Manitoba has over fifty provincial parks, many with campgrounds providing various levels of facilities for a fee. Paid campsites are available at a variety of rates, with all sites including a fire pit and picnic table, and full-service sites including sewer, water and electrical hookups. Those looking for a more luxurious camping experience can reserve a cabin or yurt available at several provincial parks.
Provincial campgrounds have standard rules and regulations, outlined in the yearly camper's guide. Sites and cabins/yurts can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis through the online reservation system.
Some provincial parks offer backwoods campsites at low-cost or no-cost, allowing campers the chance to get off the beaten track and back to nature. Grass River, Duck Mountain, Spruce Woods, Turtle Mountain, Nopiming and Atikaki are some of the most popular provincial parks with backcountry sites, but you can always check the backcountry setup in any provincial park by reading its parks page online.
Provincial park backcountry camping is permitted only in designated sites, with fires permitted only in provided fire pits. Most backcountry sites require a valid provincial park pass but not a backcountry permit, however there are exceptions. Read your destination's parks page to determine local restrictions.
Outside of provincial park areas, outdoor enthusiasts can make the most of Canada's huge percentage of crown land for camping purposes. In general, residents of Canada may camp free of charge on crown land for up to 21 days at any one site, unless posted otherwise. No facilities are provided on crown land, and ecological sustainability is of utmost importance. At these sites, and campers must practice ‘leave no trace' camping and safe backcountry cooking and food storage.
Those looking to plan a backcountry or crown land excursion may find it useful to check out the updated Manitoba Backroads Mapbook. Besides detailing rural, forestry, and logging roads to provide a comprehensive guide to getting your car off the transCan, these province-wide maps also detail hiking trails, paddling routes, and backcountry campsite locations. Everything you need to plan your next Manitoban outdoor adventure!
Based on the current fire risk, fire restrictions or bans may be in place during your trip. Be sure to check the provincial fire updates before departing, and only build open fires in defined pit areas. If backwoods camping, be sure a member of your group is aware of safe fire building methods, and consider the use of a portable stove instead of an open flame during times of high-fire-risk.
At times there may be restrictions on travel or camping in certain provincial areas. During restricted times, travel in these areas has been limited for safety. Make sure to check your destination is not in a restricted zone by reading the government news releases before planning and departing for your trip.
If you are planning to fish for sport or sustenance during your trip, you should familiarize yourself with Manitoba fishing regulations. All non-Manitoban residents and residents over the age of 16 must have a valid fishing license, and limits must be adhered to. For full regulations and more information, please consult the most recent fishing guidelines.
Photo: North Cross Lake, Manitoba via Dano on Flickr