From our blog
Spoon? Headlamp? Don't forget key items when packing for an overnight hike.
The Tamarack Loop is part of the larger Epinette Creek trail system (pdf). Parking is located at the Epinette trailhead, east of Highway 5. Outhouses, picnic tables, a warm-up shelter and an emergency payphone are located here.
There are many ways to hike within this trail network, but a good loop to check out combines the Spruce, Juniper and Tamarack trails, which works out to 16.2km total. The halfway point for lunch is at Shelter 3, complete with picnic tables, firepits, firewood and a well for water. Along with your lunch, make sure you’ve got all the 10 essentials for your day hiking expedition.
What to know
The water in the park is untreated, so be sure to bring a filter, purifier or pot for boiling to make your water drinkable. View a map online to plan your route (the Manitoba Backroads Mapbook is another resource to check out for hiking adventures) or stick to the traditional Tamarack Loop outlined on the park website. Also, be on the lookout for poison ivy. Stay on the trail, and remember: leaves of three, let it be. Any plants with clusters of three leaves are best avoided.
Before you head out, read up on 7 tips for responsible hiking to keep the trails as natural as when you found them.
Wildlife in the park
Keep your camera ready for sightings of coyote, deer, elk and the beauty of the boreal forest. Don’t forget to look up, too. This area is a birding hotspot, and you might see hawks, eagles, vultures or colourful bluebirds or indigo buntings.
Extend your stay
If you choose to extend your hike into an overnight camping experience, call the Carberry District Office at 204-834-8800 to get your reservation set up. Backcountry camping sites are readily available along the Epinette Creek trails. The park also has over 200 reservable sites and 13 yurts at the Kiche Manitou campground. Hearing coyotes howling as the sun sets and stargazing up at the Milky Way are major highlights on this trail.