Looking to get away but don’t have infinite hours to spare? Birds Hill Provincial Park just may be the day trip you are looking for, then!
Located 10 minutes north of the Perimeter off Highway 59, BHP allows park-goers opportunities to engage in hiking, biking, rollerblading, horseback riding, swimming, camping, and in the winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There is a plethora of trails around the park, ranging in distances and terrains, from dirt to paved paths.
Personally, my favourite trail to hike is the Lakeview Trail. It is 7.2kms and is the perfect length of time to soak up some Vitamin N, especially if you are pressed for time. It is paved the entire way (so watch out for cyclists and rollerbladers!) and meanders through the woods and around the lake. If you can catch the sunset whilst hiking, even better! When timed appropriately, station yourself on the east side of the lake looking west during a sunset; it is stunning (the trail will inevitably pass the east side of the lake, so no need to trail off course).
If you are feeling ambitious, hike in your bathing suit! On a hot day, it will be a rewarding treat as you near the end of your trek.
Just before dusk, there is a good chance you will see newly engaged couples and photographers taking photos in the forest just off the North Drive entry point. Once you immerse yourself in all Birds Hill Park has to offer, it is easy to understand why this is a popular photo shoot spot – the location is beautiful!
If you are looking to spend more time in the park, thus completing a longer hike, I recommend Briddle-Path Trail which is 16kms in length or Hazelnut Trail which is 9kms in length.
Both are multi-seasonal. If short and snappy trails are more your speed then check out Bur Oak (1km), Nimowin (1.8kms), Papal Visit (1km), or Pine Ridge (2.4kms).
Birds Hill Park is a nostalgic place for me. When exiting the park over the bridge back to 59, one quick look to the right, over the Floodway, and you can see my parents’ rooftop! I have definitely spent a time or two in this park growing up and with it being so close to the city, it is a favoured spot of mine when I am in need of some serious vitamin N.
I highly recommend this park to be added to any Manitoban's bucket list!