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Powwow Country: Crow Wing Trail, Manitoba


Compiled by Shari Narine







Crow Wing Trail

Since the Crow Wing Trail is 191 kilometres long, there are plenty of attractions and events to discover along its route. The trail, which connects Winnipeg to Emerson, is Manitoba’s longest section along the yet to be fully completed Trans Canada Trail. The Roseau River ceremonial grounds on the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation is just one of the Aboriginal destinations on the Crow Wing Trail. Even if you walk the trail when an event isn’t planned, Murielle Bugera, the president of the Crow Wing Trail, said there’s a good chance residents of the Ojibwe-speaking First Nation will arrange for an activity to be held on their ceremonial grounds if a group requests it. “They would really love to be able to organize something for visitors,” Bugera said. “They love to talk to visitors about their culture.” Another nearby attraction on the trail is the Senkiw School Suspension Bridge, which was built during the 1930s to allow those living south of the Roseau River to go to classes in the hamlet of Senkiw, located less than two kilometres from the river. Though the school closed in 1967, the bridge has maintained its significance. It is one of only four pedestrian suspension bridges in Manitoba and is the only one designated as a Municipal Heritage Site. As for the entire Crow Wing Trail, it was registered with the Trans Canada Trail in 1999. The route includes a combination of gravel roads, undeveloped road allowances, community parks, sidewalks and even private properties, which connect the various communities and sites. Besides walking portions of the trail, visitors can cycle, horseback ride or cross-country ski. “It’s mostly self-guided,” Bugera said of the trail, which has frequent signs along the route. “You put yourself in the shoes of those that travelled the trails along the 1800s.” Plenty of Metis communities are among the destination stops along the trail. These communities include St. Norbert, St. Malo and St. Adolphe. The heritage guide, which is available on the trail’s website, lists events held at various parts of the year in the different communities. For those looking to explore on their own, the St. Norbert Heritage Park allows visitors to see how a landscape that First Nation people used for fishing, hunting and camping became a Metis settlement and then an agricultural community. Tours of restored Turenne and Bohemier houses, dating back before the 1870s, are also available. Further south along the trail is the St. Malo Provincial Park, one of Manitoba’s most popular parks. The St. Malo Gratto, built in 1902, is another popular attraction. Besides its park, those who visit St. Adolphe can learn about flood proofing methods in the community, which was devastated by floods in 1826 and 1852.

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