Sprawling wilderness located just three hours from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Nopiming Provincial Park is the ultimate road trip getaway for nature lovers, peace seekers, and adventure fanatics alike.
The word “Nopiming” comes from the Anishinaabe word “Noopiming” which roughly translates to “Entrance to the wilderness” or “in the woods / brush“. The Anishinaabe people inhabited the park as recently as the 1800’s, and before that it was Cree territory. That said, there is evidence that indigenous people have lived on the land for over 8,000 years.
At 1429 square kilometers in area, most of which is completely undeveloped, Nopiming is the perfect backwoods park to explore. The park is filled with boreal forest and lakes, and is largely covered by Precambrian rock formed over 2.5 billion years ago.
A Manitoba local, I absolutely adored my summertime road trip to Nopiming Provincial Park with my mom. We stayed at the Black Lake Campground and spent our days exploring, hiking, traversing backroads, and chasing waterfalls.
In this article, we’ll cover (click to skip through):
- How to get to Nopiming Provincial Park
- The best time to visit
- The best things to do
- The best hiking trails
- Where to stay
- What to pack
- And so much more!
👂 Pssst – stick around til the end of this article for a special Nopiming Provincial Park FAQ section!
Table of Contents
- The Essential Nopiming Provincial Park Road Trip Guide
- How to Get to Nopiming Provincial Park
- When to Visit Nopiming Provincial Park
- The Best Things to do in Nopiming Provincial Park
- The Best Hiking Trails in Nopiming Provincial Park
- Where to Stay in Nopiming
- What to Pack for a Nopiming Road Trip
- Nopiming FAQ
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The Essential Nopiming Provincial Park Road Trip Guide
How to Get to Nopiming Provincial Park
Located in eastern Manitoba, Canada, Nopiming Provincial Park is located roughly 200 kilometers (124 miles) northeast of Winnipeg or 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Kenora, Ontario.
Regardless of where you choose to travel from, the only way to do so is by car. The park is a maze of twisty gravel backroads and turkey trails and you’ll need a set of wheels.
In choosing a car for your road trip, get a reliable vehicle that has all wheel drive and that can traverse bumpy gravel roads with ease. The main roads going into the area (routes 313/ 314 / 304) are fairly covered in potholes and washboard divots, so go slow and keep an eye on oncoming traffic.
When road tripping from the west, the nearest major town to Nopiming is Lac du Bonnet, and I recommend filling your vehicle up with gas here. There is a gas station within the area at Nopiming Lodge, but you’ll want to ensure a full tank for your stay.
👍 Pro Tip: When booking a rental car the first place I always look is Discover Cars. They’ll stack up the competition and get you the best bang for your buck.
When to Visit Nopiming Provincial Park
For the full Nopiming experience, I recommend visiting in late spring or summer.
Campgrounds in the park are open from May through September, and these are the months in which you’ll be able to hike, canoe, fish, and swim.
Not to mention, getting around the park can be somewhat shaky at the best of times due to the gravel roads, and adding winter conditions into the mix may not be the best idea if you’re new to the park. That said, if you’re a winter buff then there is plenty of ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing fun to be had.
Also, if you’re up for a day trip then it’s 100% be worth visiting in the fall. The leaves change color and the area gets absolutely magical.
The Best Things to do in Nopiming Provincial Park
Activity #1 – Hit Up a Hiking Trail
Nopiming Provincial Park is known for its fabulous hiking and has some of the best trails in the area. In particular, Walking on Ancient Mountains, Black Lake Trail, and Fire of ’83 are all fantastic, but scroll down for more on the best hiking trails in the park.
Activity #2 – Go Boating
With over 100 lakes and rivers in Nopiming, motor boating, pedal boating, canoeing, and kayaking are all worth experiencing. If you don’t have your own boat, you can rent one from Nopiming Lodge (be sure to book ahead of time, they do tend to sell out!)
Activity #3 – Explore Tulabi Falls
What is perhaps the piece de resistance of the area, Tulabi Falls is located down Provincial Road 315 (about 35 minutes from Bird River) and is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by towering trees and rocks. The falls straddle Bird Lake and Tulabi Lake, and is a great place to sit back, unwind, and soak up nature.
