A Seasonal Tour of Lake Winnipeg

Lake Winnipeg is a large and scenic lake in central Manitoba. It borders the Manitoba Interlake, a region defined as the area between Lakes Manitoba and Winnipeg. It’s a scenic place to spend some time. 

A Few Fun Facts!

Here are a few Fun Facts: Lake Winnipeg is Canada’s sixth largest lake and the third largest lake that is contained entirely within Canada’s borders. It is the 11th-largest fresh water lake on earth and it is even larger than some of the Great Lakes. The lake is 416 kilometres long and has wonderful sandy beaches, limestone cliffs and even bat caves! The First Nations Anishinaabe people have lived here for hundreds of years if not longer. 

Lake Winnipeg also has the largest watershed of any lake in the world. The drainage area covers an area about 40 times larger than its surface area. The lake drains water from 3 States (Minnesota, North and South Dakotas) and four Provinces ( Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario).  As it drains northward into the Nelson River, the water flows out to Hudson’s Bay.

Lake Winnipeg and Lake Agassiz

Lake Winnipeg, and it’s sister lake, Lake Manitoba are actually the remnants of Lake Agassiz, an enormous glacial lake that covered the area when the last Ice Age glaciers melted. Lake Agassiz gradually shrank and left us the lakes and the Interlake region. You can still see the moraines throughout southern Manitoba. Apparently, the ground here is still rising after the Ice Age glaciers melted, about 10,000 years ago!

The name itself, Winnipeg, comes from the Cree language and means “muddy waters”. Early explorer La Vérendrye called the lake Ouinipegon, an approximation of the Cree word. The City of Winnipeg actually takes its name from the lake and is located just south of the Netley Marshes at the southern end of Lake Winnipeg.

The Manitoba Interlake is one of my favourite areas of the province. I’ve spent a lot of time there and have many pictures of the region. I thought I’d share a few pictures of Lake Winnipeg – the lake is ever changing in its moods through the seasons of the year. 

Lake Winnipeg in Summer
  1. Hecla Harbour is a favourite fishing spot – Lake Winnipeg is an important inland commercial fishery. 
  2. Sandy Bar Riverton IBA is an important bird sanctuary – central Manitoba is located on an important North American flyway for migrating birds.
  3. The piers along the lake in the Village of Dunnottar are a favourite summer destination.
  4. The Dog Beach at Winnipeg Beach is a great place to take your dog to enjoy the beach.
  5. Willow Island, Gimli is close to where the Icelandic settlers landed when they founded New Iceland on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.


Lake Winnipeg in Fall
  1. Glorious fall colours against a sunset at Hecla Island.
  2. Lots of migrating Canada geese can be seen while walking along the beach in Matlock.
  3. Hnausa Dock is a large harbour for large ships on Lake Winnipeg. It also has the lake’s only dry dock.


Lake Winnipeg in Winter
  1. The frozen lake from Spruce Bay.
  2. Strange formations of ice along the lake shore in winter.
  3. Sans Souci used to be an amusement park in the Village of Dunnottar. Now it’s a private property.
  4. View of the lake from Ralph Road, Matlock.


Lake Winnipeg in Spring
  1. A strange place to park a bus!
  2. During spring melt, clumps of ice pile up along the lake shore.
  3. Spruce Bay on a spring day.


2 Replies to “A Seasonal Tour of Lake Winnipeg”

  1. Christine,
    One more reason for me to make the trek up North – in the late spring! 🙂 Thanks again for a well-written and enlightening post.

    1. Thanks, Walt! Come any time. BTW, I’m moving up close to the lake in about 2 weeks. I’m really looking forward to having more time for pictures in the Interlake, without the hour and a half drive. 🙂

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