Explore Hidden Trails and Wildlife at Assiniboine Forest, Winnipeg

Explore Hidden Trails and Wildlife at Assiniboine Forest, Winnipeg

Imagine towering trees creating a natural canopy, sunlight filtering through the leaves, and the gentle rustle of leaves underfoot. 

It sounds like a dream, right? Well, it’s a dream come true at Assiniboine Forest. 

This urban sanctuary is a haven for anyone seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Now, let me be your guide as we delve into the wonders of Assiniboine Forest. From hidden trails that feel like secret passageways to wildlife encounters that will leave you in awe, there’s so much to explore. 

About Assiniboine Forest

About Assiniboine Forest

Assiniboine Forest, situated in Winnipeg, is the largest urban forest in Canada, covering an expansive 285 hectares within the suburban enclave of Charleswood. 

Bounded by Grant Avenue, Chalfont Road, Wilkes Avenue, and Shaftesbury Boulevard, the forest is a diverse ecosystem featuring old-growth aspen and oak trees, wetlands, and open meadows of tall grass prairie. 

Additionally, a 12-acre pond graces the landscape.

This natural haven provides a home to a rich array of plant and animal species, including a resident population of white-tailed deer and nesting waterfowl. 

The forest’s biodiversity is complemented by 18 kilometers of meticulously maintained multi-use trails, offering year-round accessibility to walkers, runners, cyclists, and winter enthusiasts like cross-country skiers.

Notably, the trail system seamlessly connects Assiniboine Forest to Assiniboine Park in the north and the Harte Trail in the south through a network of paved pathways. 

Since 1990, the Winnipeg Charleswood Rotary Club has taken on the responsibility of maintaining this cherished urban oasis.

In a significant development, as of March 2023, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has been actively advocating for Assiniboine Forest to attain full certification as a national urban park. 

This initiative aims to secure the forest’s permanent protection from any future development, emphasizing the importance of preserving this natural gem for the benefit of the community and the diverse flora and fauna it sustains.

Things to Do at Assiniboine Forest

1. Hiking and Biking 

Hiking and Biking

Assiniboine Forest is a fantastic spot, with around 18 kilometers of cool trails that are perfect for both hiking and biking. You’ve got the Sagimay, Preston, Sterling Lyon, Trans Canada, and Harte Trails to choose from, each with its own charm.

If you’re into a laid-back stroll or a more energetic bike ride, these trails cater to all sorts of vibes and fitness levels. It’s like your personal slice of nature, offering a chance to soak in the peaceful surroundings and soak up the beauty of the area.

2. Birdwatching


Another thing to do at Assiniboine Forest is to kick back and enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re up for it, bird-watching is a blast here. 

The forest is like a bird paradise, with all kinds of plants and animals calling it home. Just take a leisurely stroll through the greenery, and you’ll be treated to a real show of diverse bird life.

3. Jogging and Walking 

Jogging and Walking

If you’re planning some jogging and walking with your friends, Assiniboine Forest might be the perfect option. 

You can check out the Sagimay Nature Trail; it’s this cool one-kilometer loop that takes you through the woods and meadows, eventually leading to the peaceful Eve Werier Memorial Pond. It’s not a race, so take your time. 

The whole loop can be done in about 30–60 minutes, depending on how much you want to explore.

4. Winter Activities 

Winter Activities

When winter rolls around, Assiniboine Forest transforms into this awesome spot for some cross-country skiing. Imagine the trails covered in a cozy layer of snow, creating this magical winter wonderland. 

It’s the perfect escape for anyone wanting a chill outdoor experience.

You can grab your skis and hit the trails. It’s like stepping into a peaceful, snowy paradise. 

Sights to See at Assiniboine Forest

1. Eve Werier Pond 

Eve Werier Pond

Assiniboine Forest has this awesome spot called Eve Werier Pond. It’s a sweet 12-acre pond that’s perfect for a relaxing day out. 

You’ve got to check it out because it’s become the go-to place for birdwatching. You’ll spot some cool birds in their natural groove.

And get this: It’s not just about the birds. Eve Werier Pond is also a fantastic place for a laid-back picnic. 

Imagine you, your friends, some snacks, and the peaceful vibe of the pond — it’s like nature’s unwind zone.

