Manitoba has closed most trails in more than a dozen provincial parks because of extremely dry conditions, just as people are flocking to them in droves amid COVID-19 restrictions.
The affected parks are in the eastern, central and western sections of the province and include Beaudry, Birds Hill, Camp Morton, Grand Beach, Hecla, St. Norbert, Winnipeg Beach, Nopiming, Whiteshell, Asessippi, Duck Mountain and Spruce Woods.
In Birds Hill, the only trails that remain open are Lakeview and the Papal Visit site.
At Grand Beach, the only trails that remain open are the boardwalk, the Great Trail, and Spirit Rock.
All trails are off-limits in Beaudry, Camp Morton, Pembina Valley, Stephenfield, and Duck Mountain.
The government’s website has a list of the parks and affected trails.
Manitobans are urged to use extra caution and refrain from activity that could spark a wildfire.
On Wednesday, the province imposed back-country travel and camping restrictions in several areas, including all provincial parks south of the 53rd parallel.
The rules prohibit motorized backcountry travel, including ATVs and other off-road vehicles (unless an authorized travel permit is obtained).
Camping is restricted to developed campgrounds and campfires are permitted only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Landing and launching are restricted to developed shorelines only. Wayside parks remain still open.