Rivers in Manitoba Rivers in Manitoba

Manitoba’s Stunning Rivers: 5 Scenic Gems to Explore

Manitoba, a Canadian province, comprises three varied ecosystems. They are prairie, boreal, and tundra. It boasts of being one of Canada’s most populous provinces. To the north, it is the Nunavut territory which surrounds Manitoba, while to the northeast, it is Hudson Bay.

When it comes to the east, it is Ontario, and when to the west, it is Saskatchewan. So, what about the South? It is Minnesota and North Dakota, which surrounds Manitoba to the south.

Talking about the rivers in Manitoba, there is a unique feature termed the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. This system ensures that rivers remain a significant aspect of the past and the future. Now, let us learn more about the rivers in Manitoba.

1. Rivers in Manitoba

Let us look at the details of the various rivers of Manitoba.

1.1. Bloodvein River 

Rivers in Manitoba
Image by pictureguy from UnlimPhotos

The Bloodvein River is the first Canadian Heritage River of Manitoba. It flows from Atikaki Provincial Park to Lake Winnipeg. Bloodvein River is also a United Nations World Heritage site.

Due to the scenic atmosphere of the Canadian Shield, the Bloodvein allures wilderness explorers worldwide to experience a few splendid activities. These activities include whitewater rafting, kayaking, magnificent angling and wildlife viewing.

You can find the Bloodvein River to be remote. The beauty of this river is also unmatched. Paddlers of various levels can access this river.

1.1.1. Paddling

Paddlers with good experience and skill sets can enjoy this Bloodvein River. There are many large and random rapids and falls by the river. So, if you are an amateur, you should know the risks involved due to these.  It is best if you choose an experienced partner as your companion during these times.

You can observe most paddlers head downstream from the river towards Lake Winnipeg. However, the river’s pool-and-drop nature allows you to paddle upstream too. The Willow Creek Watershed Management Plan surrounds the land that supplies water to Lake Winnipeg. It also encloses the tributaries, namely Boundary Creek and Willow Creek.

1.1.2. Campsites

You can find over thirty campsites between these two lakes: Artery and Winnipeg. However, you cannot see any site markers or campsite infrastructure. Hence, while scouting for campsites, select a site with indications of being used already.

One noteworthy point is you cannot alter the natural landscape while camping.

1.2. Seal River 

Rivers in Manitoba
Image by pictureguy from UnlimPhotos

Located 260 km upstream from Hudson Bay, Seal River offers a challenging route to experienced paddlers. You can spot beluga whales, seals, Polar bears, and bald eagles when you take a trip up the river.

Seal River is also termed a Canadian Heritage River. When you paddle on this river, you can enjoy scenic views of the following:

1.2.1. Paddling 

If you are an advanced whitewater canoeist, you can find the best time to paddle the Seal River is between late June and early September. You can find the river to be mostly entirely undeveloped and isolated. It also has long sets of challenging rapids.

You can also observe that the paddlers take a common route. The route starts in the Sayisi Dene First Nation community of Tadoule Lake. It finishes at the estuary of the river on Hudson Bay.

1.2.2. Campsites 

You can find roughly thirty-five unnamed campsites by the side of the river. But when you go close to Hudson Bay, you can notice the campsites in a poorly drained state on the willowed river banks.

1.3. Hayes River 

Of the rivers in Manitoba, Hayes River is the most scenic and stunning. Additionally, this river is also famous for its involvement in history. The indigenous peoples benefited a lot from this river.

It offered a way for these people to travel and also trade resources in the area. The Hudson’s Bay Company established the York Factory in 1864. It successfully became one of the most significant fur trading posts.

The Hayes River was also termed a Canadian Heritage River. You can also paddle in this river downstream or upstream. The famous routes begin from Norway House or Oxford House.

1.3.1. Paddling 

As you have seen earlier, you can paddle either upstream or downstream in this river. However, while doing this, you should know about the risk of spreading zebra mussels. This risk begins from the Nelson River and finishes at the Hayes River.

So, what are these zebra mussels? They are tiny, clam-like organisms which pose a huge threat to the waterways of Manitoba. They can result in numerous issues, which are listed below:

  • Fouling beaches and shorelines
  • Clogging drinking water infrastructure
  • Threatening fish and wildlife

Hence to reduce these risks, you must adhere to the AIS Regulation of the Manitoba government. This regulation falls under the Water Protection Act.

1.4. Red River

Rivers in Manitoba
Image by hstiver from DepositPhotos

Manitoba’s Red River flows in a northerly direction. You can find the origin of the river in South Dakota’s Lake Traverse. From here, it flows across the lakebed remains of the former Glacial Lake Agassiz. The river continues its journey before it enters Lake Winnipeg.

The Red River is very popular for its involvement in shaping and defining three factors in Western Canada. The three factors are culture, economic development, and history.

You can find that indigenous peoples traveled this river and its tributaries for years together. These people were not alone in doing so. Voyageurs, fur traders, explorers, tourists, and immigrants did the same. The Red River is termed a Canadian Heritage River.

1.5. Nelson River

Located in Northern Manitoba, Canada, the Nelson River flows from Lake Winnipeg into Playgreen Lake. From there, you can find that it continues its journey through two channels into Cross Lake.

The East and the West are the two channels. The east channel along with the Jack River, flows from the lake’s southeast portion into the Playgreen Lake.

The west channel flows from the north end of Playgreen. Additionally, waters from lakes Kiskitto and Kiskittogisu join this channel and finish at the Cross Lake. From here, the Nelson River flows through several lakes before reaching its destination- Hudson Bay.

2. FAQs

How Long Do You Require to Paddle Down the Bloodvein River?

It takes between 12 and 14 days if you wish to paddle down the Bloodvein River from the Manitoba border’s Artery Lake to Lake Winnipeg’s Bloodvein community. If your journey is from Ontario’s Red Lake, you can allocate 4 to 7 extra days.

Which is the Capital of Manitoba?

Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba.

Turtle River and Sturgeon Creek are the Tributaries of Which Rivers?

The Turtle River is a tributary of the Red River, while Sturgeon Creek is a tributary of Lake Winnipeg.

What are the Rivers Included in the Basins in Southern Manitoba?

The rivers are the Red River, Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg, the Assiniboine River, the Saskatchewan River, and the Winnipeg River Basins.

Bottom Line 

Rivers in Manitoba undoubtedly offer scenic views. You can enjoy activities namely kayaking, rafting, wildlife viewing, and others. Enjoy these activities, and ensure your safety too.

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


  • Archana Srinivasa Varadan

    The author here is Archana. Read her articles and dive into the travel journey shared by her about the popular places to visit, things to do, and other exciting things to do in Canada.

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