Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
With its isolation and undeveloped wilderness, Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba made the ideal WWII POW camp. Today, those same traits make it a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors and a bit of natural history. If you’re traveling through the area on your way to Dauphin, make sure to take a few days (or weeks) to explore this peaceful parkland.
History of Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
Riding Mountain is a unique wilderness area. Not only does it have a deciduous forest filled with wolves, bears and cougars, but it also includes serene grasslands and upland boreal forest with elk and bison. For this reason the park has been a protected region since 1929.
Photo Credit : Robert Linsdell
Not only was this protected area a safe haven for the flora and fauna in the area, but it also became a saving grace to many of the area families. During The Great Depression, the government was desperate for some way to help those most in need. So, they hired labourers from the area relief programs to build much of the park’s infrastructure. Some years later, when World War II began and the country was in need of safe areas to house prisoners of war, a camp was erected within the park boundary. Today, the camp is gone and there isn’t much construction going on outside the town of Wasagaming. But, it’s still a welcome sight to area travelers and a beautiful place to make memories and spend some time getting to know the area’s wilderness.
Interesting Facts About Riding Mountain National Park
- Highway 10 goes through the entire park connecting Brandon, Manitoba with Wasagaming and Dauphin.
- Wild bison have made their home in the area surrounding Lake Audy.
- Wasagaming campground is the largest in Manitoba.
- People flock from all over the world to get in a round at the famous Clear Lake Golf Course
- Famous conservationist Grey Owl spent six months here studying the wildlife. It’s here he met his two pet beavers Jelly Roll and Rawhide.
- Riding Mountain was Manitoba’s first National Park.
Riding Mountain National Park Amenities
Attractions & Historic Sites
- Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve
- Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex National Historic Site
- Whitewater P.O.W. Camp
- Grey Owl’s Beaver Lodge Lake and Cabin
- Riding Mountain Loppet
- Hockey Day in Canada Winter Adventure Weekend
- Sonics & Sojourns Festival
- Heritage Walks
- P.O.W Interpretive Wagon Tours
- Camps & Youth Programs
- Snowmobiling and Horseback Rides
- Ochre River Trail
- Tilson Lake Loop