Free entry to Manitoba’s provincial parks this weekend

The Black River flowing out of Black Lake in Nopiming Provincial Park in September 2020. (CTV News Photo Josh Crabb)

The Manitoba government is offering free entry to provincial parks for the Labour Day long weekend.

Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard made the announcement on Friday, noting that from Sept. 3 to Sept. 6 park vehicle permits won’t be required at provincial parks. However, regular camping fees still apply.

“We want all Manitobans to enjoy the amenities and the scenery of our beautiful provincial parks, and our annual free entry weekends provide a chance to get outdoors and enjoy nature,” Guillemard said in a news release.

“We can all use a little break, and as we think about the end of the summer we can embrace the fall with a free visit to a Manitoba provincial park.”

REMINDERS FOR VISITORS

Manitobans are reminded to maintain physical distancing requirements and regularly sanitize their hands when visiting the parks. They are also reminded to ‘leave no trace’ and pack up everything they brought with them; keep dogs on their leashes and clean up after pets; and be wildlife smart by staying alert and securing attractants.

To help protect the provincial parks, Manitobans are urged to help stop the spread of invasive species.

Firewood cannot be moved out of Winnipeg due to the emerald ash borer, and because Winnipeg is a federally regulated area. Anyone caught moving firewood could face fines or charges.

The province notes that the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species (AIS) is preventable.

There are specific decontamination and bait requirements within AIS control zones. Manitobans can use the open-water season checklist to help them comply with the government’s AIS regulations. 

Watercraft inspection stations for AIS will continue into the middle of fall. Users of all watercrafts, including canoes, kayaks and jet skis, are legally required to stop at watercraft inspection stations when they are open. AIS requirements, fines and offences are in place year-round.

Anyone planning a backcountry trip is reminded that campfires are only permitted in designated fire pits.