Enjoy a Stroll Down the Harte Trail

May 16, 2016

The Harte Trail holds a special place for longtime Charleswood residents, and members of this community are working hard to maintain this natural treasure for newcomers and visitors as well. Named after the Harte Line, the first section of Grand Trunk Pacific Railway built in Western Canada in 1894, the Harte Trail is a gorgeous nature walk enjoyed by Winnipeggers all year round. This stunning 6.5-km trail features fruit-bearing shrubs, Siberian elm and other native plants that have grown up as shelter. It’s a perfect example of how a variety of natural growth takes over when land previously used for industrial purposes is repurposed, and Mother Nature is left to do what she does best.

Harte Trail

The Harte Trail is part of the TransCanada Trail and runs through a narrow strip of wilderness on an old railway bed. It is intersected by half a dozen streets, and well-worn footpaths clearly indicate where locals gain access to this beautiful trail. 

Barbara Hutton is one of those locals - and current President of the Friends of the Harte Trail - who consider the trail near and dear to her heart. “I have been using it from the moment I moved to Charleswood in 1991,” says Hutton. “It’s vital to the area and the residents. But it’s also a wildlife corridor that runs from the Assiniboine Forest through to the Perimeter, so it’s a way that animals can move through the city.”

Hutton is so passionate about the Harte Trail that she got involved in preserving it back in 1992. “A development was going to go in there and they planned to run a roadway down the trail. The citizens said no, it was blocked and eventually it was turned into a part of the TransCanada Trail. That was a big win!”

To gain a deeper understanding of Hutton’s passion for this nature trail, find your way with this map and check it out for yourself! 

Fast Facts

  • Crushed limestone surfacing
  • 6.5 km distance markers installed
  • Parking available at Marj Edey Park, 4230 Ridgewood Ave and at Fraser Meadow Park, Municipal Rd at Ridgewood Ave
  • Washrooms available at Marj Edey Park

Points of Interest

  • Thundering Bison Trail — Asphalt trail connecting Fort Whyte Alive, Preston Trail,  Assiniboine Forest and the Harte Trail.
  • Preston Trail – Limestone trail weaves through Assiniboine Forest. Named in honour of a Charleswood pioneer family.
  • Assiniboine Forest Trails – A variety of wood chip, asphalt and crushed limestone trails wind through forest, prairie and marsh in Canada’s largest (280 hectare) urban nature park.
  • Van Roon Prairie Garden – Native species garden and tree area. Named in honour of long-time Charleswood residents.
  • The Headingley Grand Trunk Trail – This relatively new trail, also built on an old rail bed, leads from the Perimeter Highway out to Beaudry Park.