2. Wildlife


As you wander through this forest, keep your eyes peeled for furry neighbors – foxes, chill deer, and the mysterious wolves. It’s their home, and they’re just doing their thing, making your stroll extra special. 

So, take it easy, enjoy the greenery, and who knows, you might catch a glimpse of these cool critters. 

3. Trails


If you’re up for a bit of nature therapy, Assiniboine Forest has got you covered with its awesome trails. Sagimay, Preston, Sterling Lyon, Trans Canada, and Harte Trails — each one offering a sweet escape into the heart of this beautiful forest.

You can meander down the Sagimay Trail to loosen up or hop onto the Preston Trail for a bit of exploration — it’s like finding hidden treasures in your own backyard. 

The Sterling Lyon and Trans Canada Trails spice things up with diverse scenery, showing off the amazing plant and animal life they’ve got around this forest.

4. Lake View

Lake View

Assiniboine Forest has this awesome place by the lake that’s just too good to miss. You’re strolling through the forest, and suddenly, you come across this beautiful lake. 

The view is like a cool blend of greenery and crystal-clear water, totally making it a must-see. It’s not bragging; it’s just the good stuff you have to look into in the neck of the woods.

Where to Eat Near Assiniboine Forest

1. Boston Pizza 

Address: 3894 Grant Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3R 3C5, Canada

Contact number: 204 925 4112 

Pricing: $$ 


If you’re hanging around Assiniboine Forest and feeling a bit hungry, consider giving Boston Pizza a shot. It’s a cool Canadian spot that’s got a bit of everything — pizza, pasta, and burgers. 

They’ve got some local favorites, like the Boston Royal Pizza and the Chicken Parmesan, and don’t even get me started on the Chocolate Explosion cake — it’s a game-changer.

2. Sorrento’s Bar & Pizzeria 

Address: 3900 Grant Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3R 3C5, Canada

Contact number: 204 837 5063 

Pricing: $ – $$ 


Craving for some Italian food? Well, Sorrento’s Bar & Pizzeria is the restaurant you shouldn’t miss. 

They’re all about dishing out tasty Italian goodness, from salads and sandwiches to pasta and pizzas. Trust me, their Spinach Artichoke dip and Sorrento chips are total winners, and Winnipeg’s Famous Sorrento Salad is a local favorite.

Plus, they’ve got a cool bar and lounge area with VLTs, big-screen TVs, and even a pool table. And if you’re planning a get-together, they’ve got a banquet room you can reserve.

3. Folio Café

Address: 2299 Grant Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2, Canada

Contact number: 204 487 3300 

Pricing: $


When you’re around the Assiniboine Forest and you’re feeling a bit peckish, Folio Café is your go-to spot! 

This cozy joint has a vibe with lots of natural light — perfect for anything from catching up with pals to getting some work done.

Now, let me tell you, Folio Café has the coffee game down pat. And when it comes to small bites, they’ve got that covered too — not to mention some seriously tempting gelato. 

The menu isn’t novel, but locals rave about how tasty everything is. You can try the in-house-made soup; it’s like a warm hug for your taste buds.

What’s cool about Folio Café, besides the awesome food, is the atmosphere. You can simply relax while sipping on your coffee. 

It’s a perfect homelike feeling, isn’t it?

4. Gather Craft Kitchen & Bar

Address: 145 The Leaf Wy., Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N6, Canada

Contact number: 204 927 7222

Pricing: $ – $$ 


Gather Craft Kitchen & Bar, tucked away inside The Leaf at Assiniboine Park, is a cool eatery to grab a bite. The menu is all about sharing and savoring chef-inspired dishes that bring together flavors from around the world. 

They’re big on supporting local, so you’ll find mains that highlight the best of the season right here in the region — farm-to-fork style.

If you’re thinking about lunch, they’ve got you covered from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The menu is a real treat; from small plates to hearty mains, they’ve got options for vegetarians and gluten-free pals too!

And the place itself has this comfortable, homey feeling that makes it perfect for going out with friends.

5. Capital Grill & Bar

Address: 3116 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 0C1, Canada

Contact number: 204 615 3116 

Pricing:  $ – $$ 


Capital Grill & Bar is not your typical fancy restaurant — just a cozy, upscale joint that’s perfect for any occasion.

