Best Things to Do in Little Limestone Lake

Best Things to Do in Little Limestone Lake

Want to know a little secret? We found a picture-perfect destination with turquoise waters that glisten in the hot summer sun—but it’s not in the Caribbean!

Just a 5-hour drive away from Winnipeg, you’ll find Little Limestone Lake tucked away in Northern Manitoba.

Avid outdoor enthusiasts are spoilt for choice here. With options for hiking, fishing, and camping, it is the best place to go wild.

It’s off the beaten path and might be tricky to find for first-timers, but it’s worth all the trouble. After a few bumps in the road, and a pothole (or two), we were rewarded with tranquil scenery and breathtaking views.

Best of all, we had it all to ourselves.

Below, we made a quick guide to help you prepare for your adventure to Little Limestone Lake.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Little Limestone Lake is during the warmer months – from June to August. At this time, you can witness the turquoise waters of the lake, which can change to crystal clear throughout the day. 

No matter the season, always check the weather before your trip. Due to its remote location, bad weather might make the lake less accessible.

Things to Know About Little Limestone Lake

Media Credit: life.with.our.littles

Don’t let its name deceive you. Although it’s called Little Limestone Lake, it isn’t little at all, measuring 15 km long and 4 km wide.

It’s the world’s largest marl lake and the best example of it. We went in the summer and saw the water change from turquoise to crystal clear throughout the day.

Since it’s a non-operational provincial park, we didn’t have to pay any fees to enter and stay at the lake.

The downside? There aren’t facilities and amenities around—not even outhouses! 

You’ve got to be prepared to do your business out in the bushes if you’re planning on staying for a while.

How to Get to Little Limestone Lake

The only way to reach Little Limestone Lake is by car.

Around 450 km away north of Winnipeg and 65 km north of Grand Rapids, you’ll reach the lake by driving along Highway 6. You’ll find its main entrance on the southern side.

Just watch out for the sign because it’s small and not very visible while you’re driving. We recommend using Google Maps as it’ll lead you straight to the entrance.

Where to Stay

There are no cabins, resorts, or vacation rentals in Little Limestone Lake. The only way to stay overnight is to camp, but you need special permission from the Mosakahiken Cree Nation to do so.

If you don’t want to stay the night, you can go to Grand Rapids, which is the closest town to the lake. You have a few options out there, including Cooks Campground and Cabins.

Where to Eat

Little Limestone Lake is in a remote area, so there are no restaurants and stores nearby. You can bring packed meals and enjoy them by the shore since there are no picnic benches and tables around.

What to Expect

Spring: In the spring, you’ll most likely see the ice thawing in the lake. The water will look turquoise in the morning and change to milky blue as it gets warmer in the afternoon.

Summer: Even in the summer, you won’t find droves of tourists or locals at the lake. It’s truly one of Manitoba’s best-kept secrets.

Fall: You’ll no longer see the turquoise waters in the fall. Instead, it will be crystal clear because of the colder weather.

Winter: Although still open in the winter, the lake might not be as accessible, especially during heavy snowfall. 

Best Things to Do in Little Limestone Lake

1. Go camping.

Media Credit: sofzukov

Tired of crowded campgrounds? If you are, Little Limestone Lake can give you an unforgettable adventure sans the crowds, but you’ll need permission from the Mosakahiken Cree Nation.

Just call them at (204) 678-2113.

Be warned—there are bears in the area and no outhouses! It’s definitely not for the faint of heart and the inexperienced, but it should be a walk in the park for avid campers.

2. Swim in the lake.

Media Credit: travelmanitoba

When you visit in the summer, the lake is the perfect site to beat the heat, swim, and relax. Don’t miss the chance to take that perfect Instagram photo because we certainly didn’t.

3. Sightsee from a canoe or kayak.

Media Credit: sundancer_ikwe

Get the best views of the landscape by going on a canoe or a kayak. You can fully soak in the entirety of the park – from its wooded shoreline and turquoise waters to its limestone cliffs.

4. Catch fish.

Media Credit: pastortf

If you’re looking to spend a relaxing summer afternoon, you can fish at the lake. I certainly lack the patience and the skill for it, but if you have both, you might be able to catch perch, walleye, pike, and more.

It’s unclear whether boat and fishing regulations have been implemented so we recommend getting in touch with park services. 

5. Go on a hike. 

Media Credit: sailing_manitoba

The reserve is home to diverse wildlife, including moose, beavers, muskrats, bears, and even wolves. 

Hopefully, you get to see these creatures from a safe distance—but just in case you cross paths with them, we hope you’re prepared.

Just to be safe, pack that bear spray!