The first thing I think about Riding Mountain is the ability to connect with nature, wildlife, and authentic Manitoba hospitality. We were not disappointed.
We arrived after a long flight and coach ride through the wide open prairie spaces, and a climb over the mountain ridge to enter the forests of Riding Mountain National Park. Greeted by friendly staff at the rustic Elkhorn Resort, we entered a great Canadian lodge nestled in the forests and settled into our comfortable accommodations. We were wowed by a large fireplace. Our first night we enjoyed a relaxing dinner in front of a roaring fireplace of Manitoba Pickerel , a delicious white fish with a sinful mystery sauce. The outdoor hot tub was the perfect ending for a long day …
We awoke to a beautiful warm sunny winter day with a hearty breakfast before leaving for our snow shoe adventure at Moon Lake.
- Sheer beauty.
- Stimulated all senses.
- The sounds of the wind blowing through the aspens.
- The white of the snow. Untouched, except for animal tracks.
Usually snow is an annoyance, a make-work project. Today, we embraced the snow and connected to nature. Following a stream naturally funneled us to our discovery of Dale, a Parks Canada employee, in a Quinzee hut while observing moose tracks and other wildlife. We shared a Manitoba blend of tea.
We learned new technologies used by Parks Canada to capture wildlife activities as they occur in Riding Mountain including a motion-sensor camera. Parks Canada staff have a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm which they are happy to share. Another “creature” discovered on our journey was Dean Gunnarson, World Famous Escape Artist , now living in Riding Mountain.
A cross-country ski excursion allowed us to discover more of the Park for 15 minutes, before someone injured themselves. The Elkhorn hot tub and a Fort Garry Pale Ale was the perfect medicine to ease the pain of body and pride.
Riding Mountain is a place where we could reconnect with nature and replenish our soul. We left of our fields of everyday life and monotony and embraced the rejuvenation of the forest.
Blog post by Calvin D’Entremont and Maegan Power-Noble,
Participants on the Nova Scotia Best Practices Mission to Manitoba, February 2010