Dozens of Ways to Get Outside With CPAWS Manitoba in 2024

Katie BorgfjordEvents, News

by Katie Borgfjord, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Want to get outside and explore Manitoba? We’ll be offering dozens of Nature Club events in 2024 including (free!) group hikes, $5 paddle nights and classes like tree identification in Crescent Drive Park. 

And we’re starting the new year right by opening up registration for all our favourite hikes and cross-country ski meetups

So chase those winter blues away by filling your calendar with fresh air, exercise and friendly Nature Club faces. We’ve developed a wide range of programming and activities to help Manitobans of all ages and abilities enjoy the health and wellness benefits of nature.

A whopping 4,397 people registered for the 53 casual group hikes, paddle nights, workshops, interpretive events and webinars we offered in 2023. We hope to reach even more people in 2024.

Join us on the first Saturday of every month to explore the forested trails of our favourite parks within an easy drive of Winnipeg. 

We’ll be heading to Beaudry with hot chocolate and firewood for cross-country ski meet-ups in January and February. Then it’s back to group hikes: we’ll be checking out the tree carvings of Bois des Esprits in March and trying to keep our feet dry on the paved paths of Assiniboine Forest in slushy early April (totally worth it if we can catch the cacophony of spring frogs that echoes through the swampy forest).

The Nature Club event calendar gets pretty full when the weather warms up.

Be sure to subscribe to our weekly event newsletter so you can be among the first to know when registration opens for our classes in the park, interpretive events like birding for beginners and $5 paddle nights (offered in partnership with the Manitoba Canoe and Kayak Centre.) 

Hikers at Beaudry Park

We’re also expanding our family programming in 2024. Look for our activity tables at the zoo every Sunday and at festivals like Science Rendezvous and Clean Air Day throughout the year.

We’ll be looking for Manitoba’s provincial flower – the prairie crocus – along the Cedar Bog trail in Bird’s Hill Provincial Park in May. Then it’s off to La Barrière, the St. Adolphe Friendship Trail, the Stony Mountain Quarry Trail, and Beaudry in June, July, August and September. 

The Pinawa Suspension Bridge is our longest commute, but it’s well worth the 115 or so-kilometre drive to enjoy the fall colours and stone hills of the Canadian Shield in early October. 

The Halloween Hike at Bird’s Hill is the highlight of our year: hundreds of kids in costumes tromp along the Chickadee Trail, playing games and collecting candy at activity stations along the way. 

We wrap up 2024 with winter hikes in La Barrière and the charming St. Adolphe Friendship Trail.

Our partnership with Wilderness Supply also continues in 2024 with classes on how to get out and explore Manitoba in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Participants get a 20% discount on most items in the store. 

These community-building events and classes were designed to inspire people to explore Manitoba, gain the confidence to get out into the wilderness, develop new skills, and learn about Manitoba’s wildlife, birds, plants and natural environment. We hope you can join us! Most people who try the Nature Club end up coming back.  

Participants during our Nature Discovery Backpack event

2023 Round Up

We had so much fun meeting new people and exploring nature in 2023. We LOVED seeing all those kids in costumes at the Halloween Hike, and were really impressed with the strong and patient parents who dragged wagons with wee ones along the unexpectedly snowy trails. 

It’s wonderful to see so much diversity among Nature Club participants. We’ve met people who had never gone on a hike in the woods before and others who are lifelong nature lovers looking for a sense of community. We’ve chatted with seniors, families with young kids, new Canadians, and even the occasional students looking to refresh from their studies. 

Want to check out the trail before you head out? Check out our videos and blogs on Spirit Sands, Grand Beach, St. Adolphe Friendship Trail, Cedar Bog Trail, Beaudry Park, Assiniboine Park, and Chickadee Trail.

We’re usually having too much fun to remember to write down all the nice things people say. However, we did grab a few quotes in 2023 and will be sending out surveys in 2024 to gather more feedback. Be sure to click that link and tell us what you think: we’ll have 4 random draws a year for survey participants to win a Keep Manitoba Wild t-shirt. 

Here’s what a handful of the 4,397 people who registered for Nature Club activities in 2023 said about our events:

“We’ve been looking forward to this all year!” – a mom at the Halloween Hike

“We love participating in events with CPAWS; I believe it’s helping my kids have a deeper personal connection to nature as well as a deeper understanding of what the land has meant, and continues to mean, to Indigenous peoples,” Tree ID workshop participant. 

“(I love) the people and the scenery. Meeting new people is always fun, and different experiences,” Naomi, a Spirit Sands hike participant.

“We get emails from your group that tell us about all the available hiking activities. And it’s really inspiring to see that,” Spirit Sands hike participant.

“I love hiking, and I love Spirit Sands. I just want everybody to do their part so that we can continue this for generations to come so that they can enjoy the great days that we got to enjoy. Thank you to CPAWS,” Spirit Sands hike participant.

Check out these blogs to hear more about what up to:

Hiking Through the Vast Manitoba Desert, at Spirit Sands

Exploring Manitoba’s Arctic Coastline

Hike at Cedar Bog Trail in Birds Hill

How to Register:

View all our events on our Eventbrite page. Once you register we will send you reminder emails.

Be sure to subscribe to our events newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Eventbrite so you don’t miss out on upcoming events.

Hope to see you out on the trails!

Best, Katie

Participants at a CPAWS field trip

Outdoor Fun: What to Expect on Your Group Hike/Activity

Sometimes we just want to have some fun and enjoy a friendly chat with a stranger.

Our group hikes and activities are an easy way to get outside and explore Manitoba’s beautiful parks with other people.

CPAWS staff will share their love of nature on a relaxing hike along our favourite trails.

There won’t be any lectures along the way: when we stop for water and snack breaks we’ll keep the conversation casual and light.

If you’ve got questions we’ll do our best to answer them. However, we are not formally trained park interpreters. We encourage people seeking learning opportunities to check out our outdoor learning programming or try an interpretive event offered by Manitoba Parks.

How can we help?

If you have any questions or require any additional accommodations to participate, please email us at [email protected].

About the CPAWS Manitoba Nature Club

CPAWS Manitoba’s Nature Club is designed to help Manitobans get outside, make new friends and learn about the wonders of nature.

We’ve developed a wide range of programming and activities to help Manitobans of all ages and abilities enjoy the health and wellness benefits of nature. More than 19,000 people have registered for our group hikes, $5 paddle nights, interpretive programs, classes in the park and webinars since December 2020.

Be sure to subscribe to our events newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Eventbrite so you don’t miss out on upcoming events.

About CPAWS Manitoba

CPAWS Manitoba has been instrumental in establishing 23 new parks and protected areas in our province. That’s an area larger than Lake Winnipeg at nearly 26,000 square kilometres. Our goal is to protect half of Manitoba’s lands and waters.

Safety Protocols

CPAWS Manitoba takes the safety of all program participants seriously. We bring a first aid kit to all Nature Club activities and ensure that at least one person leading our programs is certified in first aid.

All CPAWS Manitoba staff members have cleared a criminal record and vulnerable sector background check with the Winnipeg Police Department.

This program is made possible thanks to the generous support of individual donors, The Winnipeg Foundation, The Province of Manitoba through Green Team and Building Sustainable Communities grants, Telus Friendly Future Foundation, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.