Clear Lake, Manitoba – located inside Riding Mountain National Park – is a hidden gem few people outside of the province know to visit.
Thanks so very much to Simon’s mom, who grew up in the area and spent her summers as a child in Clear Lake. She told us all about Riding Mountain, and she was right – it is a hidden gem. We cannot wait to take her back home!
When Simon and I stop in there every year en route back to Toronto, the residents are overwhelmed and touched by having a couple all the way from Ontario in their wonderful little town.
In our opinions, Clear Lake/Wasagaming is one place that you MUST visit at some point. Yes, I know it is out of the way a bit, but trust me, it’s worth it.
On every license plate, it states, “Friendly Manitoba”, and I’ve never found another plate to be more accurate. The people of Clear Lake are by far the nicest people that Simon and I have ever met. And they love their town. They love Riding Mountain NP, and they love sharing the ins and outs of the park.
Where to stay:
Lake Audi Campground – You must love driving 30 minutes on a gravel road (with a chance to see bison, moose, and lynx), but you are well rewarded with the most peaceful and stunning setting of Audi Lake when the sun sets and then rises again in the morning. By far, the most beautiful campground we have stayed at.
Moon Lake Campground – Also quite peaceful, more buggy, but some nice private spots within. We’ve always had wonderful camp hosts at this location, too!
What to do:
We love hiking, as you will figure out soon enough, if you haven’t already. A few unique trails we have been on include: Arrowhead, Bald Hill, Moon Lake (linked off the campsite), and Gorge Creek.
Another activity that we love doing – EATING…
Where to eat:
Please visit TR McKoy’s Italian Restaurant. Order absolutely anything on the menu. The pizza is one of the best. The pastas are all stunning. Sandwiches. Appetizers. Drool!
*Note to you unfortunate people that do not live in Canada or who have not tasted the unofficial official Canadian cocktail – The Caesar. Best drink ever.
Clear Lake/Wasagaming is also home to a rare salamander. The Eastern Tiger Salamander is uncommon and little is known about them.
Careful where you step and drive, they are often found along pathways and crossing the roads in the early morning and late evening hours.
When we were all packed up and driving out of Wasagaming en route back to Toronto, we ran into (literally) over 100 of these guys attempting to cross the road we were on. We slowly crawled through, what I would describe at a salamander mine field, to ensure we didn’t run any of these little guys over.
Eventually we had to stop and take a few photos:
* note from the photo above of Simon – this road was so quiet, we did not see a car the entire 2 hour drive away from the park. So it was very safe for Simon as he took photos of these lil guys.
Ok – add this place to your bucket list, and don’t forget to go there hungry!