There’s nothing beautiful about the prairie provinces.
The land is flat, the fields are repetitive, and the herds of cows eventually lose their charm.
British Columbia, Alberta — mountains: those are the beautiful parts of Canada. Saskatchewan and Manitoba are flat wastelands with nothing to see. Cold and flat.
Even the East coast provinces, though small, have better views. They’re by the ocean! Québec has the history and beautiful architecture; Ontario has Niagara Falls, the capital Ottawa, and is the place in Canada. Even the northern territories have a draw that’s unique from the rest of Canada — great winters, polar bears, the tundra, and traditions all their own. Saskatchewan and Manitoba sit alone, blowing away to nothing in the harsh winter wind.
I’ll tell you: the only people who think prairie provinces aren’t beautiful are those who are blind to beauty.
Granted, the beauty in prairie provinces is more subtle.
There aren’t vast, dramatic mountains or the same kind of history as some other parts of Canada. But we have our own draw.
Just a 30 minute drive outside of North Winnipeg, Manitoba is a popular provincial park called Birds Hill Park. There is everything that most people like: paved bike/walk paths, camping, and a large, now expanded, beach. But beyond that, there’s also adventure.
Throughout the park is a large winding road. Along this road, you can stop most anywhere and find a new path to discover.
I always like to go off the beaten path. I certainly don’t disturb wildlife to make my own paths, but if there’s a gravel path or a muddy path to choose from, chances are, I’m going to go on the muddy path. If there’s a path that goes higher than the one I’m walking, I’ll go on that one too. In Birds Hill Park, there are so many of these hidden paths for people to explore if they’re so willing. It isn’t what I’d call hiking, but there are still beautiful things to see, and so close to the city!
When home, I’ve been looking online for hiking paths around Manitoba. Grand Beach, Lake Victoria, Whiteshell, Pinawa… the list goes on. I haven’t even visited a quarter of them.
My favourite place to go in Manitoba is Whiteshell. It borders Kenora in Ontario and is a part of the Canadian Shield.
I don’t know about you, but anything large and strong enough to sound like a protective force surrounding Canada is something I want to see.
The area gets its name from the rock that covers a large portion of land, including the ground beneath the lakes. How cool is a stone-bottomed body of water made by natural forces?
Lakes in the area were created by crater-causing meteors and you can usually find some information leaflets if you go on some of the main trails. It’s not only a good, active hiking experience, but you can also learn things! That’s right up my alley!
I’ve been to Whiteshell numerous times, even though the drive is nearly 2 hours from where I live — longer if you’re more South Winnipeg than North. It doesn’t matter when I’ve gone or with whom I’ve gone or even where in Whiteshell I’ve gone, there has always been something breathtaking and beautiful to see. You can hike on the main paths or go and explore the rocky mounds that surround you.
As always, I try to find the highest point.
There’s something amazing about being above the trees whilst simultaneously being surrounded by them.
You’re in a prairie province, climbing up rocks, looking down upon trees, and running your hand through rushing rapids.
How can anyone live in a province that has some of the most beautiful flora, fauna, and geological collections, and say that there isn’t anything to see on the prairies?
If you’re travelling to Canada, certainly visit British Columbia — that’s what everyone thinks of when they think ‘Canada’ — but consider visiting the prairies as well.
If nothing else, looking over a flat expanse of land while the sun rises straight out of the land, its roundness and rays fragmented, is a magnificent experience that proves beauty exists in the prairies.