Explore Assiniboine Forest

Oct 01, 2018
Oct-1-2018-Assiniboine-Forest

Residents of RidgeWood West are a stroll away from enjoying the beautiful fall colours of the Assiniboine Forest. Accessible through Hart Trail, this nature park boasts 700 acres of aspen and oak habitats. It also features areas of tall-grass prairie restoration and a 12 acre wetland.

With a total of 10.3 km of trails, there are a variety of suggested routes with numerous options including paved, wood-chipped and crushed limestone paths.


Trail Options


Aspen Trail

The Aspen Trail is composed of wood chips and is 1.1 km in length. This trail goes through the aspen forest and functions as a connection between the Harte and Sagimay trails. It also joins with the Traverse Trail.

The Harte Trail

Hart Trail is made of granular limestone and is a part of the Trans Canada Trail. It is a total of 1.4 km and connects to the Assiniboine Forest. Along the trail’s southern portion, it runs alongside an old railway bed.

Oak Ridge Trail

The Oak Ridge Trail runs through the northern area of the Assiniboine Forest where there is a mix of aspen and oak trees. This 1.5 km trail is comprised of wood chips until it follows the Preston Trail on the forest’s western edge.

Preston Trail

With a length of 2.2 km, the Preston trail moves through a constructed wetland and has a beautiful view of the restored tall prairie grass and the Assiniboine Forest’s linear cuts. This trail is made up of granular limestone.

Sagimay Trail

The Sagimay Trail incorporates a wood chipped path that wraps around Eve Memorial Pond and onto a board walk that showcases a wetland environment. This 2.8 km trail also features a fully accessible paved loop that is 1.5 km.

Traverse Trail

The Traverse Trail divides into two parts through the Assiniboine Forest. One trail travels east while the other moves west which connects the neighbouring communities.  This 1.3 km wood-chipped trail also connects to the Sagimay and Preston trails.

Activities

During the fall, The Assiniboine Forest is a spectacular landscape of colour. The crisp autumn air is perfect for rollerblading on the paved portions and for going on a bike ride or a jog through the scenic trails.

Walking through the Assiniboine Forest will allow you to forget the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a peaceful pocket where you can get in-touch with nature and enjoy activities such as birdwatching.

Oct-1-2018-Assiniboine-Forest-Squirrel

Wildlife

The Assiniboine Forest is a protected area for many plants and animals. Living in the forest is a herd of white-tailed deer and other mammals such as rabbits, bats, raccoons, beavers and weasels. Birds in the area include eastern screech owls, spotted sandpipers, ruby-throated hummingbirds, wood ducks and common nighthawks.

During the autumn months, many of these birds begin their migrations south while others start to plump-up with nutrients so they can survive our Winnipeg winters.

In the warmer months, reptiles such as snakes and turtles can be seen, as well as amphibians including frogs and salamanders. However, once the temperature begins to drop, these species begin to burrow in the ground for warmth and start looking for a safe place to hibernate during the winter.

The habitats in the Assiniboine Forest are quite complex and are made up of a variety of plants that display breathtaking autumn foliage. If you’re lucky, you may find plants such as prairie sage, creeping bluebell, yellow lady’s slipper and the northern bog violet.

The cooling temperature doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice time outdoors. In fact, this change of season offers a splendid display of fall colours that can improve your mood and help you to feel more relaxed.

Download the Assiniboine Forest trail map here.