Spruce Woods Provincial Park
Spruce Woods Provincial Park is located in south-central Manitoba, Canada. This park has large sand dunes and the Assiniboine River passes through it. In descending order of land area, it is located within the Rural Municipalities of South Cypress, Victoria, and North Cypress.
The park was established in 1970
A Manitoba Historical Plaque was erected at the Spruce Woods Provincial Park by the province to commemorate Assiniboine (Nakota) First Nation's role in Manitoba's heritage. A Manitoba Historical Plaque was erected at the Spruce Woods Provincial Park by the province to commemorate Norman Criddle's role in Manitoba's heritage. A Manitoba Historical Plaque was erected at the Spruce Woods Provincial Park by the province to commemorate Fort des Pinettes - Pine Fort's role in Manitoba's heritage.
The park contains one of very few areas of sand dunes in Canada, called the Carberry sandhills, or Spirit Sands. This region is not a true desert, but the remnant of a sandy delta of the Assiniboine River, from a time when it ran into glacial Lake Agassiz. The sandhills are home to many unique plants and animals; including some cacti and hognose snakes.
There are several hiking trails in the park open to day hikers, and backpackers can take the Newfoundland Trail for an overnight trip into the park. The Trans Canada Trail also passes through the Park.
Newfoundland Trail is a part of the Épinette Creek Trail System located within the park. Beginning at a parking lot off Highway #5, the trail twists (38 km) through the hills to Jackfish Lake near the Assiniboine River. The trail is available year-round and is groomed during the Winter for cross-country skiers. Three enclosed shelters are available along the trail, each with bathroom, waterpump, indoor stove, axe and firewood. Alongside each shelter are picnic tables and space for several tents. A smaller hut at the trailhead is available but has no water pump. The trail is clearly marked at junctions and service road crossings to guide hikers.
Many cyclists enjoy riding on the Epinette Trail System each year. There are a series of loops that carve their way through unique terrain.