This blog is titled Manitoba Parks: A(sessippi) to Z(ed) Lake. I travelled to Zed Lake early on in the journey, but after visits to 75 provincial parks I still had not been to the “A” park from the title, Asessippi Provincial Park. That all changed the weekend before Christmas, when my odyssey to visit all of Manitoba's road-accessible provincial parks came to an end with a trip to Asessippi.
Asessippi Provincial Park was one of Manitoba's first provincial parks, opening in 1964. Located just off Highway 83, between Roblin and Russell at the western edge of the province, the park surrounds Lake of the Prairies.
When the Shellmouth Dam was built on the Assiniboine River in 1972, the lake was created when the river backed up behind the dam. The southern end of the 67 kilometre-long lake is the focal point of the park, however the park also is home to wide, steep valleys that are remnants of ancient glacier-fed Assiniboine and Shell rivers. Today, the flow of these rivers is minute, but their legacy remains in the shape of the landscape.
The drive to Asessippi is long (381 kilometres from Winnipeg), but your efforts to get there will be rewarded in all seasons.