A go to to historic Driving Mountain Nationwide Park takes you to locations the place bison roam, cinnamon buns are legendary, and a hike places you on the cabin of one among North America’s best imposters.
Whereas it’s been a well-liked vacation spot for greater than a century, the Manitoba park’s western reaches has turn out to be the province’s hippest trip spot due to latest refreshes of all of your previous favorites. Clear Lake — because it’s identified to perennial guests — guarantees basic touches of yesteryear laced with essentially the most fashionable of lodging, retailers, and eating choices.
We go to Driving Mountain Nationwide Park a number of instances a yr to be wrapped within the boreal great thing about hovering spruces, roaming elk, and an enormous canvas for stargazing. With its historic buildings, endless mountain climbing trails, and spectacular eating choices, it looks like a trip far, distant, regardless that it’s solely a few hours from our dwelling.
1. Store ‘Til You Drop
A stroll down Wasagaming’s major drag yields tempting choices for these in the hunt for retail remedy. At Moon Lake Buying and selling Firm, choose up a one-of-a-kind piece of pottery by a neighborhood artisan or top off on Charleston & Harlow candles together with the signature spicy scent known as Wasagamazing — a play on the formal identify of the townsite, Wasagaming.
Pals of Driving Mountain Nationwide Park is a volunteer-run group that works arduous year-round to carry consciousness to the pure and cultural treasures of the park. And their reward store is all the time a must-stop. Take your choose from books, toys, and outside gear together with bear bells, a good suggestion in the event you’re planning a hike.
2. Store Some Extra!
Whereas it’s technically not in the park, Poor Michael’s Emporium is a must-stop. It started within the tiny entrance room of a classic constructing in Onanole in 1992. Since then, Murray Evans and Lei Anne Sharratt have added some house — particularly a post-and-beam addition — that homes extra books, honest commerce espresso, mild meals, items from their wintertime travels to the Far East, curated items from native artisans, and, most just lately, vinyl. It’s additionally dwelling to a summer season live performance collection that sees followers collect on the patio to listen to musicians, authors, and poets.
Professional Tip: Evenings in Driving Mountain Nationwide Park can get cool. Wrap your self in fashionable consolation with a Past Borders blanket obtainable at Lakehouse.
3. Go For A Cruise
Sunsets over Clear Lake are the stuff of desires, and there’s no higher place to absorb the spectacle than aboard The Martese. The 1-hour cruise departs the Clear Lake Marina because the solar is setting, promising Insta-worthy vistas of the boreal panorama surrounding the park’s largest lake.
4. Decadent Eating
For greater than 20 years, T.R. McKoys has been dishing up Italian-inspired fare within the house that was as soon as dwelling to The Park Luncheonette. Generations of holiday makers collect contained in the log-clad room over steaming plates of penne with Italian sausage and rooster and poached salmon with coconut curry and recent mango salsa.
Professional Tip: Depart room for the apple berry cobbler.
5. Basic Cocktails
At 1929 Eating & Lounge, locals collect within the lounge post-shift all through the busy summer season season, sipping Caesars that are available 5 variations together with the Darth Vegan — spiked with sizzling sauce and chili flakes. The French martini is divine, that includes raspberry-rich Chambord, vodka, and pineapple juice. Or crack open a pale ale from Winnipeg’s Fort Garry Brewing Firm.
Professional Tip: 1929 Eating & Lounge is known for its Outrageous Nachos, a heaping plate that comes with bitter cream and salsa and simply serves 4 hungry hikers. The bacon cheeseburger comes absolutely loaded with seasoned beef, bacon, onion, tomato, and cheddar.
6. Tee Off
The primary 9 holes of the Clear Lake Golf Course had been designed by famend architect Stanley Thompson, who will get excessive marks for his work on Alberta programs within the vacationer parks of Banff and Jasper. Designers of the again 9 adopted Thompson’s result in construct a course that’s, effectively, no stroll within the park. Nearly each car alongside the principle thoroughfare via the park stops to look at the sundown. It’s most frequently a magnificence, throwing veins of golden mild into the streaky clouds and portray an angler’s line in a glowing arch throughout close by Clear Lake.
7. Soak Your Troubles Away
Let your palms and ft be wrapped in heat towels as your scalp is gently massaged at Solstice Spa. The Rainbow Chakra remedy is 90 minutes of spa-scented bliss. Depart a while in your day to benefit from the revitalizing mineral pool, steam rooms, and Swiss showers.
8. The place The Bison Roam
Enterprise down the 18-mile gravel highway that results in the park’s most visited residents — a herd of roughly 40 captive bison. Alongside the way in which to the Lake Audy Bison Enclosure, maintain your eyes peeled for moose, bear, and elk.