Chef Wayne Martin and the gang whip up some seriously tasty comfort food with a modern twist. It’s the kind of place where you can chow down on your favorite dishes or discover something new that hits the spot.

Now, let’s talk about drinks. The bar at Capital Grill & Bar is where the magic happens. 

They’ve got everything from seasonal cocktails to favorite local beers on tap. And if you’re into wines, they’ve got this mix of options from all over the globe that’s pretty impressive.

It has that friendly local vibe, making this bar a go-to place for good eats and good times.

6. Bluestone Cottage | Bakery Café | Locally Owned

Address: 3670 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 0E1, Canada

Contact number: 204 944 8751 

Pricing: $$


This sweet little bakery café is totally locally owned, giving off a cozy aura that makes you feel right at home.

Now, when it comes to food, there are spring rolls with the perfect crunch, heartwarming soups, juicy chicken dishes, and seriously tasty flatbread pizzas. And don’t even get me started on breakfast — their egg Benedict is a game-changer.

Save room for dessert, because Bluestone Cottage whips up some next-level treats. We’re talking bread pudding, biscuits, and cinnamon rolls that are basically a hug for your taste buds.

The best part? The folks at Bluestone Cottage are as friendly as it gets. 

You’ll feel like you’re catching up with old pals while you chow down on their delicious offerings.

7. Silver Heights Restaurant & The Heights Lounge

Address: 2169 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3J 0L7, Canada

Contact number: 204 889 7246 

Pricing: $$


Silver Heights Restaurant & The Heights Lounge is a family-owned establishment that boasts a comfortable atmosphere perfect for enjoying a variety of culinary delights.

Now, let me tell you about the grub. This eatery is famous for its mouthwatering barbecue ribs, and trust me, they’re award-winning for a reason. 

But that’s not all — their menu is a mix of awesome traditional Greek dishes and some seriously tasty Certified Angus Beef steaks and burgers. You can basically find something for every craving.

When it comes to the ambiance, it has a lounge-like feel that adds to the whole experience, creating a relaxed setting for enjoying a delightful meal. Plus, the service is top-notch — super friendly and personal.

8. Taverna Rodos Restaurant & Lounge

Address: 5114 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 0G9, Canada

Contact number: 204 615 2232 

Pricing: $$


Hungry for Greek cuisine? Taverna Rodos Restaurant & Lounge is what you’re looking for.

They’ve got the whole Greek food: souvlaki, moussaka, gyros, and let’s not forget the baklava. It’s like a mini-Greek getaway right here in town. 

They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you can hit them up whenever that craving strikes.

And if you’re into gluten-free options, they’ve got you covered. It’s a friendly space with a warm atmosphere, perfect for a casual meal with friends or family.

9. RnR Family Restaurant 

Address: 2675 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3J 0P9, Canada

Contact number: 204 895 4565 

Pricing: $$


So, there’s this amazing place called RnR Family Restaurant that’s run by locals and has a really comfortable atmosphere. They’ve got a menu that’s all over the place in the best way possible — burgers, sandwiches, pasta, and pizza. 

You can swing by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and they even throw in some special deals that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance.

Now, what’s really cool about this restaurant is that they’re all about supporting the local farmers and businesses. They’ve got a liquor license, so you can sip on something nice with your meal. 

People around here love R&R, and for good reason. The food is superb, the portions are no joke, and the service is just the right amount of friendly.

Tips When You Visit Assiniboine Forest

1. Dress for the weather. 

The weather in Winnipeg can change quickly, so it’s important to dress in layers that you can add or remove as needed. In the summer, be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat, and in the winter, dress warmly and wear waterproof boots.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. 

You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure you wear shoes that are comfortable and provide good traction.

3. Be aware of your surroundings. 

There are wild animals in the forest. Stay on the trails and make noise to let them know you’re coming.

4. Leave no trace and respect the wildlife. 

Don’t feed the animals or approach them too closely, and leave the forest as you found it.

5. Be quiet. 

The forest is a peaceful place, so please help keep it that way by keeping your noise levels down.

6. Bring water and snacks. 

There are no stores or restaurants in the forest. Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks to keep you fueled.

7. Enjoy the scenery. 

The Assiniboine Forest is a beautiful place to spend a day. Take some time to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.