Positioned at the very south of Lake of the Prairies, Asessippi Provincial Park is a natural beauty created by mother nature and nurtured by humans.
The park features a man-made lake and bounties that were first harvested by a small group of Cree and Anishinabe. Their work was then carried on by the fur traders and settlers who populated the area later on. Pretty soon the region became a lively frontier community, and today the park aspires to boost the appreciation of the rural industry it once was during the 1880s and 1890s.
While the park has abundant opportunities for recreational activities, it is especially known for its water-oriented recreation. It has much to do with the fact that the park is surrounded by Assiniboine and Shell Rivers and Lake of the Prairies.
The fishing opportunities are endless and the prospects of getting to know the flora and fauna of the area are even richer. And when the campers need a little breather from physical exertion, they can switch to refreshing their mind by looking out for interpretive signs and learning about the rich history of the area.
Whether you’re visiting the area as a camper or as a local, out and about for good daytime fun, the park offers all the high-end facilities and a variety of recreation activities. Young, old, and people with disabilities are all welcome at the park.
Asessippi Provincial Park is located near Inglis, Manitoba about a 100 km or 70 miles away from Dauphin. Take the exit from Winnipeg and follow Highway 1 west to Virden and on to P. T. H. 83. Make a turn on P.R. 482 to Asessippi and you’ll arrive at your majestically beautiful destination. Roads leading to the park are well-maintained and gravel and paved roads inside the park connect to the many campsites, facilities, and park offered amenities.
The Asessippi campground has over a hundred campsites that are scattered all around the lake's edge at different locations. 91 of these sites are for RV campers and come with an electrical hookup of either 15-amp or 30-amp.
Most campsite offer plenty of space and privacy with lake-facing views and nearby access to dump stations, pit toilets, water taps, showers, modern washrooms, and a playground. Firewood is also supplied near the campground.
The campground is situated close to horseshoe pits, a boat launch area, a baseball diamond, hiking trails, and a snack bar. The local concessionaire at the park also assists with the boat and motor rentals, miniature golf, bait, and tackle service, as well as angling licenses. Bookings are to be made prior to visiting the park. However, on spot bookings are also entertained. Guests can stay for a maximum of 14 days at a time.
Lake of the Prairies is one of the leading walleye fisheries in all of North America, and you’ll have direct access to it when you camp at Asessippi Provincial Park. The amount of annual walleye catch from this lake alone is five times that of the provincial average, that goes on to say, it is highly unlikely you won’t be able to catch one for yourself.
In addition to walleye, you can also sink your hook in expectations of some good perch and northern pike.
A tackle and bait shop is available at the park and ice fishing is just as popular during the off-season.
If you don’t want to jump into the water, or when you are tired from sitting at one spot from angling then you can always turn to a euphoric canoeing, kayaking or boating experience. The Assiniboine and Shell Rivers, both allow good canoeing to vacationers and the rentals are also available at the Lake of the Prairies. The canoeing route takes the vacationers along the river and closer to the picturesque hills and valleys and the contoured land around the lake. The cyclists get a similar route alongside the river and they too get to enjoy the scenic route.
If campers stay observant near the Lake of the Prairies, then there’s a very high chance they’ll catch sight of kingbirds, American goldfinches, ruffed grouse, common nighthawks, vireos, and warblers. The birders can also settle themselves at the lakeside and they won’t be disappointed because the American white pelicans, western grebes, various species of ducks, and great blue herons practically –and literally – live there. The bird enthusiast would also be able to catch sight of Sandhill cranes if they visit after the summers.
The Ancient Valley self-guiding trail is a 3-km loop that takes the vacationers to a place that 50 Ontario homesteaders used to call home. These homesteaders were also the first settlers in the area. The view on this trail is beyond spectacular as the hikers get to see the winding Shell River Valley snaking out before them. The trail itself is relatively easy to hike on and at the end of it, you’ll find yourself at the Asessippi townsite. Many other hiking trails are also available of different lengths and difficulty to explore.
As mentioned earlier, the place has a rich history and campers can witness it for themselves by visiting the remnants of the abandoned town preserved along the shores of the Shell River. This mysterious community had appeared in anticipation of the rail line. However, when the railway was diverted, the community dispersed as well, leaving only their traces behind.
The Asessippi Provincial Park is lively and beautifully chaotic in winters when people from all over the country visit to enjoy the winter sports to its fullest. Settled deep in the Shell River Valley is Asessippi Ski Area and Resort. The establishment provides 25 runs of downhill skiing and snowboarding along with half-pipe and two terrain park. Chairlifts, quad, triple lifts, snow carpet, downhill snow tubing, and a charming winter village are all offered by the park management.