Manitoba, home to over 100,000 lakes, also has incredible hiking trails for every level of outdoor enthusiast. 

Strapping on a pair of hiking boots or shoes, loading up on sunscreen and bug spray, and hitting one of the many trails southern Manitoba has to offer gives friends and family a great opportunity to explore all the province has to offer. 

The following is a list of some of the most amazing hiking trails in southern Manitoba. 

Cedar Bog Trail at Bird's Hill Provincial Park

Teenage kids walking on the Cedar Bog Trail in Bird's Hill Provincial Park. (Sylvia St. Cyr/Goldenwest)Teenage kids walking on the Cedar Bog Trail in Bird's Hill Provincial Park. (Sylvia St. Cyr/Goldenwest)

This 3.5 km loop trail is the perfect hiking destination for individuals or families looking to enjoy nature while not going far. This trail is located just a 15-minute drive north of Winnipeg. The trail can be walked throughout each season, although as the name suggests, it can be a wet trail in the springtime especially. The path takes roughly an hour to hike and offers people many chances to listen to and behold a variation of small birds. 

Pine Point Rapids Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park

Sylvia St. Cyr and her son, Zevry, at Pine Point Hiking Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park. Sylvia St. Cyr and her son, Zevry, at Pine Point Hiking Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park. 

This hiking trail is an hour and 20 minutes drive east of Winnipeg. It is a versatile trail that offers a short and longer version, as well as a scenic or flat route, depending on the mood people are in. After five minutes of walking, hikers come to a fork in the trail where they can decide to veer left and have a flat walk amongst pine trees, or turn right and walk up and down across the Canadian Shield with more scenery.

At the midway point are a few rapids, picnic tables, fire pits, and a public cabin. People who enjoy a shorter hike can turn around and go back. Or for folks looking for even more rapids and beautiful scenery, they can hike a second loop, making the entire trail 7.9 km. 

Lighthouse Trail on Hecla Island

One of the two lighthouses on Hecla Island hiking trail.

This hiking trail is located just under a two-hour drive north of Winnipeg, yet well worth the drive. The Lighthouse Trail is only 3.2 km and has two lighthouses on either end of the trail to see and enjoy. One of the lighthouses allows people to go inside and see the view from the top. There is a beach along the way as well, for people hoping to go for a quick swim. 

There are multiple options for staying overnight, including a hotel or the nearby campground. Lakeview Hecla Golf Course is a walk away from the trail for golfing enthusiasts. 

Bear Lake Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park

The halfway point view at Bear Lake Hiking Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park. (Sylvia St. Cyr/Goldenwest)The halfway point view at Bear Lake Hiking Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park. (Sylvia St. Cyr/Goldenwest)

This hidden gem of a hiking trail is located right near West Hawk Lake in the Whiteshell Provincial Park. One thing to note about this 5.8 km trail is that it has a few wet and muddy areas throughout the walk. People interested in this hike should wear waterproof shoes/boots to fully enjoy the experience.

With that said, the trail has a boardwalk crossing a marsh, paths crossing the Canadian Shield and ends with an actual 10-foot rock climb opening up to a gorgeous view of Bear Lake. At the halfway point overlooking the water, there is a picnic table and fire place for people to enjoy a picnic lunch before making the return trek. 

Spirit Sand's and Devil's Punch Bowl Trail in Spruce Woods Provincial Park 

The Devil's Punchbowl in Spruce Woods Provincial Park.

Also known as Manitoba's desert, Spirit Sand's and Devil's Punch Bowl Trail in Spruce Woods is a one-of-a-kind hike in the province. There are many wonderful opportunities to take photos of the rolling sand dunes, while also enjoying the bright green water at the end of the trail, also known as 'The Devil's Punchbowl.' 

Hikers should be warned that the sands get very hot and this hike is best walked during the cooler summer days, or simply during the spring or summer. After completing the 6.5 km hike, people can cool off by heading across the highway to Spruce Woods campground and take a quick dip at the beach or enjoy a refreshing ice cream cone. 

This trail is located a two-hour drive west of Winnipeg. 

Hunt Lake Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park

Sylvia St. Cyr and Carrie Unrah during a hike at Hunt Lake trail in the Whiteshell Provincial Park. (Photo taken by Zevry St. Cyr)Sylvia St. Cyr and Carrie Unrah during a hike at Hunt Lake trail in the Whiteshell Provincial Park. (Photo taken by Zevry St. Cyr)

This hike is not for the faint of heart. Not only is the there-and-back trail 12 km, but it also has a lot of elevation gain with steep rock to traverse. The views are like nothing else and it's a wonderful trail for anyone looking to gain experience or train for difficult hiking trips. People should take note of the signs pointing the way to keep on the trail, as it's also quite easy to get lost. 

Hunt Lake Trail is located to the east of the town of West Hawk and an hour and a half drive from Winnipeg. The best way to enjoy this trail is by packing enough water to drink as well as a picnic lunch to enjoy at the scenic halfway point. Normally this trail takes hikers between five and six hours to complete.

Some tips while hiking this summer in Manitoba:

  • Always wear appropriate footwear, either sneakers or hiking boots, not flipflops.
  • Bring enough water.
  • Bring food to eat, including snacks and meals.
  • Take all your garbage back out with you and leave no trace.
  • Only light fires when appropriate and in the marked firepits provided by the province (put the fire out before you leave).
  • Dress for the weather; bring a rain jacket if there's rain in the forecast and wear layers.
  • Pack a first-aid kit in your backpack for emergencies.
  • Have a cell phone along in case of emergencies.
  • Hike with people. (This ensures bear sightings are less likely and it is safer all around. If you're hiking alone, be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you plan on being back)
  • Use sunscreen, wear a hat, and put on bug spray.