Vast and varied in Manitoba

From ATVing to waterskiing to watching polar bears, Manitoba has the outdoor adventure for you.

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Braden Koritar enjoying his turn at wakesurfing!

Braden Koritar enjoying his turn at wakesurfing. — Photo courtesy of Braden Koritar

There is so much more than meets the eye in the province of Manitoba. Vast and varied terrain for ATVing makes for unique adventures. There are many organized ATV and UTV rides and events throughout the province, and listings can be found on the ATV Association of Manitoba home page. As ridership in Manitoba grows, so do clubs dedicated to securing trail systems, growing responsible riders, event planning and organized rides. 

The Eastman ATV Association once again has its Eastman Express Experience two day event scheduled for June 7 and 8. This ride follows the old trails from the steam engines that rumbled through Manitoba. Staging out of Lac du Bonnet is for those looking for an extreme distance ride. The second staging area has riders leaving from Ross, creating a much shorter distance ride more appealing for families and those who want a more leisurely pace. 

The riders spend the night in Woodridge, Manitoba, after their long journey. Many choose to either camp or rent an A-frame at the Wagon Wheel Campground, but for those wanting alternate accommodations, there is a vintage lodge. Campfires and storytelling and plenty of laughter is a given, with many a story coming from the day's ride. 

Watersports

Boating is another big draw for Manitobans, whether it is going after the monster muskie or sports such as waterskiing, wake boarding and wake surfing.

For farmer Cody Lumax,  the summer months can be hectic—so it’s nice to have a remote getaway to unwind. He and his friends enjoy their time on Whitefish Lake, located within Whitefish Lake Provincial Park northwest of Swan River, Manitoba. 

Cody Lumax enjoying a Day of Watersking on Whitefish lake

Cody Lumax enjoying a day of watersking on Whitefish Lake. — Photo courtesy of Braden Koritar

“Cruising along the shorelines when the sun is setting and the water is like glass is a feeling like nothing else," said Lumax. "Breathtaking is the only word that comes to mind.”

Lumax and his friends enjoy skiing, wake boarding, tubing, and wake surfing on Whitefish Lake in the summer months. There are also a variety of ATV and UTV trails that surround this hidden gem, giving access to private and secluded beaches along the shoreline.

The park is nestled in the boreal forest of Porcupine Mountain and boasts great northern pike, perch and walleye fishing. There are 40 unserviced campsites for those who like to get back to nature. The remote solitude and beautiful beaches in this park have a way of relaxing even the most stressed minds. 

Polar bear adventures

For a big adventure, a really big adventure, how about cruising around the Canadian Shield in big tundra buggies to see some polar bears?

Based out of Churchill, Manitoba, Great White Bear Tours has since 1994 been transporting tourists and photographers to the shoreline of Hudson Bay to experience polar bear migration up close and personal.

" It truly is a once in a lifetime experience for our customers," said Louella McPherson, spokesperson and gift shop manager for Great White Bear Tours. "Many are moved to tears. Experiencing polar bears, especially a mother and her cubs in the wild, is unlike any other experience on the planet. They are unlike other species of bears: graceful, powerful and naturally curious. Each time I see a polar bear it is like the first time. Simply breathtaking." 

The transportation unit has to ensure not only accesiblity but safety. The Polar Rover is heated, wheelchair accessible and equipped with reclining seats and washrooms. Although massive in size, the Rovers only exert four pounds per square inch of ground pressure, minimizing environmental impact on the fragile arctic landscape. 

Along with bear sightings, tour goers often see the Northern Lights and other unique wildlife along the way.


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