Feb 122017
 

Winnipeg Winter Fun at a Nature Preserve: FortWhyte Alive

Winter at FortWhyte Alive in Winnipeg, Manitoba

FortWhyte Alive is a 640-acre nature preserve in southwest Winnipeg committed to environmental educational and promoting understanding of the natural world. It is a place to get outside and experience nature. I’ve written about summer at FortWhyte Alive in Alive with Flora, Fauna and Fun. Winter offers an entirely different experience.

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive - trails

There are seven kilometres of forest trails for cross-country skiing, Nordic walking, snowshoeing or, as in my case, just plain walking.

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive

Benches to rest along the way may be snow-covered

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive: sod house

Snow-covered prairie sod house

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive: sod house

Inside the sod house

The sod house was empty this day. Even without the stove on, the house was warmer than outside. It was a particularly warm day and I did not need to linger long to warm up. On Sunday afternoons, “pioneers” are in the house providing a glimpse into the past. Special events sometimes occur at the sod house, such as learning to make craft honey ale.

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive: skating

There is a skating rink on the lake

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive: Tobogganning

And a toboggan slide – sleds provided

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive: tobogganning

The toboggan slide path

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive: tobogganning

These two slid a good long way

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive

This small hill along the trails had obviously also been used for tobogganing

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive: snowshoeing

Snowshoes are available for rent. There were a couple of school groups learning to snowshoe. I overheard one boy, about ten years of age, proudly proclaim he only fell twice.

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive: firepit

No fire was burning in the fire pit, but I could still smell wood smoke from an earlier fire

There are also opportunities to ice fish. Guided walks are scheduled on Sunday afternoons. The Nordic Walk group and the Snowshoe Club meet regularly. Special events include cross-country ski lessons, a scavenger hunt, snowball target practice, and a fat bike race.

And if you need to warm up, there is an indoor interpretative centre with an aquarium of local freshwater fish, a prairie dog and burrowing owl exhibit, and a museum of mounted wildlife. There is also a restaurant.

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive

Cart at FortWhyte Alive

Nothing particular to do with FortWhyte Alive activities, but I liked the look of this cart on display in front of the Interpretative Centre

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive

The squirrel didn’t mind that the picnic table was covered in snow

Winnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive

Children love rolling down a hill, whether it is grass-covered or snow-covered

When winter temperatures become bitter, I tend to cocoon inside my home. But there are also less bitter winter days when it is good to get outside, have some fun and enjoy winter’s beauty.

PIN ITWinnipeg Winter Fun at FortWhyte Alive nature preserve

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  8 Responses to “Winnipeg Winter Fun at a Nature Preserve”

  1. Looks like a good time. We’ve had very little winter this year. Have to admit I miss it a bit.

    • Ken, having spent the previous four winters away from Manitoba and being back now, I can appreciate missing it a bit. A bit – that wears off after long stretches of cold. Fortunately, we’ve had a number of mild spells this winter.

  2. How beautiful and what fun this would be if I were closer.

  3. This looks like tons of fun–like when I lived in Red Lodge, MT where this is a whole outside life to be lived. My great niece & nephew are 5 and 4 years old and already have snowshoes! Like Ken, we’ve had very little winter this year (not complaining), so my cross country skis are languishing in the basement.

    • RoseMary, it’s been years since I’ve cross-country skiied. It was something I only did a few times and had always thought I’d take lessons and take it up more seriously, but haven’t done that yet.

  4. Loved your photo of the old cart, Donna! We lived in Montana for several years and, as much as I dreaded the long winters, there were the perfect days outside where everything became a winter wonderland. Looks like your walk through the nature preserve was one of those crisp and clear days where everything sparkles! Anita

    • Anita, this was definitely one of those crisp, clear, sparkling days. A nice reminder of the good parts of winter. It’s always a lift to see children having fun outside on these type of days.

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