Manitoba often flies under the radar when people talk about destinations in Canada. However, the sprawling province contains a diverse variety of landscapes to explore, ranging from golden flatlands to arboreal forests to austere tundras.

And across this wild land, there are plenty of unique places to visit in Manitoba. From the Clearwater Caves to the mystery of the Cement Cemetery, here are some secret places in Manitoba just waiting to be discovered. Hit the road this summer and check out some top spots recommended by locals at your own pace.

Clearwater Lake Secret Places in Manitoba

Image by Scott Carnegie, Courtesy of Travel Manitoba.

Clearwater Provincial Park

Home to over 100,000 lakes across its territory, Manitoba offers plenty of beautiful nature scenes to explore. For that reason, Clearwater Provincial Park is one of the most unique places to visit in Manitoba. Located over six hours north of Winnipeg, Clearwater Lake lives up to its name with beautiful turquoise waters around a rich, arboreal setting. 

Thanks to its remote location in the north of Manitoba, Clearwater Provincial Park is not only a serene hideaway, but it also features some of the best fishing in the province. It’s certainly one of the most famous places in Manitoba for anglers who want to snag massive trout and pike. 

Daring visitors can explore Clearwater Provincial Park’s Cave Trail, which leads you through minute crevices in the cliffs called the Clearwater Caves. These narrow paths lined with mossy rocks will make you feel like you’re crossing the gap into magical, secret places in Manitoba.

Trappist Monastery Ruins Secret Places in Manitoba

Image by Dan McKay via Wikimedia Commons.

The Trappist Monastery Ruins

Located just on the outskirts on Winnipeg, the Trappist Monastery, Our Lady of the Prairies, was home to an order of monks from 1892 until 1978 when the order moved to the western town of Holland, MB to get away from the hustle and bustle of the growing city. At its height, the Trappist Monastery was a fully self-sufficient complex complete with greenhouses, a forge, and even stables! 

Unfortunately, a fire in 1983 destroyed the interior of the monastery’s famous church and residential wing. Today, the property has been declared a provincial park where visitors can see the church’s restored exterior and walk its contemplative grounds.

Gimli Secret Places in Manitoba

New Iceland

Situated on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, Gimli is a quaint small town famous for its great fishing spots and for sharing a name with a certain gruff dwarf from Middle Earth. That’s because the town was originally settled by Icelandic immigrants in 1875 who were fleeing the devastation of volcanic eruptions in Askja. Dubbing their new home New Iceland,” the settlers built a vibrant community where their traditional heritage is still celebrated to this day. 

Not only does Gimli’s annual Icelandic Festival attract thousands of tourists a year, but the town’s signature statue of a Viking warrior is one of the most unique places to visit in Manitoba. The local New Iceland Heritage Museum commemorates the legacy of the town’s founders and subsequent generations of immigrants from Iceland and visitors can sample a number of traditional Icelandic treats around the town.

Churchill Secret Places in Manitoba

Churchill: The Polar Bear (and Beluga Whale) Capital of Canada

One of the most unique, famous places to visit in Manitoba, Churchill is among the northernmost communities in the provinces and is the best place to go if you want to see polar bears in their natural habitat. Sitting on the shores of Hudson’s Bay, Churchill has the distinction of being one of the few places where these naturally solitary predators congregate in the fall until the frozen waters become solid enough for them to traverse.

Visitors to Churchill can go on winter safaris” to the tundra to see the polar bears hunt, fish, and frolic; however, it’s far from uncommon for the lumbering giants to wander into the town itself. In addition to seeing the polar bears in the fall, Beluga whales migrate to the waters around Churchill to give birth in the summer.

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Image by @buddythehuskyshepherd via Instagram.

The Cement Cemetery

Those in search of the most secret places in Manitoba will be glad to discover the strange, rising pillars that make-up the Cement Cemetery. Often likened to England’s Stonehenge, the Cement Cemetery is located on a hill just outside cemetery where smooth, concrete pillars jut out from the Earth in a strange, not-quite-random pattern. Upon closer examination, one can see that numbers have been etched into the sides of the pillars.

While some say the Cement Cemetery is merely a relic of a concrete company that used to own the area, no one has ever taken credit for putting up this strange landmark. As such, theories abound…

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