach volleyball, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, fire pits, children’s playground, covered picnic shelters, washrooms and a sandy beach! Prefer to stay somewhere off the beaten path? Located conveniently between Virden and Oak Lake is one of Westman’s best kept secrets; Aspen Grove Campground. Amenities include an outdoor heated pool, laundromat, C-Store, hot showers, mini golf and walking & biking trails! Looking for day trip ideas to take with the family? Head West of Virden to Westwood Ranch Garden Centre near Elkhorn, where you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of domestic and exotic animals including Lemurs, Llamas, Wallaroos and even a Zebra!
Rock Lake Beach, Cartwright
Located a few kilometers north just off Highway #5, Rock Lake is the second largest navigable lake in Southwest Manitoba and home to camping, boating, fishing and swimming. The Rock Lake Beach Store & coffee shop is open year-round and offers fishing licences, seasonal lot rentals and full-service camping. Make sure to take in the Rock Lake Nature Trail located near the beach for some picturesque scenery. Be sure to make the short 25 minute trip to the Clay Banks Bison Jump; a Historical Site approximately 2,500 years old, used by Sonata and Besant Cultures as a hunting tool by means of stampeding American Bison over the cliffs, for use as food, tools, and clothing. Another hidden outdoor gem, Badger Creek Park, is located just a short drive away about 3/4 mile north of Cartwright. A great place for swimming and picnics, Badger Creek Park is free and can be used by anyone at anytime! Plan on heading into town? Heritage Park Museums is a must see for history lovers. The 6 buildings that make up the museum are housed in Heritage Park on Broadway Street South in Cartwright and includes Todd’s Shoe Repair Museum, Badger Creek Museum, Mount Prospect School Museum, old MTS Office Museum, old Mather Post Office Museum and the Heritage House Museum.
Killarney Lake, Erin Park (Killarney)
A sandy beach with large playground and picnic area already contributed to Erin Park’s reputation as a summer hotspot in Killarney. The addition of a recently constructed spray park and the nearby access to the adjacent mini golf course as well as ample camping opportunities in and around the park create additional opportunities for recreation and leisure during your stay. Be sure to walk over to The Beach Hut; a local favorite drive in style food joint where you will find some of the Region’s best burgers and hot fudge sundaes! Head down the park trails to find Killarney’s own version of the Blarney Stone and downtown to check out the various shop offerings. Not far outside of Killarney, you can explore the Turtle Mountain Flywheel Club Museum, where over 100 power machinery engines are on display. Killarney Lakeside Golf Course, aptly named the ‘hidden jewel of the South’ boasts lush green fairways along the beautiful waters of Killarney Lake.
*While Tourism Westman strongly recommends that all tourism businesses adhere to the operating protocols and capacity restrictions allowed by the Manitoba government, we cannot guarantee the compliance of any business or attraction featured in the content above. Please contact the business directly for operating hours and policies. Throughout the province, please continue to practice safe physical distancing and adhere to all recommended guidelines. #COVIDCarefulMB