Do you enjoy hiking, but don’t want to drive too far to get find a trail and don’t necessarily want to hike for hours?
I belong to a walking club called Prairie Pathfinders. The group meets twice a week (Monday mornings at 10 a.m. and Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m.) at various locations around the city and members hike for about 60 to 90 minutes each time throughout the year.
It is amazing how many walking trails there are in the city. Assiniboine Forest, Churchill Parkway north and south, Yellow Ribbon Greenway which leads into Sturgeon Creek Greenway Trail, St. Vital Park, Bishop Grandin Greenway and the Old Tuxedo Loop are just a few of them.
During the spring, summer and into the fall, the club also has weekend hikes that last from three to five hours usually on a Saturday. One of those hikes this summer was to Pine Point Rapids Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park. The Carmen Pathway was another delightful hike and a follow-up with a lunch at Chico Restaurant in Carmen.
There are also longer trips that can last for three to four days. Later this month there is a four-day tour to northern Manitoba where hiking highlights include Steep Rock, Clearwater Caves, a Flin Flon town tour, Wekuska Falls, Thunderhill, Karst Springs, and Pisew Falls. A three-day tour to Riding Mountain in September will include a trek into the beautiful McFayden Valley.
Hiking is such a great way to stay in shape and joining a group of people makes it a lot of fun. Meeting new people and making new friends is always a bonus.
The hot weather this summer was never a deterrent as there were always between 17 and 63 hikers present for each trek. Prairie Pathfinders is a very popular hiking club and membership continues to grow as time goes by.
At my last walk I spoke to Wendy Wilson, one of the main organizers of the hikes and found out that Prairie Pathfinders began in September 1998 with the publication of Winnipeg Walks by a group of four women — Leone Banks, Kathleen Leathers, Sheila Spence and Wendy Wilson. The walking club was established as a complement to the book and now has more than 500 members.
If you are interested in joining the club or finding out more about it all you have to do is search for Prairie Pathfinders on the web.
Arny Hjaltadottir is a West End-based writer.
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