The Parkland provides habitat for an astounding number of animals, and is sure to offer up many treasures for wildlife enthusiasts. Here you'll find black bear, moose, white-tailed deer, elk, foxes, lynx, coyotes, wolves, porcupines, and beaver, birds such as the Great Gray owl, loon, pelican, plover, grouse, snow goose, and many others, and plant species native to the grasslands, wetlands and forested regions.
Most of the prime wildlife viewing will be found in the parks (especially Duck Mountain Provincial Park and Riding Mountain National Park), although excellent viewing sites are scattered throughout the region. A recently published book, Pelicans to Polar Bears: Watching Wildlife in Manitoba, by Catherine Senecal, details many wildlife viewing areas in the Parkland. The book is available at bookstores throughout the province.
The Amaranth Lady's Slipper Viewing Area contains two of the five species of Lady's Slippers found on the Canadian Prairie, including the endangered Showy Lady's Slipper, as well as over 20 species or orchids in Manitoba.
The World Wildlife Fund has recognized the Bacon Ridge Birding Trail as a protected and endangered space. Miles of unmarked wooded trails provided opportunities for bird watching.
Come visit the last intact alluvial fan along the Manitoba escarpment. This site has a boardwalk to enter into the alluvial fan area then a viewing tower to view this natural phenomenom of water filtration for water quality. Water comes off Riding Mountain in the Crawford Creek, when the creek gets to the alluvial fan site the water slows down and spreads out allowing suspended material to drop and the water is filtered out of miles of wetland. The site is located off highway 5 between Ochre River and Dauphin. Turn south onto road 104W for three miles, east on road 137N for one mile, south on road 103W for one mile, then half mile east on road 136N. Turtle River Watershed Conservation District, Ste. Rose (204) 447-2139.
Duck Mountain Forest Site in the Duck Mountain Provincial Forest is a unique area of natural meadows, streams and wetlands and features 6 kms of all weather road leading through the Boreal Forest. Signs identify the many species of native trees and the site is home to a great variety of birds, waterfowl and animals. It includes the Frank Marvin Visitor Centre with its historical displays and artifacts, a 3D model of the Swan Valley Watershed (from the Swan Valley Regional Secondary School), picnic areas and five hiking trails totaling 10 km (6 miles). The Centre is wheel chair accessible
Access can be gained to serveral prime wildlife viewing, elk bugling and bird watching areas on the eastern escarpment of Riding Mountain National Park near McCreary.
Located at the original nursery of one of Canada's most innovative horticulturists, the Frank Skinner Arboretum Trail showcases some of the nearly 150 plant varieties developed by Dr. Skinner to survive in the harsh prairie environment. Picnic tables have been placed at the entrance to the trail for public use.
Donated by the late trapper, naturalist and photographer, Gordon Mitchell, this Manitoba Wildlife Sanctuary offers excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing and snowshoeing. There is also a picnic site.
A display herd of approximately 30 plains bison is maintained at Lake Audy in Riding Mountain National Park. A Bison and Grasslands Exhibit at the site relates the natural history of bison and native grasslands. Viewing is best in the morning or evening.
A free-roaming herd of wood bison are maintained in a 15 sq. km (6 sq. mile) enclosure near Waterhen. Guided tours are available.