Celebrate the seasons in the Interlake!

Fishing shacks north of Selkirk. Gail McDonald S

o many activities, on land or water, in all seasons, take place in the region to the north of the City of Winnipeg. From Lake Manitoba on the west

side across the expanse of the Interlake to Lake Win- nipeg, including along the Red River and up to Grand Beach on the east side of Lake Winnipeg is the play- ground for visitors and residents alike. If you like beaches and water sports, nature, bird

watching, fishing, hunting, winter sports (especially ice fishing) and skiing (downhill and cross country) plus snowboarding and snowmobiling, you will always find something to do. Heritage and culture also have a strong base in the region so look forward to a filled-up annual calendar with exciting Interlake events! Take a ROAD TRIP to the Interlake for a day, a

weekend or an extended vacation! Do an intriguing tour of all our roadside statues (accessible all seasons) and learn why the people built them. Tour some mu- seums, plan a day with lunch out with friends, while you hear stories of how many of the communities were settled. You’ll find a wide variety of accommodations from resorts, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and cabins or, if you just want to laze around a campfire, there are many family and publicly owned camp- grounds, as well as a generous offering of provincial campgrounds in the region. If you are visiting or traveling along Highway 6,

along the west side and the only route to the north, you will want to stop at Steep Rock Limestone Cliffs, in any season, although winter is a bit more of a chal- lenge… but snowmobile, cross country skis or snow- shoes would do it! These cliffs are a favourite location for photos, for discovering the fossil shapes in the eons old rocks, listening to the birds in the forested area around them, or splashing in the water. This is a fabu-

Blue Jay.

lous location for spectacular multi-coloured sunsets, so don’t forget your camera! If you’re into bird watching, you have selected an amazing area for that. On the west side you can lis- ten to a multitude of song birds from spring through late fall. Over 200 bird species call this area home or move through it during migration. Along the lake are marshy areas, such as Marshy Point Goose Refuge south of Lundar that provide breeding grounds for the Canada Goose as well as numerous other water fowls. Traveling straight north of Winnipeg on either High- way 7 or 8, take a quick trip down Highway 67 you’ll discover an animal and bird paradise at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre. Come and join in one of the sessions on a wide variety of nature subjects. See migration in the fall when the sky blackens with thou- sands of birds putting on the feed bags before they continue south to their wintering grounds. Open year round, become a member, taking part in special activi- ties and member rates on activities such as Astronomy Nights, special events, duck carving, workshops on varied subjects such as edible wild plants or enjoy ca- noeing the marsh in season and playing in a safe winter environment. Make sure you get lots of fresh air and sunshine during the colder season by coming here.

Red fox portrait. Photo by H. Hinam. Most of our heritage sites are open from spring to

fall, with activities in place to enjoy the visit to these Manitoba Interlake icons, such as Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site or the St. Andrews Rectory NHS on River Road, with select activities on Satur- days in the winter. Check out Arborg and District Mul- ticultural Heritage Village from early spring to later fall and see the programs they are still offering: mak- ing vinaterta or perogies are being done in the slower months to showcase the related cultures. You mustn’t think that winter stops us here in the Interlake. It doesn’t! If anything, opportunities for activities such as hock-

ey, curling, snowshoeing, cross country and downhill skiing, snowmobiling or perhaps trying your hand at wind surfing provides increased reasons and a desire to visit us. You must not forget about one favourite pastime out on our frozen ice – ice fishing, producing small communities of huts on lakes and rivers. Or for a warmer, more comfortable day, go with Icebound Ex- cursion and learn to ice-fish with an expert. We know, with so much to do, you will be making the Interlake your winter playground too! Gail McDonald is the Interlake Tourism manager. www.





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