Canada by Bicycle Day 23: A guide to cycling across Canada. Arborg to Hnausa Beach Provincial Park.

Gimli

Today you will get your first glimpse of Lake Winnipeg, a notoriously beautiful and large lake. Canada’s fifth largest lake has many limestone cliffs, the erosion of which is responsible for the pristine white sand beaches around the south part of the lake.

Many natural phenomena occur on Lake Winnipeg due to its shallow average depth and massive area. Northern winds push water into the south end of the lake and can cause waves of more than one metre in height. These giant waves are notoriously dangerous and can occur seemingly out of nowhere.

Road conditions will be good until you hit HWY 222 and start heading south. HWY 222 is narrow and usually lacking a shoulder, but vehicles will generally be traveling at a more casual pace than on most Manitoba highways.

This is cottage country, so expect traffic to be heavy Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Save yourself the hassle and try to avoid traveling during these times.

Make sure to stop just off the highway at Hnausa Beach Provincial Park. This provincial park has campgrounds, washrooms and picnic tables and is a good spot to rest your legs and take a photo of this 418 kilometre-long lake.

Continue biking down HWY 222 until you reach Camp Morton Provincial Park on the shores of Lake Named after Monsignor Thomas Morton, this provincial park was developed during the 1920s as a summer-camp for orphaned and under-privileged children. Camp Morton has shower facilities and Yurt rentals available.

Don’t miss stopping at the city of Gimli. 5 797 local inhabitants enjoy this charming town that will make you feel as though you are in the Maritimes. Make sure to stroll around the large marina that houses commercial and recreational boats.

Whiskey fan? Well, even if you’re not, you might be interested to know that Gimli is where world-famous Crown Royal Whiskey is distilled. Unfortunately, tours are not available.

Gimli’s harbor is exceptional. Look to see fishermen in the area hauling in their catches, which are mostly white fish and pickerel.

The road from Gimli to Winnipeg Beach is densely occupied in the summer with tourists and seasonal businesses. Road conditions improve slightly after Gimli and even more after Winnipeg Beach.

Winnipeg Beach, in Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park, is a quaint lakeside resort town with a can’t-miss water tower at the south end of its popular beach.

Selkirk, population 9 515, is a full service town with all amenities a bike tourist could need. The area is famous for the massive Channel Catfish that anglers pull out of the nearby Red River, some of which can weigh over fifty kilograms.

Make sure you leave time for Manitoba Marine Museum, which aims to tell the nautical history of Lake Winnipeg and the Red River. The museum is located next to the Selkirk Municipal Campground, your scheduled stop for the evening. If you need bike parts check out Keystone Selkirk Source for Sports.

Kilometre Log
0.0Head east on HWY 68 towards Lake Winnipeg.
13.3Intersection of HWY 6 & HWY 68.
15.8Intersection of HWY 68 & HWY 222. Turn right onto HWY 222.
23.8Hnausa Beach Provincial Park.
37.2Exit left to Camp Morton Provincial Park.
45.7Enter Gimli. HWY 222 becomes HWY 9.
60.2Winnipeg Beach.
74.5HWY 17 dead-ends into HWY 9.
83.2Petersfield.
100.8Enter Selkirk on Easton Drive / HWY 9A.
103.1Turn left onto Manitoba Avenue.
103.8Turn left onto Main Street.
104.5Turn right on Queen Avenue.
105.3Selkirk Municipal Campground. Winnipeg.



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