There is plenty of space to explore, including a viewing platform, small beach (perfect for docking canoes or kayaks), angling spots, and even cliffs for jumping.
🔥 Hot tip: Provincial Road 315 going towards Tulabi is very, very bumpy — it has washboarding and potholes galore (even more than PR314). Go slow, watch out for oncoming traffic, and avoid the potholes as best you can.
Activity #4 – Take a Canoe Trip
The parks in this area have some amazing river-lake systems that cater perfectly to multi-day canoe trips. You can either plan your own canoe route through Nopiming, or use one of the pre-determined routes that the park provides.
Some of the best canoe routes are:
- Bird River to Elbow Lake
- Seagrim Lake
- Rabbit River to Cole Lake
- Long Lake to Caribou Landing
- Beresford Lake to Long Lake
🔥 Hot tip: You’ll need at least two days to tackle any of these routes, although some are longer.
Activity #5 – Go Fishing
The lakes and rivers of Nopiming are full of fish, most notably walleye, trout, perch, smallmouth bass, and northern pike. So, if you’re a fishing buff looking to get their catch on, then you’ve found a gem of a location.
Boats and tackle can be rented at one of the parks’ lodges listed below and check out this angling guide for specific regulations.
Activity #6 – Enjoy Winter
Though not the high-season at Nopiming, Winter is a beautiful time of year to visit if you enjoy ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
There are snowmobiles to rent at Nopiming Lodge.
Activity #7 – Check out the Caribou of Nopiming Exhibit
Located at Black Lake Campground, the Caribou Exhibit tells the story of woodland caribou in Manitoba, Canada.
In fact, Nopiming is home to the province’s southernmost herd which is comprised of 50-60 woodland caribou (named the Owl Lake Herd).
Activity #8 – Explore the Mining History
In the 1930s, Nopiming Provincial Park was one of the most active areas of the Manitoba gold rush.
Towns such as Beresford Lake, Wadhope, and Long Lake had thriving mining communities, and though little of the mining past is left for exploration today, there are a series of interpretive signs that provide more information.
👉 Looking for more amazing things to do in Manitoba? Check out my picks for the 15 best things to do in Gimli!
The Best Hiking Trails in Nopiming Provincial Park
Trail #1 – Walking on Ancient Mountains (1.8 km return)
My personal favorite hike in the park, the Walking on Ancient Hiking Trail is located about 11km north of Black Lake Campground and is roughly 1.8km return.
A hike that’ll take you about an hour and a half, the trek will lead you through boreal forest and over Precambrian shield. There are some steep sections, so I recommend bringing a walking stick for support if you need.
There are also a few sections of the hike that feature stairs, and there are markers that guide you from start to finish.
Without a doubt, the Walking On Ancient Mountains hike will give you amazing views of the forest and surrounding lakes (Tooth Lake being the most visible).
When my mom and I did this hike, it was incredibly quiet — there was one point where all we could hear was the blood pumping in our ears — not even the wind was howling. To have the same experience, I recommend getting to the trail as early in the day as you can.
Once you get to the final viewpoint, there are picnic tables set up and plenty of great photo locations.
👉 Read More: 20 Essential Tips for Solo Traveling As a Woman
Trail #2 – Fire of ‘Eighty-three (1.5 km return)
With the trailhead just south of where Provincial Road 314 and Beresford Lake Road meet, the Fire of ‘Eighty-three trail takes you through a section of boreal forest that was burnt from a natural fire almost thirty years ago. The section is now experiencing beautiful regrowth (you’ll wander through jack pines and tamarack) and is a great educational trail to tackle.
You can grab a brochure that explains more about the trail at the Beresford Campground office; the trail will take roughly 1 hour.
Trail #3 – Black Lake Trail (8km out and back)
A moderately-trafficked trail, the Black Lake Trail will take you around Black Lake and over to Black River, all the while traversing through forest and over dirt and rock.
The trail is well-marked with pink ribbons, and you can find the trailhead at the far end of the beach (look for signs).
