With over 12,000 kilometres of snowmobile trails and five distinct zones, Manitoba has a lot to offer sledders looking for new adventures. Riders from the U.S., Ontario and Saskatchewan can sled directly into the province by connecting trails or trailer in on many good highways.The 51 clubs that form the Snowmobilers of Manitoba (commonly known as Snoman) operate the trails.
A Snopass is required to access designated Snoman trails. For 2012, it costs $125 (annual) or $60.50 (7-day) and is available at all Manitoba Public Insurance brokers (see list at
So what does Manitoba offer snowmobilers? Contrary to preconceived notions you may have, Snoman trails provide a wide range of riding experiences, from woodlands and forests, to rolling hills, river valleys and lakelands. Sure, there’s some mighty fine prairie riding too, but overall, Manitioba impressed me with its diversity and variety. One unique aspect is Mantoba’s “parks are for people” philosophy that has resulted in a good system of scenic snowmobile trails through its provincial parks. I also appreciated the countless warm up shelters throughout their network that provide snowmobilers with respite, refuge and best of all, places to meet and socialize.
I’ve visited Manitoba threes times on Snow Goer Canada tours. In 1999, I explored the popular Eastern Region, located between Winnipeg and the Ontario boundary. This zone includes the famous Whiteshell Provincial Park and the Can-Am Trail to the United States (and to the Polaris plant in Roseau or the Arctic Cat factory at Thief River Falls). These eastern trails come right into the outskirts of Winnipeg, making it convenient for city riders to get on the snow easily. This zone also has its own map and is anchored by towns like Falcon Lake, Lac du Bonnet, Pinawa, Pine Falls and Grand Beach.
In 2002, I discovered the joys of riding in Snoman’s Western Zone, from Boissevain in the south, northwards to Swan River. While the southern riding around Brandon definitely had its share of prairies, the Parklands around Russell, Roblan and Dauphin featured sweeping river valleys and interesting bottomlands. Plus, the Turtle Mountain, Spruce Woods and Duck Mountain Provincial Parks provided lots of woodland and bush riding.
Several years later, it occurred to me that the Snoman trail system had evolved to the point that a circle tour around Winnipeg would be a blast. So in 2009, we set out from that city on a loop that would take in the Eastern Zone again, then the 30-kilometre ‘Piston Alley’ ice crossing of Lake Winnipeg from Grand Marais to Gimli, a ride through what Snoman calls the Interlake Zone, and then the farm country around Winkler and Steinbach. We even rode part of “Duff’s Ditch”, part of the Red River Floodway.
That leaves me the Northern Zone, anchored by Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas still to do, but the crew from Snowmobiler Television have already visited there, so between us, we’ve spun a track in most parts of this province. So you can take our word that snowmobiling in Manitoba should be on your bucket list. It has a great trail system that’s well signed, mapped, serviced – and just waiting for you!
More Info:Manitoba Tourism –
Snoman – www.snoman.mb.ca
Don't forget to read more about the Intrepid Snowmobiler in Snow Goer Canada Magazine