Mantario Trail – Day 1 – a travel day

Our family has always spent their leisure time outdoors.  Camping, hiking, snowshoeing, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing – you name it, we probably like it.  Maybe it is just that we like campfires, well any fire actually, and being outdoors allows for us to feed that need.

My two sons and I started planning to do the Mantario trail some time ago.   We live in Manitoba, so if you want any multi-day hikes, it is either this one, or one of the trails in Riding Mountain National Park.   Beyond that we are driving or driving and flying.

We got together at Josh’s in Beausejour to get our packs sorted out (we all live in different places), made sure they all weighed about the same, said goodbye to our families and headed down Highway 44.  As with most long trails that are not loops, you need 2 vehicles or you have to arrange in advance for someone to pick you up at the spot you will end up at – at the time you are supposed to be there.   We took two vehicles.    When we got to the corner of Hwy 312 just past Rennie we turned into the South Trailhead parking lot just off the north side of the highway.   Parked one vehicle in a large parking lot, made sure we had the keys with us, loaded all the gear into the other and backtracked to Hwy 44, turned towards Rennie and then turned onto Hwy 309 which will take us to the North Trailhead at the top of Big Whiteshell Lake.

So as it was getting late into the day, we planned on staying at the Big Whiteshell Lake Provincial Park campsite, then get up early in the morning and start the hike.   That worked out reasonably well other than there is nobody at the Park late at night, and you can’t get any firewood either – only available for purchase.   So we set up our tent, scrounged around for firewood and cooked steak, fried potatoes with onions and mushrooms for supper.  We sat around the fire for a bit, then packed our bags into the truck in the event any bears were around.

cooking supper - the propane stove stayed in the truck as we had our lightweight stoves

About trailsandtrips

I am a consultant in the forestry and environmental fields and spend my recreational time in a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
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2 Responses to Mantario Trail – Day 1 – a travel day

  1. Erica says:

    How much time did it take to drive from winnipeg, drop off the vehicle as you did and arrive at the north trailhead?

    • I would give yourself a good 2 to 2.5 hours. If you park one vehicle at the south end and then head to the north end, you can camp at the park campsite and get out early in the morning. If you get there late, there is nobody at the office and no firewood either.

      if your plan is to leave a vehicle at the north end and start at the south end, add a good hour to your driving time, as you have to drive 60 kms on a windy road to get back.

      just make sure you have the keys in a safe place so you can get in and drive off with the vehicle you parked. We have met people that didnt have their keys with them and they had to scramble to figure a way to get their keys recovered.

      have a good hike.

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