GRAND BEACH PROVINCIAL PARK
Admittedly, I’m a total roadie. So you might wonder what authority I have to write about mountain biking. But the trails in Manitoba are where cycling started for me, and perhaps this opportunity can serve as a tribute to where my love for two wheels was born.
Even after stopping racing mountain bikes, Grand Beach remains my favourite place to ride when taking a break from the pavement. A growing number of Manitoba’s cyclists have taken great care of the trails there, creating even more routes to explore.
Only 100 kilometres from downtown Winnipeg is Grand Beach Provincial Park. Located on the east shore of Lake Winnipeg, the Park is home to a multitude of trails, which are, in turn, home to a mountain-biking staple of the Manitoba cycling community. The mountain-bike trails are located at the cross-country ski area near the east gate of the Park.
There are many options for riding, as the trails offer a mix of singletrack and doubletrack, sand, steep climbs, rock gardens and flowy dirt sections throughout the forest. One of my most vivid memories of cycling there (apart from cracked frames, asthma attacks, bears and snow) is of riding through a section of forest where the ground was entirely rust-coloured due to a blanket of dried evergreen needles. It was beautiful.
After riding, you can light a fire in the warm-up shacks if it’s cold or head into the town of Grand Marais to grab some curly fries at Lanky’s, then hit the beach. I might even suggest camping in the Park to take full advantage of the area.
Drew Romanovych at Grand Beach Provincial Park, home to a multitude of trails offering a mix of singletrack and doubletrack, sand, steep climbs, rock gardens and flowy dirt sections throughout the forest