Head 40 minutes north of Winnipeg on Highway 59, and you’ll find the muddiest and most fun off-road park Manitoba has to offer. Muddy Waters Offroad Park, located at Hilltop Resort, has been in business for two years, and was created by the guys of RBR Offroad Inc.
Brian McKenzie and Ryan Chatel have been friends for about four years, and business partners for three. The two got their start with RBR, a company that supplies aftermarket parts and accessories for their customers, and have graduated to a full-on muddy haven.
Muddy Waters is the only park in Manitoba that is located on roughly 900 acres of property that has the capability of housing up to 20,000 campers and 40,000 people in its Concert Bowl area.
There are riding trails for days just outside the park boundary. This unique location has an ATV/UTV pyramid race track, a truck/ATV/UTV bounty hole and a soon-to-be obstacle course. It also features a man-made swimming oasis with beach sand, a great restaurant and licensed bar.
“Last year was our grand opening,” said McKenzie. “It’s a park for anyone who loves off-roading, camping and getting muddy.”
The park originally allowed only ATVs and UTVs on its courses, but earlier this year, it opened its doors to the mud truck world.
“After making the decision of opening up the park to the off-road truck world, I figured I should build a truck. So, the ‘Mud Slug’ was born,” said McKenzie. “It’s a 1982 Suburban with a turbo 350 transmission, 511 gears with lockers, sitting on 44-inch super swamper tires. We will be putting it to the test at our first event on June 16.”
Brian McKenzie’s own creation, “Mud Slug” — Photo courtesy Brian McKenzie
There will be an event on July 14 and 15 that will be geared toward the mud trucks. The vehicles will be breaking in the new obstacle course and battling it out in the park’s bounty hole. Four Mile Road will be performing Saturday night.
This year at the park, during the August long weekend, Muddy Waters will be hosting an event like no other. It will include: ATV/UTV racing, free-range mud playing, and a bounty hole for ATVs, UTVs and mud trucks. Many bands will be playing over two nights, including the legendary Backwoods Riot. The concerts will be hosted by Mike Busey.
“This is going to be the wildest and craziest party in Canada,” McKenzie said. “Where else can you go to get this calibre of entertainment in one long weekend?”
The rider lifestyle has changed for the boys at RBR Offroad Inc., now that they have Muddy Waters to keep them busy.
“(Our focus) has changed. We play less and work more now on the weekends,” said McKenzie. “It used to be all fun and games and now it’s about making sure our customers are happy and satisfied.”
A view of the park that includes present and future attractions — Photo courtesy Brian McKenzie
For both McKenzie and Chatel, their love of ATVs came from getting together with a group of friends on the weekends, and going camping and off-roading with their vehicles. Over time, their interests developed into riding and customizing different machines, as well as making the riding experience the best it can be for others.
“Our goal is to create the sickest and baddest off-road park in Canada with the biggest names performing,” McKenzie said. “We want to create a place where people can get together to enjoy off-roading and create memories.”
An aerial view of the current race track at Muddy Waters Offroad Park. — Photo courtesy Brian McKenzie
More about Muddy Waters
Both Brian McKenzie and Ryan Chatel have ventured down into the United States for off-roading and to find bigger and better parts for their mechanical beasts. The two love what Manitoba brings to the riding game with its mud, skeg and sand. McKenzie said that, during their first visit to the park, people are often surprised by it and all the great things it has to offer.
They agree that their favourite vehicle to ride is the Polaris RZR.