Winter is coming…

We’ve had a fabulous fall this year, but with plummeting temperatures and snow in this week’s forecast, it’s becoming clear that the honeymoon with mild temperatures may soon be over.

But in the Whiteshell, that just gives you one more thing to look forward to. Cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling down the trails or through the deep snow on the lakes, winter festivals, or cozying up in the cabin by a warm fire and looking out over a frozen lake; there’s tons of ways to make the most out of winter in the Whiteshell.

Here’s a little video of some snowmobiling across the powdery lakes that may help you get your stoke-on for winter in the Whiteshell this year. Video courtesy of Scott Benson.




Sundown at Star Lake

Calm and quiet lakes, low sunlight sparkling off the water, mist rising in the early morning, mirror image sunsets: It’s no secret that fall is a great time of the year to explore the Whiteshell Provincial Park and snap a few photos.

As we head into freeze up, here’s a series of sunset photos taken in three weekends at Star Lake this fall.

Send your fall photos or freeze-up photos to

C: Marney Blunt. (No post-processing).

Weekend #1:

IMG_3624 copy IMG_3631 copy IMG_3638 copy IMG_3641 copyWeekend #2:

IMG_3670 copy IMG_3712 copy IMG_3716 copy IMG_3717 copyWeekend #3:

IMG_3779 copy IMG_3784 copy

Dock ladder to heaven.

Dock ladder to heaven.

A walk down the Whiteshell Memory Lane…

Little walk down Memory Lane, anyone?

Many of the original cottages in the Falcon and West Hawk Lake area were built in the 1940s, and are still owned by the members of the original family today.

Here’s a series of photos that may give some of those families a flashback to the good ol’ days at West Hawk Lake, Falcon Lake, Caddy Lake, and Star Lake. If you’re new to the Whiteshell or just enjoy day tripping, check out how things have changed throughout the years!

One thing has stayed the same, though: The Whiteshell Provincial Park is arguably still the most beautiful place in Manitoba.

Please feel to share your Whiteshell memories in the comments section! Have some vintage shots of your own from the Whiteshell? Send them to us at

Photos compiled by Brian Talling.
Source: History & Folklore of the Whiteshell Park South.

Whiteshell Provincial Park. Experience the Whiteshell.

Whiteshell Provincial Park. Experience the Whiteshell.


Caddy Lake rock tunnels.


Trans-Canada Restaurant, previously the West Hawk Inn Bar & Grill.


Crescent Beach Cottages. West Hawk Lake.

BabyFawn Cropped

Whiteshell Provincial Park. Experience the Whiteshell.

Whiteshell Provincial Park. Experience the Whiteshell.

Star Lake

Star Lake.


Trans-Canada Restaurant (West Hawk Inn). West Hawk Lake.


Main Beach. West Hawk Lake.

Main Beach. West Hawk Lake.

Trans-Canada Restaurant/West Hawk Inn

Trans-Canada Restaurant/West Hawk Inn

West Hawk Lake road.

West Hawk Lake road.

Whiteshell River Bridge.

Whiteshell River Bridge.

Trail Fest 2015

The South Whiteshell Trail Association (SWTA) is excited to announce their annual music festival will be bigger and better than ever!

SWTAThe 2015 Trail Fest will be on Sunday, September 6th! Come on down to the Falcon Ridge Ski Slopes for an afternoon hike or bike followed by live music, live art, kid’s activities, BBQ, and beer gardens. There will be a modest cover charge of $10/adult, $5/child, or pay as you can. The festivities will begin at 3:00 p.m. with a group bike or hike on trails of various lengths, all starting at the ski chalet parking lot and returning to the ski chalet. At 4:00 the outdoor beer gardens will open, kid’s activities will kick off, and Chrissy Sie-Merritt of South Moon Studios will begin a live art demonstration inside the chalet. Watch an artist in action, create wonder on canvas. ( for a preview) At 5:00 p.m. multiple BBQ’s will heat up and there will be hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie options available for purchase. There will also be homemade salads and desserts prepared by local residents. At 6:00 p.m. local musicians will take the stage. Some of the acts that have offered to entertain us so far are Dave Barchyn, Doug Edmond, Bill Hamilton, and more. If it is a little drier weather than last year, we hope to have an outdoor bonfire in the evening. Forget about closing up the cabin for the summer on the September long weekend and come celebrate with SWTA instead! Arrive at your convenient time. All proceeds from this event will go towards trail development and maintenance.

