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 whiteshell.lakes@gmail.com.

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. (www.southmoonarts.com 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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Bait your hook, drop your line, and jig em’ up…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

A time of the year so many Manitoban anglers anticipate… The opening day of the 2015/2016 fishing season. This Saturday, May 9 marks the first day of open water fishing in the Whiteshell. Whether it’s walleye, black crappie, smallmouth bass, northern pike, or lake trout that you fancy, be sure head out to the Whiteshell Provincial Park this weekend to catch those first fish of the season in one of the beautiful lakes in the park.

IMG_3029IMG_3154For the more competitive anglers, be sure to come out and fine tune your jigging skills for the 2015 Walleye Masters Cup on Falcon Lake, scheduled for Saturday, June 6 this year. The tournament is in support of the Central Walleye Trail, Fish Futures, and the Never Alone Foundation. Continue reading

2015 Whiteshell Winter Wonderland Bucket List

IMG_0535 copyWinter is officially here… And we Manitobans can make it through this. Although the past few weeks have been surprisingly mild, you may be waiting for the times where you’ll be scraping your car windows, getting stuck in the deep, heavy snow, or freezing at the bus stop. However, as stated once before on this blog, winter rules in the Whiteshell, and we’re not just saying that. Some even say winter is their favourite season at the lake. Winter is what you make it, and the Whiteshell has endless opportunities for fun winter activities in the most beautiful and scenic place in Manitoba. So instead of staying cooped up inside counting down the days until the snow melts, bundle up and venture out to the winter wilderness wonderland of the Whiteshell, where winter truly rules. To kick off a season of winter fun, here is our 2015 Whiteshell Winter Wonderland Bucket List: Continue reading

Whiteshell Business: Falcon Beach Ranch

IMG_9270In Falcon Lake back in 1970s, there was a little ranch that was up for sale that consisted of twelve horses, a small barn, and a trailer. That little ranch now has 35 horses, seven ponies, sheep, chickens, a gift shop, and three beautiful log rental cabins and is now known as the Falcon Beach Ranch.

Murray Imrie had purchased the ranch in 1978 along with a friend. At the time his down payment was a horse and a saddle.

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Whiteshell Summer Bucket List

The ice is melting, the trees are budding, and the birds are singing; spring is here and summer is just around the corner. So are all the awesome summer activities in the Whiteshell. Summer is the most-happening season in the Whiteshell. Whether you want to explore the back-country of the Whiteshell or just relax and take in the scenery, the Whiteshell is the place to be in the summer. Here are the best ways you can Experience the Whiteshell this summer:

South Cross Lake - Photo by Marney Blunt.

South Cross Lake – Photo by Marney Blunt.

1 – Hike the Whiteshell – There are many different hiking trails to explore in the Whiteshell. Whether you want to climb the cliffs of the Hunt Lake Trail, take a casual stroll, or ride your bike through the South Whiteshell Trail, there are a variety of gorgeous hiking trails that will take you deep into the beauty and nature of the Canadian Shield. Some great hiking trails to check out include the Hunt Lake Trail alongside the east shore of West Hawk Lake, the McGillivray Falls Trail, the South Whiteshell Trail (part of the Trans-Canada Trail), the Mantario Trail, the trails at Falcon Ridge, and many more! Check out falconwesthawk.com for more information on these trails, and keep checking Experience the Whiteshell for articles and photos this summer!

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History and Folklore of the Whiteshell Park South: Republished.

Everyone has a story from the lake. Whether it’s a story about your favourite weekend at the lake, the biggest fish you caught, or the day you finished building the family cabin, the stories and events that happen at the lake tend to stick with people throughout the years. Every cottager or local has a story about how or why they came to the lake. And in the Southeast Whiteshell, some of those stories date back to the 1930s or 1940s.


The republished History and Folklore of the Whiteshell Park South.

Luckily, many of those stories can be found in History and Folklore of the Whiteshell Park South, which has recently been republished. While the book was first published in 1991, author and former Whiteshell-local Olive Zimmerman has been documenting life in the Whiteshell ever since the ice froze over on West Hawk Lake in 1951. Olive then began to record ice-in and ice-off every year and began to save articles from the Whiteshell Echo, a publication that she wrote for at the time.

Olive’s husband, Adolph Zimmerman, came to the Whiteshell before World War II and throughout the years worked as a carpenter, a diamond driller at the Star Lake gold mine, and for Manitoba Conservation. Olive, who had originally hailed from Desford, MB and now lives on Vancouver Island, came to the Whiteshell in 1950.

“I had just come out of home ec. school in Brandon, broke,” said Olive. “And I decided that before I did anything else, I was going to spend a summer at a resort.”

Olive got a job as a waitress at the Trans-Canada Restaurant, which is now the West Hawk Inn Bar & Grill, and packed her bags and moved to West Hawk Lake for the summer. However, that summer turned into a permanent life for Olive for nearly 50 years. Olive and Adolph were married in 1951 and it wasn’t long after that Olive started to make notes and record things that happened in the community, even though she didn’t really know what she was going to use the material for.


Olive and Adolph Zimmerman.

“I realized that there was a lot of stuff that people didn’t have access to,” said Olive. “And I was bit-by-bit writing down these things before I ever decided that we need a book, because there’s no library in the area to save all this.”

Between 1958 and 1962, while they still owned and operated Lakeside Cabins on West Hawk Lake, Olive really began to record bits and pieces of local events that would make history. She continued to do so after they sold that business and moved to the junction of Highway 301 and the Toniata Road.

At this time Adolph had started on permanent staff with the Department of Highways while the scale was still located in the West Hawk townsite, before the Highway 1 location opened. He moved on to the new location by the Ontario border, while continuing to help cottagers with their cottage and dock repairs and working on his trap line during the winter months. Olive helped with their propane business on Highway 301. That along with raising two children, pursuing her interests in crafts, and helping in the community still did not keep Olive busy enough. She continued her hobby as the local historian.


Olive Zimmerman.

“I had started gathering stuff, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with it at the time. In the end, I was off and on (writing) for ten years. I spent a lot of time seriously thinking if I could get enough material for a book.”

Being locals, Olive and Adolph knew a lot of people in the area and Olive began to encourage others to write stories about their family cottages or homes. That’s how she got the story of an archaeology dig on Caddy Lake, or the one of the old time residents who took a cast iron stove apart to make several trips across Falcon Lake, and then reassembled it when they got to their cottage, along with many other interesting stories found in her book.

Finally after years and years of collecting information, Olive decided to publish it as a history book. History and Folklore of the Whiteshell Park South was first published in 1991, and has now been republished, thanks to Paul and Marg Duncan. The republished version includes all of the original material, and now includes an index and some added information about the recent upgrades to the school, the medical centre, and to the West Hawk Lake townsite.

“I really like what they have done to my book, and I love the cover,” said Olive.

Olive added that it is now up to the next generation to publish the next bit of history in the Whiteshell.

“Keep saving all the write ups,” said Olive. “I have a big envelope of writing. People who are interested in this should keep write ups that make history and keep writing for the next book. You couldn’t put another addition on my book. It would have to be a completely new book instead of reproducing the first one.”

“To each and every story there is some history – That’s what makes a book,” said Olive. “Thank you everyone who contributed.”

We say, “Thank YOU, Olive, for keeping this treasure trove of stories and giving it to us!”

DSC_0704 copy

Olive Zimmerman.

The republished edition of History and Folklore of the Whiteshell Park South is available for purchase in local businesses in the Southeast Whiteshell.