The current Extreme Cold Warning will not last much longer with temperatures this weekend to reach around -5C, making for some ideal conditions to visit provincial parks.

Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton has announced that provincial parks will be free to enter for the entire month of February, allowing Manitobans and tourists the opportunity to partake in winter activities.

“In Manitoba’s provincial parks, winter is a season worth celebrating,” says Wharton. “Our government is pleased to make it easier for Manitobans to participate in invigorating, enjoyable winter experiences surrounded by our province’s natural beauty.”

Vehicle permits will also not be required for February. However, those looking to go on snowmobile trails must still have a valid Snopass.

Provincial parks have specially designed trails for cross-country skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing and hiking. Trail users are advised to follow the principles of “Leave no trace.”

Paint Lake, Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain parks also provide outdoor skating, hockey rinks, and toboggan hills. Teachers can book free guided field trips to Birds Hill, Spruce Woods and Whiteshell provincial parks, or utilize a virtual program to showcase the parks while remaining in the classroom.

National parks will still require an entry fee and vehicle permit.

You can find reports on trail conditions and advisories for provincial parks here.