I loved this trail as not only did I (mostly) have it to myself, but it gave awesome views of the lake and the islands. It did get quite boggy at some points though (it had just rained when I tackled this) so be sure to bring quality hiking boots.
👍 Pro Tip: Conservation is big in the backcountry. Remember to follow leave no trace rules when partaking in outdoorsy activities — packing out everything that you brought in, properly disposing of waste, and sticking to the trails.
Where to Stay in Nopiming
⛺ Tulabi Falls Campground
A gorgeous campground located right near Tulabi Falls, Tulabi Falls Campground is a rustic site that features non-modern bathrooms, a campground office, a boat launch, and a beach. There are 17 basic campsites and 19 electrical campsites at this location.
Nopiming Lodge (which includes a store and gas pumps) is just 5 minutes down the road.
⛺ Black Lake Campground
A primitive-style campground, Black Lake Campground runs along Black Lake and features outhouses, non-potable water, firepits, picnic tables, firewood, a campground office, a beach, trash disposal, and easy access to Black Lake Tail.
My mom and I nabbed a campsite at this location during our trip and found it to be quiet with easy access to some great activities.
⛺ Bird Lake Campground
Located along Bird Lake, Bird Lake Campground is a primitive-style site with outhouses, a boat dock, and it accommodates 20-40 foot RV’s.
Tulabi Falls and Nopiming Lodge are just down the road from this campground, so it’s a great spot if you still want to get the rustic Nopiming experience while being close to amenities.
⛺ Beresford Lake Campground
Another primitive-style campground, this small site features a non-potable water pump, vault toilets, and trash pickup. There isn’t much to do around here, so camping really is the name of the game, but some of the major sites are just a quick drive away.
🎪 Feel like a more comfortable camping experience but don’t want to commit to a lodge? Then book a yurt! Tulabi Falls campground is home to six yurts that offer skylights, heaters, and solar lighting.
Just keep in mind that yurts get booked up very quickly, so try to cement your plans as far in advance as possible.
🔎 You can make your campsite and yurt reservations here.
🛏️ Windsock Lodge
Located on Long Lake in Nopiming, Windsock Lodge caters to both fishing buffs and families, and offers lakeside cabins full of amenities.
The property features barbecues, indoor plumbing, and equipment rentals.
🛏️ Nopiming Lodge
Offering seven contemporary cabins with various occupancies, Nopiming Lodge is located near Tulabi Falls and offers kitchen supplies, hot and cold water, and complimentary canoe, kayak, and pedal boat use.
🛏️ Q Lake Lodge
Catering to the fishing crowd, Q Lake Lodge is a drive-in fishing lodge located at the northwest tip of Quesnel Lake at Caribou Landing. In regards to lodging, they offer both cabins and campsites of various occupancies. All cabins feature flush toilets and hot showers.
If you have a need-for-speed in angling, then you’ll be happy to hear that Q Lake Lodge features a Master Angler Program.
👂 Psst – if you book at Q Lake Lodge, you’ll have access to the Quesnel Sauna, a seven-person wood-fired sauna that is perfect after a day out on the lake.
What to Pack for a Nopiming Road Trip
❗ Important Reminder: Make sure you book your accommodations and have your park pass printed ahead of time!
Is there cell service in Nopiming Provincial Park?
While there is cell-service in Nopiming, it does tend to be spotty and even non-existent on some backroads. You’ll find the best service near Tulabi Lake as there is a cell tower.
Do you need a park pass for Tulabi Falls?
You’ll need a park pass for your car the entire duration of your trip. You can get this online ahead of time or at one of the main campground offices.
How many provincial parks are in Manitoba?
There are 92 provincial parks in Manitoba, all exploring various aspects of the province’s natural beauty, culture, and history.
Where is Bird Lake, Manitoba?
227km North of Winnipeg, Bird Lake is near Tulabi Falls in Nopiming.
That’s it for my road trip guide to Nopiming Provincial Park! I hope this gave you a ton of inspiration for your upcoming trip — let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
A special thanks to Travel Manitoba for supporting my trip to Nopiming Provincial Park. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.