Manitoba Lake Life

August 10, 2014
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West hawk Lake

Photo essay of a Manitoba summer tradition: going to the lake

Going to the lake is a Manitoba summer tradition. After surviving a long, cold, Canadian prairie winter, Manitobans are eager to take advantage of the many lakes and waterways in the province. Some head to their own cottages. Others rent time at a cottage. Sites accommodating tents, camper trailers, or RVs can be booked at provincial campgrounds. Many provincial parks have seasonal campgrounds, where you can lease a spot for the summer if your name happens to be one of the lucky ones selected in the campground draw. And there are privately owned parks where you can lease a seasonal spot for your trailer.

Camper set-up

Setting up

Falcon Lake main beach

Main beach at Falcon Lake in the Whiteshell

lake games

Time to play

path through woods

Or go hiking


Or rest at the campsite

lake deck

Towels and life jackets drying on the deck


Fishing from the dock or by boat

fish to clean

Need to clean/gut the fish we’ve caught


If you’re lucky, you will see deer

campground garbage enclosure

If you’re lucky you won’t see a bear. Garbage is caged up to minimize that possibility.

wild raspberries

Wild raspberries will be ready in a week or so

camping meal

Why does food taste so much better at the lake?



Roasting marshmallows

Roasting marshmallows

fire colour crystals

Added some colour crystals to this fire


Open spots at Falcon Lake waiting for campers

Sunset over Clear Lake

Sunset over Clear Lake

Sunset over Bird River

Sunset over Bird River


Manitoba lake life: a summer tradition

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  • Reply
    Jo at ZigaZag blog
    August 11, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Oh it looks absolutely idyllic Donna! So much to do, and what a fabulous setting just to relax in. My favourite lake is in North West Australia, Lake Argyle which is actually as big as an inland sea (they say).

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 11, 2014 at 12:45 am

      The only place in Australia I’ve been to so far is Sydney, but would like the opportunity to see more of it. Falcon Lake is a pretty good size, but I don’t know the dimensions. There are two very large lakes in Manitoba that I think would qualify as inland seas – Lake Manitoba with an area of over 4600 kilometres and Lake Winnipeg with an area of over 24000 kilometres. There are some great beaches along Lake Winnipeg, but I didn’t have photos to include in this post.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2014 at 12:19 am

    I have cross country skiied in Whiteshell and am actually heading back there in about 10 days time for some canoeing, It looks very peaceful

  • Reply
    August 11, 2014 at 6:16 am

    Wow! this is impressive. Real fun time together.

  • Reply
    Marilyn Jones
    August 11, 2014 at 6:31 am

    I can certainly understand why so many people enjoy this kind of vacation; so many family and friend memories! Your photos paint such a peaceful and friendly scene!!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 11, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Thanks Marilyn. Time at the lake does create great family and friend memories.

  • Reply
    The GypsyNesters
    August 11, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Looks like heaven to us!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 11, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Sometimes the best places we can travel to are close to home.

  • Reply
    wanda ariano
    August 11, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Thank you Donna for this post. It brings back wonderful memories. I love the area around Lake Winnipeg. Your beautiful photos illustrate the post so very well. Bravo!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 11, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Lake memories are special, aren’t they?

  • Reply
    Anita Oliver
    August 11, 2014 at 9:14 am

    We lived in Montana for many years and I can definitely relate to the Manitoban desire to enjoy the warmer seasons and spend as much time as possible outside. The water looks inviting but I’ll bet it can be bone-chilling at the beginning of summer!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      The water can be bone-chilling at the beginning of summer. Sometimes it is still bone-chilling mid-summer on deeper lakes. But it can be nice and refreshing after a spell of hot days.

  • Reply
    Jackie and Joel Smith
    August 11, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Just tried to leave a comment and half way through it might have posted. . .or disappeared. What I was going to say was how universal camping is: the scenes you showed could have been Washington State or British Columbia. We just were in Greece and I was amazed at the number of campers (rented or owned) we passed on the roadways in the Peloponnese. Nice post, Donna!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Camping does appear to be universal. We had an interesting trip years ago with a motorhome through south-western England. The campgrounds were different than the ones back in Canada, but the spirit was similar.

  • Reply
    Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru
    August 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Aloha Donna – This reminds me so much of life at my husband’s family cabin in Northern Minnesota. They’ve been summering there for years. Gotta love that walleye fishing! Nothing like going “up to the lake.”

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      The landscape is very similar to Minnesota. In Manitoba, we call walleye “pickerel”.

  • Reply
    The Restless Voyager
    August 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Wonderful photos. Such sweet memories! I’m jealous!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Why does food taste so much better lakeside?! And toasted marshmallows over an open campfire?! Delightful.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 12, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Don’t know why the food tastes so good lakeside, but know it does.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    I’m not sure my last comment went through, so this is just me again saying that looks like a perfect weekend!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Beautiful place…

  • Reply
    Neva Fels
    August 12, 2014 at 12:17 am

    We went camping almost every weekend when we had small children. Waterskiing and fishing were the highlights of the day. I would love to try camping in Canada and your photos have me yearning big time.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 12, 2014 at 7:48 am

      I’m sure you’d enjoy camping in Canada.

  • Reply
    Doreen Pendgracs
    August 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    You’ve highlighted some wonderful Manitoba favourites, Donna. We used to have a family cottage at Star Lake, so I know West Hawk and Falcon well. It’s now great living at the lake in the Interlake. Lots of terrific beaches here, too. Come visit some time!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 13, 2014 at 7:54 am

      And there is still so much of Manitoba favourites I didn’t cover! Love to visit sometime.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I’m so glad I read this post as I’m debating a trip to this area in the winter. It looks a little similar to Vermont and I miss the seasons living in Florida. I do remember savoring the summers while in Vermont!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      August 13, 2014 at 7:58 am

      Manitoba definitely has seasons. Winter in Manitoba is quite different than the summertime lake experience. It can be pretty. And there are outdoor activities – skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling,and ice fishing for example, providing it is not too cold. Visiting during the time of Festival du Voyageur in February could be fun.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Wonderful pictures that remind me of when I was a girl scout, Donna. Am sure you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    Irene S. Levine
    August 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Looks like a great way to wrap up the summer and all its sweet memories!

  • Reply
    Donna Janke
    August 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks Irene.

  • Reply
    Cathy Sweeney
    August 16, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Tent, RV or cottage — I’m ready. It all looks so idyllic in your pics. I haven’t been camping in ages, but always loved it. We talk about it every once in a while, but other plans get in the way. Camping in the fall would be nice…..

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