By Lori Janeson
Located between the east and west shores of Lake Winnipeg, Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park has an almost overwhelming amount of activities to offer visitors, from bike rides to visits to historic townships.
For nature lovers, getaways are all about escaping the daily grind and enjoying everything nature has to offer. Boasting miles of almost untouched wilderness, this hidden gem is a place where you can do just that.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of three unmissable locations for nature lovers to check out at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park.
1. Grassy Narrows Marsh
Located between Hecla Island and the mainland, the Grassy Narrows Marsh is a fiercely protected habitat for local wildlife, including nesting Canadian geese and other waterfowl.
“The marsh offers visitors a chance to observe the thriving wildlife unobtrusively, with blinds provided for birdwatching and a large network of trails to take you off the beaten track and let you experience nature at its purest.” — Lori Janeson
Hardy hikers can’t miss the approximately 16 km Black Wolf Trail, which guides walkers deep into the heart of the island, where they can expect to get a glimpse of wolves, deer, foxes and beavers, along with countless birds. It’s also a great work-out!
2. Wildlife Viewing Tower Trail
Nature enthusiasts who don’t fancy a strenuous hike can enjoy a tranquil and picturesque 30 minutes stroll along the edge of the Grassy Narrows Marsh to the Wildlife Viewing Tower at the southern end of Hecla Island. The viewing tower is the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of Hecla Island’s elusive moose population. For the greatest chance to see the wildlife in action, time your visit for dawn or dusk and don’t forget to bring a jacket and your camera!
3. Sunset Beach
Is it really a holiday if you don’t spend some time soaking up the sun? When you’ve had your fill of bird-watching and hiking, why not head to Sunset Beach to relax and wind down? The chances are good to watch a flock of ravens learning to fly, a few dozen pelicans out for lunch or to see sailboats gliding along the lake. As the name suggests, visit the beach in the early evening to be treated to a truly spectacular sunset. While families will love the exciting trek along the limestone shores, sunset beach is a must-see for couples. For an unforgettable evening, pack a picnic and a blanket and watch the sun go down against this stunning, untouched backdrop.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of city life. Next time you need to escape and embrace the simpler things, make the trip to Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park and enjoy reconnecting with nature while you recharge your batteries.
Lori Janeson and her husband David are the owners of the Gull Harbour Marina on Hecla Island