There are many hiking trails here in the Southeast and we are reminded to be prepared for the conditions.
Explorer and photographer Shayne Thiessen spends a lot of time on various trails throughout the province and he says it is more enjoyable when we are prepared for the elements.
“There’s too many people that go out hiking and they don't bring any water along with them,” says Thiessen. “I talked to a firefighter a few months ago and he's rescued people off of the Mantario trail and usually the biggest problem is people end up being dehydrated and they just can't carry on.”
Thiessen says some areas have a lot more mosquitoes than others, so it is always handy to have some bug spray with you.
“I did a hike here in the Whiteshell last year and then the next day I did a hike farther West, and in the Whiteshell area, just mosquitoes everywhere. And then in the western part of the province, there were no bugs at all it. Just makes night and day difference.”
Thiessen says Manitoba has many great hiking trails of various distances and varying degrees of challenging terrain.
“We’re very lucky,” he says. “The Whiteshell is right nearby and that gives us lots of options. You could spend pretty much all summer long hiking and not have to walk down the same trail twice.”
Mantario Trail: 60.4-km point-to-point trail near West Hawk Lake. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.
“Usually takes about four days to hike," he says, “but you hike the trail, and you might cross... I think you cross two train tracks, but other than that there's absolutely no signs of civilization. There's just an abundance of wilderness just beside us and it's really, really cool.”
Hunt Lake Trail: 7.8-mile trail near West Hawk Lake.
“Probably one of my favourite trails that you do in a day is a Hunt Lake Trail,” says Thiessen. “It's got lots of up and down. It's got absolutely beautiful scenery and actually right in that area close by is Dragon Fire Trail.”
Dragon Fire Trail: 1.1-km out-and-back trail near Division No. 1, Manitoba. This is generally considered an easy route; it takes an average of 17 min to complete. The trail is open year-round.
“And it's kind of like Falcon Lakes ‘Top of the World.’ You know, it's the same idea, but yeah, it's very beautiful,” Thiessen says.
Top of the World Trail: 3.4 km hike, takes around 43 minutes to complete. This trail takes you on a loop through the scenery around Falcon and West Hawk lakes.
Hansons Creek: 7.1-km out-and-back trail near McDougalls Landing
“It has a beautiful red bridge right near the end of the trail. The goal is to get to the bridge, that's the big landmark there.”
Thiessen shares about some of his adventures at explorewithshayne.com and you will find stories to go with incredible photographs of adventures in nature.
Last fall, he wrote about his experience hiking to "one of Manitoba’s most magnificent waterfalls," Pisew Falls. It can be found around 75 km south of Thompson.
Thiessen also explored the trail to the Kwasitchewan falls, has a height of 14 meters, making this Manitoba's largest waterfalls.
He uses his photography skills to capture the beauty that surrounds him as he explores the nature that surrounds him.
-With files from Carly Koop