The history of human settlement in the Parkland area spans 10,000 years, and is a story of people at once taming and succumbing to the landscape around them. The climate has always been harsh, the seasons extreme, but the perseverance that characterized the area’s early settlers was rewarded with good, fertile soil and bountiful harvests in a land full of natural beauty and resources.
The first inhabitants of Manitoba’s Parkland—the First Nations peoples—lived for thousands of years hunting bison which existed in herds of hundreds of thousands, fishing on the seemingly numberless lakes, and supplementing their diets with berries, roots and herbs.
When the railway came at the turn of the 20th century, European settlers, many from eastern Europe and Ukraine, turned the area into one of the richest grain‑producing regions in the world. And as the plow transformed idle grasslands to fields ripe with grain, so too did the hearts of the settlers transform the cultural landscape of the region. The lingering spirit of these pioneers can be felt in every church and school, every field and forest to which these pioneers applied themselves. Your journey throughout the Parkland is sure to be rich in the heritage of the distant lands and cultures which left an indelible mark on the local customs and landscape.
TRAVELING TO HISTORIC SITES: Driving directions are provided, where possible, using Provincial Trunk Highways (PTH), which are typically paved roadways, and Provincial Roads (PR), which may be paved or gravel. For many rural attractions, travel on gravel roads will be necessary.
Start your adventure in Manitoba’s Parkland region by exploring our churches, historic sites & buildings, museums, schools and other shops and stops. Hungry? Find sweat treats along the Cinnamon Bun Trail or other delicious foods along the Flavour Trail, two great self-guided tours through the Parkland.