Fall is in full force right now, but here at the office we’re still reminiscing about a few of our favourite summer adventures. In our latest We Heart MB edition, Dené, with paddle in hand, takes on the Caddy Lake tunnels, Jillian builds new farm-life memories with her kids, Michel shares his love for Victoria Beach and Kirsten savours a stunning sunrise at Old Pinawa Dam. These are just a few of the reasons why our ❤️ beats loud and proud here…
A canoe trip through the Caddy Lake tunnels
Submitted by Dené Sinclair
Manitoba’s waterways are my home. I am a Manitoba gal who has always come home to our fresh water rivers and lakes. Every few days in the summer, I can be found paddling up and down the Red River in Winnipeg, and one of my annual highlights is always the crazy Pain in the Assiniboine race which sends us west along the Assiniboine River 32 km on bikes then brings us back east by canoe for another 32 km.
I try to do a paddling trip or two every year, but this year our plans were thwarted again by Mother Nature’s magnificent summer storms. As we were packing our bags for a weekend trip through the Caddy Lake Tunnels, our weather apps warned of an impending storm on Saturday morning with strong winds and flash flooding. While I hesitate to shy away from nature’s fury, we considered our options and decided on a day trip. Friday was going to be glorious, and our group of ladies needed some time on the water.
We relented enough to bring our favourite video-guy along on the (almost-all-girl) canoe trip, and it certainly paid off when he produced a great video of a beautiful day.
Watch us start at Green Bay Resort on Caddy Lake, paddle through the first tunnels to South Cross Lake and then through the second tunnels to North Cross Lake. Some of the best camping sites are at the other end of the lake right at the water control, and that was where we stopped for lunch and a short swim. No time for naps, we hopped back in the canoes and returned to the resort that afternoon. We were back in the city after dark and slept well (and stayed dry!) through the storms that hit just a few hours later.
Is there any better way to spend a beautiful summer day in Manitoba?
Family fun at the pumpkin patch
Submitted by Jillian Recksiedler
“Know what’s cool? Sandbox have corn, no sand,” says my 3-year-old as she recounts to her dad her visit to The Scarecrow Forest. It was cool. Even I couldn’t resist kicking off my Birkenstocks, jumping in and letting the millions of kernels massage my feet. The Scarecrow Forest, located a few kilometers northeast of Steinbach, is a hobby farm turned romper room. I was fortunate to grow up with a farm—both sets of grandparents were farmers in southwest Manitoba—but my kids are a generation removed. So any opportunity to expose them to real cows (not just ones they read in a book) is important to me.
We got dirty, and it was so fun—climbing the hay bale pyramid, pushing through a corn maze, following trails through the bush. Of course, there were animals: my daughter bravely rode her first pony, chased the farmyard kittens, and squealed (alongside the pigs) watching the pig race. There was a tractor train ride and giant play structure (you know, a handmade wooden one of yore). We wound down this glorious fall afternoon with a little artistic expression painting pumpkins.
Our hair was wind-blown, our fingernails were lined with dirt, and we were happy. My kids built new farm memories and I relived mine.
Top 5 reasons why I love Victoria Beach!
Submitted by Michel LaRiviere
If you haven’t taken a trip to Victoria Beach, you don’t know what you’re missing! This beautiful cottage community is located 110 km north east of Winnipeg at the end of Hwy 59N on Lake Winnipeg. Some people may have the impression that Victoria Beach is a gated community however it is open to all visitors. Visitors only need to pay a $6.00 fee at the gate to park their car in the parking lot and they are free to explore the area.
These are the 5 reasons why I love Victoria Beach:
5. Einfeld’s Bakery
No trip to Victoria Beach would be complete without making a stop at Einfeld’s Bakery, considered by locals as the best bakery on Lake Winnipeg! This local bakery in the heart of Victoria Beach is famous for its dream cookies, happy face cookies and delicious fresh pecan buns. My two-year old daughter enjoyed her first cookie from Einfeld’s Bakery this summer and can’t stop talking about it!
I have such fond memories of cycling to Victoria Beach with my father as a young boy from our cabin at Traverse Bay with the sole purpose to buy a fresh pecan bun! I don’t think they have changed their recipe in over 20 years and that’s just the way I like it.
4. The playground/park
For those of you who have kids, you will know that as a parent, you are always searching for activities to keep your kids busy. After making a stop to the bakery, my children needed a place to burn some energy. The playground at Victoria Beach is great for children of all ages and has a very modern structure. The park next to the playground is also a great place to throw a frisbee or play a game of bocce ball with the family. Included in the park is an old street roller which my children and nephews thoroughly enjoyed.
3. Bicycle friendly
In case you didn’t know, the large majority of Victoria Beach is a car-free area meaning that only bicycles are allowed in this vehicle restricted area. Cars are not allowed in from the end of June to Labour Day. This is what makes Victoria Beach so unique and such an inviting place to walk and bike with your family.
2. The pier/fishing
The pier at Victoria Beach is located at the end of 1st avenue and is always a fun place to take the kids or go for a walk. You will always find recreation fisherman and kids jumping in the water.
1. The Beach
Victoria Beach has a variety of beaches to enjoy and all of them have amazing white powdery sand. We were lucky enough to meet a very friendly local who let us try his son’s paddle board. My kids were immediately hooked and wanted to play with it all afternoon.
Sunrise at Pinawa Dam
Submitted by Kirsten Neil
Before summer, I’d never been out to Old Pinawa Dam, and truth be told, before I began working at Travel Manitoba, I didn’t even know it existed. (Shhh, don’t tell anyone!) But over the last few years, many here at work have let me in on what an absolute gem it is. So when I found out @muenchmax was looking for a good Manitoba sunrise location, I thought the dam might be the perfect spot. And boy, was it ever; the dam was a total showoff! It was well worth the 4:00 a.m. wake up call — it’s located an hour and a half away from Winnipeg.
I bet it’s spectacular right now surrounded by all those burning fall colours. Hmmm, time for another Sunday drive, I think.