Located in southwest Manitoba, Turtle Mountain Provincial Park is nestled among wetlands and rolling hills with forests of hardwoods. There are numerous lakes, most of which are shallow, scattered across the 72 square mile (184 km2) park. When seen from the air, it is said that the park appears to be one-third water. Turtle Mountain was the first dry terrain in the province of Manitoba after the last ice age.
During your stay at the park, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning scenery and activities of Turtle Mountain. Tackle the 12-mile (19km) canoe route during the spring and fall. Hike or mountain bike on the numerous trails. Listen and watch the many different species of animals that frequent the park. Though the campgrounds aren’t open during the winter months, the park is still open for day use. There are many miles of groomed trails for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
There are three campgrounds within the park, each of which provides park guests with a number of activities and amenities. There are over 150 sites across the three campgrounds. Adam Lake offers some sites with electric hookups while the rest have no services. Reservations for campsites can be made online or over the phone. Camping season runs from May through September.
Turtle Mountain Provincial Park is located near Boissevain, Manitoba. While you’ll feel away from it all within this large park, the town of Boissevain is only about a 20-minute drive. There you’ll find services and supplies. The park is along the US/Canada border and is just north of the state of North Dakota.
There is parking located in the campground areas which are near the larger lakes. Some of these have boat launches. Many of the smaller lakes and ponds are accessible by foot, bike, or cross-country skiing from the many trails within the park.
William Lake Campground is at the east end of the park. There are 43 campsites, all of which are unserviced. There is a water supply within the campground as well as firewood available for purchase. This campground has bathrooms and showers.
The beach at William Lake is perfect to enjoy a swim. There are also picnic areas, a playground, volleyball court, and a horseshoe pit for guests to enjoy.
Max Lake Campground has 24 sites without services. Water supplies and dump stations are available within the campground. Each campsite has a fire pit for which firewood can be purchased in the park.
Max Lake is Turtle Mountain Provincial Park’s largest lake. There is a beach to enjoy in the camping area for swimming and boating. There are bathrooms and showers located at this campground for guests.
Adam Lake Campground has both serviced and unserviced campsites. 36 campsites have both electric and water, 45 sites are electric only, and there are an additional 26 sites without services. Firewood is available within the park and may be burned in the fire pits located at each campsite. None of the campsites have sewer hookups, however, there is a dump station in the campground.
A number of amenities are available at this campground for guests to enjoy. The campground has playgrounds, a volleyball court, a baseball field, and an unsupervised swimming area. Showers and bathrooms are scattered throughout this camping area as well.
The canoe route in the park is a popular activity for visitors to Turtle Mountain. This canoe route runs from Oskar Lake and is 12 miles (19 km). It is recommended to experience the canoe route during the spring and fall months. Taking the route counter-clockwise will help visitors avoid some of the steep hills at portages. Canoes and kayaks are welcome on many of the other lakes as well. Boat launches are located at some lakes in the park.
There are several picnic areas scattered across the park under dense forest or along the larger lakes. Some are covered shelters while others are open. Take a break from a hike, canoeing, or exploring to enjoy lunch or dinner with family or friends gathered at one of these areas.
Many of the trails are open for mountain biking. Ride through the rolling hills covered in forests of aspen, Manitoba maple, birch, and ash. You’ll pass by and around many of the park's lakes and ponds. You may encounter wildlife while out biking on the trails. Keep an eye out for deer and elk, not to mention the many birds that known to the park.
There are many miles of trails at Turtle Mountain. Adam Lake alone has five trailheads. These trailheads are located at the campground, group campsite, beach, winter recreation area, and the equestrian campsite. Shelters are scattered throughout the trails where visitors can rest. On the south end of the park is the the John Lake Trail which leads visitors along the international boundary. While out exploring many of the trails, you’ll likely come across some of the park’s wildlife including deer, moose, beavers, and elk.
Many of the lakes within the park are shallow, making them unfit for fish to live. Adam, Bower, Max, and William lakes are four of the largest lakes in the park. These four lakes are often stocked with fish and are the best fishing spots on Turtle Mountain. A fish cleaning station is located at William Lake.
During all seasons, wildlife frequent the park. Visitors are likely to catch a glimpse or hear many different types of animals. Painted turtles, beaver, and salamanders can be spotted around the many ponds and lakes. Listen to the calls of loons in the evenings as well as the hoots of great horned owls. During the winter, you may notice the tracks of deer, elk, and moose or even see these animals yourself. Be sure not to get too close!
Even in the winter months, Turtle Mountain has plenty of activities for its guests to enjoy. The trails are groomed for cross-country skiing with the exception of John Lake Trail, Shoofly Trail, and a part of Dunseith Trail. Skiiers can enjoy miles and miles of exploration during their stay. Snowmobiling and fishing are other popular winter activities to enjoy in the park.