Until I began my quest to visit all the national parks in the US and Canada, I had never heard of Riding Mountain. I am guessing that most people reading this haven’t heard of riding mountain either.
Many national parks have some big ‘thing’ which is the main attraction. Mountains, canyons, waterfalls, volcanoes and geysers are all attractions which draw people. But that doesn’t mean that you need to have some big, sexy geological feature to be a park.
Riding Mountain lies a boreal forest. There are lots of trees and lots of small lakes. It is also one of the best places to see wildlife native to the region. While I was there I saw a moose, an elk, 15 bears and the herd of bison in the park.
Riding Mountain is also a very recreational friendly park. There are ample spots for camping as well as plenty of locations to land your boat.
The name Riding Mountains comes from the large escarpment which the park sits on. If you enter the park from the south, which most people do, you won’t even notice the rise in elevation. If you come in through the north or east, however, you can see just how high up the park actually is.
Riding Mountain is approximately a 3 hour drive from Winnipeg, which is the location of the closest major airport. In addition to camping there are also several cabins and motels located inside the park in the village of Wasagaming.
What to Do
Planning a visit to the Riding Mountain National Park? Here are some ideas to consider for your trip:
Wildlife Viewing: Riding Mountain National Park is rich in wildlife. Therefore, viewing wildlife is a favorite activity among visitors who come to the park. Simply driving around the park will enable you to spot a few of these wildlife species such as elks, mooses, black bears, and lynxes.
Camping: You can also immerse yourself with the natural beauty of the park by camping on one of many sites. There are different types of camp sites that will fit your camping experience. There are camping opportunities available for beginners and experienced campers.
Hiking: There is an extensive trail system within Riding Mountain National Park. Therefore, you can explore the park grounds by hiking.
Water Sports: You can try any of these fun water sports activities at the park: fishing, boating, sailing, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking.
Other Activities: In addition to the ones mentioned above, you can also find other activities within the park such as cross-country skiing, birding, horseback riding, and biking.
How to Get Here
You can access Riding Mountain National Park via car or bus. The park is unique because this is one of only five national parks set within a resort town. It is not as large as other parks in Canada; however, it is also an incentive to explore most of what the park has to offer.
You can use the city of Winnipeg as a jump-off point. You can drive all the way from there. However, you will need a permit before you are given access to the park. This permit can be paid for at the gate.