Canada 150 – Riding Mountain National Park

There are no mountains at Riding Mountain National Park.  Well, one of the park staff joked that if you lie on your back and squint a lot, some of the escarpment can look like a mountain.

Wasagaming beach

My arrival wasn’t very promising, as I drove up and down highway 10 inside the park looking for the visitor centre.  I finally gave up and decided to go to a campsite and ask, so I turned at a sign that said Wasagaming, and discovered not only a campsite but a whole town!  With a Visitor Centre.  OK, so signage is not their strong point, but what a wonderful surprise.  And a beach.

The folks at the Visitor Center said that some folks think it reminds them of Banff, but to me it is almost exactly like Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver (minus the yoga).  And with 90% less people, although there were quite a few around for this beautiful weekend, and the main campground was full.  They had boat rental, lots of places for a picnic and bbq, and I became a regular at a place called The Foxtail Cafe where they have a daily happy hour that meant I could afford a pizza and a glass of wine every day.  This was a good thing because I ran out of fuel for my camp stove, and there was none availble in any of the nearby stores.

Lake Audy Campground

After one night at the main Wasagaming campground, I wanted something a bit more remote and

Lake Audy sunset

prairie-like.  Riding Mountain is at the junction of three main zones:  deciduous forest, boreal forest and grasslands (see what I learned at the Visitor Centre?)  So I chose to camp at Lake Audy, which was beautiful and remote and peaceful (and flat).  Only the sound of the loons at night, and the inquisitive ground squirrels trying to get into my car.

Four days wasn’t long enough – see post on The Hundredth Meridian for info on and pictures of the bison.