Manitoba

Province offers free park access this weekend, even as some Manitoba campgrounds remain flooded

The Manitoba government is encouraging people to take advantage of a weekend of free access to provincial parks while also warning people to check ahead to make sure their destination isn’t flooded out.

Whiteshell, Nopiming, Rainbow Beach provincial parks still closed

A campfire burns at Tulabi Falls in Nopiming Provincial Park last year. Provincial Road 314, which runs through Nopiming Provincial Park, remains closed, though the park itself will be mostly open to camping again this weekend. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

The Manitoba government is encouraging people to take advantage of a weekend of free access to provincial parks while also warning people to check ahead to make sure their destination isn't flooded out. 

From June 10 to 12, vehicle permits won't be required to access provincial parks, although regular campground fees still apply.

The province is also continuing its annual free family fishing weekend, which started in 1992. On June 11 and 12, people can fish without a licence, except in national parks. 

Sloan Cathcart, head of interpretation with Manitoba Parks, said some areas of the province are still significantly impacted by flooding, particularly in the southeast, in Whiteshell and Nopiming provincial parks.

"The northern area of Whiteshell has been closed along the Winnipeg River system for a few weeks now, and the closure will probably stay on for a little bit here as the Winnipeg River has been in flood stage and is just cresting here this week," he said in an interview with CBC Manitoba's Janet Stewart on Wednesday.

The Lake of the Woods Control Board announced Tuesday that the Winnipeg River had crested from the Ontario border to Seven Sisters Falls, Man., just west of Whiteshell Provincial Park.

The river's peak flow at Seven Sisters Falls was approximately 125,000 cubic feet per second, roughly 3.5 times the usual volume for this time of year.

Highway 307 remains closed at the entrance to Whiteshell Provincial Park to everyone except property owners affected by the flooding.

In Nopiming, Provincial Road 314 is still closed. Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation are working to repair damage from the spring melt in April, which caused a number of washouts, Cathcart said.

In the west, Rainbow Beach Provincial Park on the southwestern shore of Dauphin Lake is completely closed due to flooding in the last week, after a storm in the area.

"We're cleaning that up and hope to have Rainbow Beach open next week," Cathcart said.

People should check the Manitoba Parks website and Manitoba 511 to plan their travel, he said.

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