Mantario Trail is a 36.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Division No. 1, Manitoba, Canada that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 36.9 miles Elevation Gain: 3,467 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Trail is well marked but challenging. This is a multi-day trip that should only be attempted by those with backpacking and back country hiking experience.

backpacking
muddy
rocky
2 days ago

I hiked a portion of the Mantario Trail from the south trailhead to Caribou Lake West as an introduction to this trail. This was my first backcountry hike/camping experience with a few friends who had a lot of combined experience on this trail. We hiked approximately 20 km round trip (10 km to Caribou Lake and back) and camped in the west campground at Caribou Lake. The hike was challenging (especially while carrying the weight of extra gear for camping), but very rewarding. There were lots of ups and downs over the granite rock face, including some steep climbs and descents. The trail led through forest (including burned sections from past fires), along the granite rock face in the Canadian Shield, across a river and a couple of creeks, and over two sets of train tracks. There were some very muddy sections in the lower forest areas, more so in the first section near the beginning of the trailhead, which were sometimes tricky to maneuver and required hopping across logs. Lots of roots and rocks, so definitely watch your footing to avoid tripping. Hiking poles helped tremendously! There were beautiful views along the hike while on top of the granite rock of the surrounding forest, Caddy Lake and Whiteshell River. The trail was pretty well marked and easy to follow with arrows posted on trees and bright flagging tape. I was expecting the bugs to be much worse than they actually were. There were definitely some mosquitoes, flies and ticks but they were not horrendous. I ended up having a total of six ticks by the end of the weekend (regular ticks, no deer ticks). Do frequent checks during the hike to spot them quickly! We didn’t encounter any wildlife during the hike, but bear spray is still a good thing to carry. At the Caribou junction, the sign was down but still visible laying in front of an old airfield tower foundation in the burned section of forest. The trail to the right (marked with flagging tape), leads 5 km to the Caribou Lake east campground and the trail to the left leads 2.5 km to the west campground. If you are hiking the entire trail, then you would camp in the east campground, as this is where the trail continues from. The west campground is suited for those doing an overnight on the trail. We headed to the west campground and the trail continued along a wider grassy path through forest and over rocks. This section of the hike to Caribou Lake was less intense and it was fairly flat, with not too many ups and downs. Closer to the campground, there was a fork in the trail with an arrow pointing right and left. The right trail look lesser traveled so we took the left trail to arrive at the campground (still not sure where the other trail leads). Before arriving at the campground, we passed three bear boxes (to store toiletries and food during the night) and the outdoor privy (toilet) was on the left side of the trail just before arriving to camp. Bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer for the toilet. Caribou Lake was absolutely gorgeous! The campground was situated on a small peninsula jutting out into the lake, among tall pine trees to provide shade. There were lots of flat spaces to pitch a tent. This was a very peaceful area, deep in the wilderness, with amazing views of the lake and so much natural, rugged beauty! It was definitely worth the effort to get there. There was a picnic table and fire pit at the campground as well. Bring ear plugs for the night, as you will be able to hear trains passing through. On the first day, it took us approximately 5.5 hours to hike the 10 km from the south trailhead to Caribou Lake, with some breaks for water/lunch/photos along the way and moving at a more leisurely pace. On the hike back to the trailhead, we completed the same distance in about 4.5 hours and were moving at a steadier pace with less breaks. This hike is good for experienced hikers and backpackers. If you are wanting to hike this trail or a portion of it, I would highly recommend doing a day hike on the Hunt Lake trail in preparation, as the terrain and level of difficulty is similar and is a good way to gauge whether you are ready for the Mantario. Come prepared if you plan to hike this trail. Wear sturdy and comfortable hiking boots/shoes, bring lots of water and a water filter and extra food. There is limited cell service along most of the hike. Overall, I would absolutely recommend this hike to experienced hikers with a good fitness level looking for a challenging and rewarding experience! I definitely felt pretty strong and empowered after completing a portion of this trail. Can’t wait to eventually hike the entire 63 km.

hiking
5 days ago

This is one of my favourite trails. I’ve done the full trail 4 times (back in 2002-2006) and the overnight trip to caribou lake a couple times after that. The best Manitoba has to offer.