Again in 1931, 20 animals had been relocated from Alberta in an effort to carry a bit bit of untamed again to the park. They’ve been delighting guests ever since by nudging up in opposition to automobiles on the drive-through roadway that provides an up-close-and-personal expertise.
Professional Tip: Search for a solitary bull making a lovely image with out even understanding it, his heavy black coat reducing a wonderful silhouette in opposition to the reddening sumac and that final Prairie blanket flower of the autumn.
9. Very good Stays
The sister properties of Lakehouse and Arrowhead rating excessive in terms of capturing the lake life vibe. Lakehouse’s 15 rooms characteristic crisp white linens with reclaimed wooden furnishings and are accented with buffalo verify particulars. A Nespresso espresso machine and Treevival sound amplifier are normal in every room. Arrowhead has a room type for each household, from a studio room to a three-bedroom loft suite. There’s even a pet-friendly room so your fur child can come alongside.
10. The Whitehouse Bakery
This bakery is understood throughout the Prairies for its iconic and irresistible cinnamon buns. The method of deciding which taste — maple, cream cheese, or common — isn’t any straightforward process. In excessive season, cottagers, campers, and daytrippers line up outdoors the door on the bakery. It’s necessary to get your fill as a result of the store is open solely seasonally.
11. Who Was Gray Owl?
A brief drive north of the townsite is a trailhead car parking zone that provides a number of decisions to your hike of the day. Gray Owl Path is known as for Brit Archie Belaney, who took on an Indigenous identification (not good) and unfold the conservation phrase to audiences past Canada (good) after spending time in Driving Mountain Nationwide Park. His cabin nonetheless stands on the finish of the path, providing guests a glimpse into his life within the park.
Professional Tip: The hike is assessed as reasonably tough and is roughly 5.5 miles lengthy.
12. The Foxtail Cafe
Foxtail Cafe’s woodfired pizzas are past scrumptious, and a concoction known as Cinder + Smoke, which is loaded with rooster, charred corn, bacon, purple pepper, and mozzarella and completed with a smoky chipotle aioli, is amongst its hottest dishes. Make your plans to go to in the summertime as a result of, like many eating places within the area, it closes for the winter.
13. Throw A Forged
Clear Lake comes by its identify actually. The chilly and clear waters are dwelling to quite a lot of species within the space’s largest lake. For a quieter expertise, throw a couple of casts from the dock at Lake Katherine, one among a whopping 1,900 lakes inside Driving Mountain Nationwide Park.
Northern pike is the dominant species on this lake, and in the event you tie right into a sizeable specimen, you’ll be in for a superb battle. McKinnon Creek and Scott Creek are dwelling to brook trout, a favourite for the fly anglers within the crowd. Study extra about fishing within the park right here.
14. Household Enjoyable
Classic household enjoyable is ready on the Clear Lake Garden Bowling Inexperienced. Tucked right into a residential space surrounded by century-old cabins, these outside greens problem gamers of all ages. See who can place these “bowls” closest to the jack!
15. A Winter Wonderland
Whereas Driving Mountain Nationwide Park throbs with exercise in the summertime season, it doesn’t sleep in winter.
Winter Mountaineering In Driving Mountain Nationwide Park And Wasagaming
A dawn stroll via Ominnik Marsh is a young strategy to greet the day. The comparatively quick hike (1 mile) largely on a picket boardwalk affords sweeping views of glowing cattails and maybe a weasel in its winter white coat out for a go searching. As a result of the trailhead is true within the townsite of Wasagaming, it’s a handy outing.
For an extended hike, choose up the South Lake Path (primarily a biking path in summer season) that heads for the shoreline of Clear Lake then makes a loop again.
And for these in the hunt for a heftier exercise, the South Shore Path is roughly 8 miles lengthy and skirts your entire southern shoreline of Clear Lake.
Ice Skating On Clear Lake And In Wasagaming
Carry your skates to Clear Lake! Along with areas cleared by enthusiastic souls on the large lake in addition to the marsh, the city web site boasts two rinks. The courtyard at Arrowhead Resort is strung with twinkling lights the place company can actually step out their entrance door and go for a skate. And behind the Driving Mountain Nationwide Park Customer Centre is a lighted rink full with a warm-up shack for lacing up your blades in consolation.
Professional Tip: Driving Mountain Nationwide Park is gaining popularity as a winter vacation spot with every season. Nonetheless, a number of companies and sights shut for the season. Test forward of time to see what will probably be open and closed throughout your go to.