The rugged beauty of the Canadian landscape is often found just minutes away from the cities. The western edge of Whiteshell Provincial Park is found a short sixty minute drive northeast of Winnipeg. The Winnipeg River system and its six generating stations has transformed the western edge of the Canadian Shield into a diverse, lake-filled, outdoor paradise. The intermingling of the rocky granite, boreal forest and waterways has become a haven for city dwellers to get their taste of nature.
The Pinawa Dam was Manitoba’s first Hydro-Electric Generating System. Pinawa Dam Provincial Heritage Park offers an abundance of picnic spots and hiking trails to enjoy nature’s wonderland. On a beautiful fall day we will capture the warmth of the midday sun as you watch the leaves turn from the green of summer to the yellows and reds that paint the landscape of Whiteshell Provincial Park. The waterways are home to the haunting sounds of the Loon, numerous wildlife, flora and fauna. The sights and sounds of the forest bring an inner peace to each hiker as they make their way through the trails that lead to numerous viewpoints and historical remnants of Canada’s first inhabitants.
Leaving the Pinawa Dam area and taking the short drive back along the gravel road that joins the main road leading to Pinawa one must take a moment to visit the swinging bridge. Pinawa’s swinging bridge is part of the Tran-Canada Trail System.
An easy trail walk takes you through the forest and along the river to enjoy the forest as well as the sounds of wildlife. On a warm summer day from the suspension bridge you can watch many tubers gently enjoying the slow meandering river as the current takes them along the river to Pinawa’s magnificent golf course. On the trail however, civilization seems non-existent as you become lost in the awe-inspiring beauty found with each step. There is something a little more special in the forest and trail in the fall. There is a calmness, a peacefulness that is different from any other season. It is as if the landscape is showing off its beauty one last time before winter turns the lakes to ice and the trail to a blanket of snow.
From the Heritage trail you can make your way into the town of Pinawa where the white-tail deer often out number the people.
Rent a boat, a kayak or canoe in town and enjoy the waterway from the Pinawa marina or just find a place to take a picnic to enjoy some of Canada’s natural beauty. If you are spending some time take the time to fish either from shore or in a boat. You may be lucky to catch a “Jack” or a “Pickerel” or perhaps a Goldeye. You can even find a nice bay to anchor where it won’t matter if you fish or just lay back and relax allowing each breath, every sound to bring you closer to the peace found in nature’s natural splendour.
Whether you take a day or decide to spend a week or more on the western edge of the Canadian Shield. The Pinawa area of Whiteshell Provincial Park will capture your heart and soul as you enjoy some of Canada’s beautiful landscape.