hiking
bridge out
muddy
washed out
7 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing challenge. I'm a guy who likes to get the hard stuff out of the way first, so it was very nice when my camp group over the summer decided to start on the north end. Was really hard on the feet, our group did about an average of 12k a day, the trip took 5 days to complete (although we decided to kill it one day so we got a whole day off at one of the campsites). Feet were wet for practically the entire trip, rained for the majority of the trip but that just makes you go faster, so not a total downside. The scenery changes immensely throughout the hike, keeps things very interesting. The campsites themselves are mostly gorgeous. Overall 10/10 would hike again.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing, very challenging the rain retarded our every step, I injured myself on the south end of the trail which is where we started so I only made it too Marian lake but it was incredible . prepare yourself, I didn’t have trekking poles but I will definitely Invest in them next time as the injury would have been avoided if I had them

hiking
muddy
over grown
8 months ago

Ran the trail in one shot. Parks Manitoba did a nice job cleaning up some of the north end of the trail. Conditions were pretty awful due to a couple weeks of rain leading up to my day. Very beautiful, challenging terrain. Highly recommend for future adventurers. Hopefully the conditions were dryer than we had.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
8 months ago

Amazing first time on the trail, definitely tests your fitness level! But worth it for the adventure seekers looking for amazing views and different terrains. Met the friendliest people along the trail as well.

hiking
9 months ago

South to North: the common feedback I've heard from other hikers about this trail is the southern end is the most difficult with it's higher elevation through undulating terrain. TRUTH: I've unfortunately never completed the trail but have done the route from South Trailhead to Caribou Lake East a few times. Only once I've made the distance to Marion Lake where the scenery/trail only gets better from there (or so I've heard). I hope to finish this trail in full next year but always look forward to the thrill I feel starting this challenging and equally rewarding trail. See ya soon Big Whiteshell Trailhead (North Trailhead)!

hiking
9 months ago

So hot. No bugs. No bear sightings, which was good since we accidentally left the bear spray IN OUR TRUCK LOL Nice trail. We walked up to Caribou East. Spent the night then came back the next day. Was pretty well marked. Bring water!! Lots.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
10 months ago

I hiked a portion of the Mantario Trail (approx. 7 km round trip, so 3.5 km in and 3.5 km out) beginning at the South Trailhead by Caddy Lake to prepare for eventually hiking the full thing. I hike the trail in mid-July and it was VERY muddy and swampy along the low sections. The mosquitoes were horrendous and aggressive. Would highly recommend gaiters and waterproof hiking boots. The trail began by passing through a section of forest that had been damaged by fires, before following through lush forest with lots of climbs and descents along the rocky Canadian Shield landscape. It was challenging and involved lots of technical stepping over rocks and roots. In some areas, the declines were so steep on the large rocks that sliding down on your butt worked the best. There were some amazing views overlooking the landscape along the way when we were standing on top of the rocks. Having hiked the beginning of this trail, I feel slightly more confident in my goal of hiking the entire 63 km. Planning to do an overnight trip this summer to continue my preparations. If you're wanting to hike this full trail, I would recommend starting out with a day trip to get a feel for the terrain. Next time, I plan to do this hike in the fall to hopefully avoid the swampiness and mosquitoes.

hiking
bugs
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

On June 8th, while hiking the Mantario Trail, I found a pair of black, "Foster Black," prescription glasses. I'm not exactly sure where I was on the trail when I picked them up, but it must have been somewhere between 40km and 50km from the south trailhead. I'm moving to Taiwan tomorrow, but I'm leaving the glasses at my in-laws place in Winkler, MB. If these are yours, or if you know whose they are, give this number a call: (204) 325-7611.

hiking
Sun Jun 02 2019

Did a small section on the Mantario Trail until a lookout. Interesting landscape change from a central flat landscape.

hiking
Sat May 25 2019

Beautiful and challenging trail. We did the whole Mantario in September and unfortunately it was quite wet and cold (even got some snow). Can’t give it 5 stars because north trail head start is pretty gross as it goes through what looks to be an old road so it’s torn up and usually have huge puddles. Besides that the rest of the trail is gorgeous.

hiking
Fri May 24 2019

I would like to thank the people that have used their own signs to mark the trail. It would be nice if forestry would take some time and mark the trail thank God for this app because there was a few spots I did not know where to go. We hiked up to Caribou Lake. The first one or 2 km are very wet. After that the trail was in excellent shape again thank you to the people who have put their homemade signs up when we get the junctions

Thu May 23 2019

Great trai...tough test...well worth the walk.

backpacking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
scramble
Tue May 21 2019

My buddy and I went on the May long, at this time of year it was still a bit muddy and swampy at times. Very challenging terrain for us car campers, but with the right knowledge, gear and spirit it's totally doable. As for knowledge, know your foot care because of the constant ups and downs. Also, we heard wolf howls all night for three nights, so know how to properly store/hang food and such to avoid unwanted wildlife. Deer and wolf scat was everywhere, and grouse thumping can be heard as well. For gear, waterproof boots, sunscreen for going through the burned exposed forest sections and poles if that's your style. And never give up!! keep your spirits high! (Edit: Don't night hike!! We tried for fun, and got lost very quickly! Well marked, but difficult to follow in the dark. Follow the inukshuks if you're lost)

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