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2015 Falcon Lake Fun Fest

A carnival in a quaint tourist town nestled in the woods of the Canadian Shield!? Let’s be serious, who wouldn’t want to check that out?

Well you can certainly experience that from Aug. 21-23 at the annual Falcon Lake Fun Fest!


This year’s festival looks to be another action-packed event filled with carnival rides, live music, fun on the beach, beer gardens, pony rides and more.

Here’s a little schedule of what’s happening throughout the weekend:

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12th annual West Hawk Lake Meteor Fest

The 12th annual Meteor Fest is this weekend, marking the height of summer and a celebration of West Hawk Lake, that beautiful, deep, meteor-formed lake nestled in the south Whiteshell.

971670_10201516322288795_671373887_nThis year, Meteor Fest runs from Friday, July 10 to Sunday, July 12 and is packed with events that the whole family can enjoy – Everything from a parade to pony rides to street hockey to yoga on the beach to wakeboarding and more. Here’s a schedule of events throughout the weekend:

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Nourish your body, mind & creative self with South Moon Studio

This summer promises to overflow with unique experiences, creating lasting memories for you and your family. Chrissy Sie-Merritt, founder of South Moon Studio will be offering a variety of classes in visual and healing arts, from West Hawk to East Braintree.

Yoga on the beach, in the studio or at the Trails.

With eleven years of experience teaching yoga to all ages in the Whiteshell, Chrissy’s classes have become a trade mark for many as part of their unique summer experience. The traditional Beach Yoga at Meteor Fest is back again on Saturday July 11th, 8-9am. Throughout the summer you can start your day right with three different morning classes to choose from: southmoon3 Continue reading

First time to life time: Diving the depths of West Hawk Lake

11011090_426327150825973_8239746001487983746_nBy Patrick Doyle, diver, Blue Oasis Dive Centre
Photography by Jason Herlick, owner, Blue Oasis Dive Centre

My first experience diving at West Hawk Lake, Manitoba, came a few years ago when I was looking for somewhere local to keep up my skills as a scuba diver. Not being able to afford travelling south every year I asked around some of the dive shops in Winnipeg and it was suggested I try out West Hawk. It is only an hour and half away which is a lot cheaper and more convenient than a five hour flight. So I arranged to meet Jason Herlick, Michelle Wetton, and some other divers, rented the gear for the colder water, and made the drive. I’ve been a bit hooked ever since.

10995572_426326687492686_6702648329504754604_n 11244904_426326824159339_2930127029864954584_n Continue reading

Fin + Bone 4: Four ways to Experience the Whiteshell this May long weekend

Written by Marney Blunt, Experience the Whiteshell editor, for Fin + Bone 4:

Finally it is here! The May long weekend. The start of another season of summer time lake living in the beautiful cottage country of the Whiteshell Provincial Park. Whether you’ve been coming out to the lake all winter or you’re just opening up the cabin for another season, here are some things you can do to kick off the season. I recently wrote my top four picks of things to do on the May long weekend for Fin +Bone magazine. Have a look here and have a great May long weekend:

Glassy calm waters, echoing loon calls, eagles soaring overhead, towering pine trees, the eerie howls of wolves in the distance: These are just a few of the enchanting sights and sounds that many lucky people have experienced in the Whiteshell Provincial Park over the summer season.

Glad to say I’m one of those lucky people. Growing up with a cottage in the beautiful Canadian Shield terrain of the south Whiteshell has given me plenty of opportunities to venture throughout this gorgeous part of our province.

The older I’ve gotten, the more time I’ve spent in the Whiteshell during the ‘off season’. Truthfully, I love the Whiteshell in all four seasons, 365 days of the year. I honestly couldn’t think of a time I haven’t been excited to head down Highway 44 towards the lake. But growing up, the May long weekend was always an extra special time. While I was in school, the May long weekend was always the official start of another summer season of lake living. It meant school was almost done, and it was a taste of a few of the fun and exciting adventures I would get to do all summer long.

