Wildlife & Migratory birds & Ft. Whyte Nature Centre, Winnipeg
The Fort Whyte Nature Centre, inside the city limits has boardwalks over marshes, a 70 acre bison enclosure, thousands of geese during migration times, and a building with birds during the winter, an aquarium with local fish, and many exhibits.
There are three major 1 km long trails next to lakes and over boardwalks, and a 2 km path to the bison enclosure
Besides the lakes at Fort Whyte, you can see in the photos real and stuffed animals, historic displays,etc. The occassionally they raise wounded deer who become used to people pretty quickly. If nature is remotely your thing, go to Ft. Whyte.
I seem to visit the centre once a year or so - whenever people visit. Please check out my travelogue for other photos we have taken there.
This urban park was developed from a restored mining project. The several lakes are filled-in quarries. However, only the remnant railway tracks hint at the park's not-so-pretty past. The park isn't very big and can certainly be thoroughly explored in 1/2 to one day, depending on what your interests are. There are five walking trails that take you through marsh (boardwalk), forest, and grassland. Along the way, you will encounter a variety of birds. There are also a bison enclosure and a prairie dog exhibit, a sod house depicting early settler life, and an interpretive centre that houses an array of stuffed animals and exhibits. The visitor centre has a gift shop and cafe that I've been told serves excellent food.
Rentals: summer - canoe & rowboat; winter - snowshoes
Cycling, sailing (summer), and tobogganing (winter) are other activities offered at the park. There is a large toboggan slide onsite (toboggans complimentary).
Programs: various day programs and courses (e.g. canoeing lessons)
All rental and admission prices, program information, directions, maps, and hours available online.
FortWhyte Farms, located just before the entrance to the park, is a program that gets at-risk youths involved in urban agriculture. Products (vegetables & fruits, herbs, honey) are sold at market every year, form late June to mid-September. Check website or phone for details.
Hidden inside the South West corner of the city is the Fort Whyte Centre nature preserve.
Fort Whyte features over 400 acres of woodlands, wetlands, grasslands and lakes.
Quite a few different outdoor activities you can do here from canoeing, rowboat, snowshoeing, bison buggy (yes, the have a real live herd of buffalo).
The area is also home to a resident population of white-tailed deer and many other wildlife species including a variety of waterfowl. Inside the centre, the Aquarium of the Prairies provides an underwater view of Winnipeg's river habitats.
As the schedule of activities is constantly changing, call the centre to find out what is going on while you are in town.
Oh, and although it has "Fort" in the name, there is no actual fort at the site.