So to give you a taste of a few great things to do during the spring and summer season in this magical land known as the Whiteshell, here’s four ways you can experience the Whiteshell this May long weekend:

McGillivray Falls.

McGillivray Falls.

Hike the Whiteshell

One of my favourite things to do in the Whiteshell during the spring is hike the McGillivray Falls trail. McGillivray Falls is a self-guided, glacier-formed trail that is potentially one of the best trails to hike during the spring season as the rapids are rushing down from McGillivray Lake into Caddy Lake. The trail is located off Highway 44 near the Caddy Lake turnoff. The trail also features a shorter 2.8 km loop or a longer 4.8 km loop.

Mild temperatures and no bugs make the May long weekend one of the best times to hit up the hiking trails of the Whiteshell, and there are several other trails you might want to check out this weekend. Another great hike is the Hunt Lake trail, which is a 12.6 km trail that edges along the outskirts of Hunt Lake and the east side of West Hawk Lake, heading north towards Indian Bay. My favourite time to do this trail is at sunset, you can get a stunning view of the sunset over West Hawk Lake from the top of a tall cliff on the east shore. Another great one to do is the South Whiteshell trail, part of the Trans Canada Trail. Last August, a new portion of this trail opened up leading from the causeway (near the Falcon Lake Marina on the south shore of Falcon Lake) through the woods behind Falcon Lake and into the secluded and picturesque High Lake.

Hunt Lake.

Hunt Lake.

Cast a line in the Whiteshell

I’ve always loved fishing at the lake, as I little girl I mastered the art of catching tiny smallmouth bass in our boathouse at Star Lake. That was really all I knew, and it was all I needed to know to have fun. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was shown the ropes of fishing that I became, excuse the cheesy pun, completely hooked on it.

Although I still have a lot to learn, I can say one thing for sure: The May long weekend and walleye fishing just go hand-in-hand. Nothing says the start of opening fishing season like jigging for that huge master walleye or just heading out on the water to catch dinner. With a healthy population of beautiful fish, Falcon Lake is a walleye angler’s paradise. Last year, a lot of walleye were in the 23-27” range… So maybe in coming years the lake will be filled with masters, just saying. walleyeCheck out the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery

The Whiteshell Fish Hatchery is an amazing combination of history and fishery conservation. I had the awesome opportunity to tag along with some of the hatchery staff last year while they collected eggs and tagged walleye on Falcon Lake. The walleye eggs are then taken back to the hatchery where they will remain in incubator containers for about 21 days before reaching the eyed-egg stage, which last about six to ten days for walleye. The eggs then hatch into tiny fish referred to as ‘fry’, at this stage the walleye are stocked into the lakes. The survival rate for young fish at the hatchery can be 80 per cent, whereas in the wild the survival rate is one per cent.

The hatchery raises both cool water fish (walleye, northern pike, and lake sturgeon) and cold water fish (rainbow trout, brook trout, brown lake trout, arctic char, and trout hybrids including splake and tiger trout). The hatchery has big outdoor tanks where you can see a brood stock that includes brook trout, brown trout, tiger trout, and even lake sturgeon. But why am I telling you all this, get down there and check it out for yourself! One of the friendly staff at the hatchery would be more than happy to give you a tour. hatchery2 sturgPaddle the Whiteshell

I once had the opportunity to see the Whiteshell via floatplane, and it was mind-boggling how many lakes there are so close together. The Whiteshell is an endless chain of lakes just waiting to be explored. There are so many opportunities for different canoe and kayak routes, with easy portages between them. A classic and one of the most well known canoe routes is probably the Caddy Lake rock tunnels. You can rent a boat or canoe from Green Bay Resort or Caddy Lake Resort and head out through Caddy Lake and into South Cross Lake, and then through South Cross through the second tunnel into North Cross Lake. Several camping spots are located along the way and there is prime fishing in all three lakes. There are also several other lakes that are within portaging distance of this canoe route. canoe