For a province known for its brutal winters, Manitoba pays us back with rich summers that are short but sweet.

The South sparkles with the Red River, Lake Winnipeg and the city of Winnipeg itself. The East offers summer fishing, hunting and the edge of Hudson's Bay. Keep your ears open in Central Manitoba and you might hear buffalo trekking through prairie land. North Western Manitoba is the wildest of the regions, and only meant for the bravest of souls who want to dive into blue-green waters and to see roaming moose and bison.

With ample to see in each area, you want to spend more time enjoying the province and less time spending money. Most of the top camping spots are located within parks or near paid areas, so be mindful of which ones have a fee and which are considered “backcountry” or “wilderness.” But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this list of 30 free camping spots—so you can focus on exploring.

 

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Credit:  Flickr cc by 2.0

 

Legend:

Wilderness Camping: A designated area within a park or designated park where camping is allowed at any suitable location

Backcountry Camping: Designated campsites accessed by hiking from a parking lot, or trailhead. Trails range from 0.5 km to 60 km. All equipment must be carried in and out by campers. Can book for up to 3 days at a time.

Water-route Camping: Designated campsites available only by canoe or boat. This could mean a one-hour paddle or a multi-day trip. All equipment must be packed in and out by campers. Portages exist on some routes.

For all camping areas, treat the land and community with respect. Follow "leave no trace" policies and exercise caution around wildlife.

 

photo
Credit: Joel Penner Flickr cc by 2.0

1. Burge Lake Provincial Park

Site overview: Minutes away from transparent waters of Burge Lake. 13 sites available.

Amenities: Picnic shelter, pit privy toilets, boat ramp, playground, complimentary firewood.

Location: 10 km from the town of Lynn Lake off Provincial Trunk Highway 394

 

2. Helca / Grindstone

Wilderness Camping

Site overview: Camping is permitted on islands except for Hecla Island and sections of Grindstone Point. Pre-register with a Natural Resource Officer as a safety precaution.

Amenities: None

Location: Located on Highway 8, 165 km north of Winnipeg

3. Pembina Valley

Wilderness Camping

Site overview: Pack enough water as there is limited access to it here. Trails to wilderness camping locations are not well-maintained.

Amenities: Non-modern washrooms are located within Pembina Valley Provincial Park.

Location: Approximately 120 km southwest of Winnipeg

4. South Atikaki

Wilderness Camping

Site overview: Take your pick of wilderness camping - just avoid the shorelines of Siderock and Wallace Lakes.

Amenities: None

Location: Accessible by canoe from Wallace Lake Campground

5. Mossberry Trails
Duck Mountain
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 4 sites available. Campers are to check-in at Blue Lake or Childs campground.

Amenities: Winter use and parking lot

Location: 40 km multi-use trail from Duck Mountain Provincial Park entrance on Division No. 20.

6. Kwasitchewan Falls Hiking Trail
Pisew Falls
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 4 sites available

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, parking lot, non-modern washroom

Location: 5 - 6 hour hike (22 km) from Pisew Falls Provincial Park at Highway 6.

7. Seton Trails
Spruce Woods
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 1 site available and must contact Carberry District office for overnight use (204-834-8800)

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, firebox, parking lot, non-modern washroom

Location: 1 - 2 day hike (16.5 km) from Spruce Woods Provincial Park at MB-5

8. Epinette Creek Trails
Spruce Woods
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 3 sites available and must contact Carberry District office for overnight use (204-834-8800)

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, firebox, parking lot, non-modern washroom, campground

Location: 1 - 3 day hike (41.7 km) from Spruce Woods Provincial Park at MB-5

9. Yellow Quill Trails
Spruce Woods
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 1 site available and must contact Carberry District office for overnight use (204-834-8800)

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, firebox, parking lot, non-modern washroom, campground

Location: 1 - 2 day hike (12.7 km) from Spruce Woods Provincial Park at MB-5

10. Cabin Lake
Whiteshell Provincial Park
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 1 site available

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, firebox, parking lot, non-modern washroom

Location: 2 - 3 hour hike (4.6 km) and can be accessed starting at Cabin Lake hiking trail

 

11. Oskar Lake
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 1 site available

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, firebox, parking lot, non-modern washroom

Location: 1 hour hike (1 km) from Oskar Lake in Morton, MB.

12. Meditation Lake
Whiteshell Provincial Park
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 3 sites available and the lake has a staging area for paddlers

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, firebox, parking lot, non-modern washroom

Location: 1 hour hike (3 km) from entrance at Provincial Rd 307

13. Mantario Hiking Trail
Whiteshell Provincial Park
Backcountry Camping

Site overview: 14 sites available; only intended for experienced backcountry use. Bear boxes are located in the southern campsites.

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, firebox, parking lot, non-modern washroom

Location: 3 - 5 day hike (63 km) from entrance at Provincial Rd 307

14. Beaver Lake
Duck Mountain
Water Route

Site overview: Canoe launch only. 1 site available. 

Amenities: Site markers, boat launch, parking lot, non-modern washroom

Location: 6.4 km (return) including 5 portages from Duck Mountain Provincial Park entrance on Division No. 20

15. Chain Lakes
Duck Mountain
Water Route

Site overview: 3 sites available. Canoe launch only, motor boats prohibited and overnight campers must register at Blue Lakes Campground office. 

Amenities: Site markers, parking lot, boat launch

Location: 5.8 km (return) and 4 portages from Duck Mountain Provincial Park entrance on Division No. 20

16. Grass River
Water Route

Site overview: 38 sites available

Amenities: Firebox, parking lot, boat launch, non-modern washroom, campground, lodge

Location: Can be accessed from three campgrounds located in the park or from travel-through point along a Grass River tip. Be prepared for 5 portages.

17. Manigotagan River
Water Route

Site overview: A section of the canoe route only, most will start in Nopiming or community of Manigotagan. There are 23 sites available.

Amenities: Firebox, privy/garden throne, parking lot, boat launch, non-modern washrooms, lodge, campground

Location: 5-day paddle (45 km) with 20 portages.

18. Paint Lake
Water Route

Site overview: 2 sites available and can be done alone or with Grass River from Cranberry Portage to Split Lake

Amenities: Parking lot, boat launch, non-modern washroom, campground, lodge

Location: Manigotagan River Provincial Park, Division No. 19

19. Stephens Lake Municipal Park

Site overview: 10 sites available

Amenities: Fishing, swimming, fire sing, boat ramp, non-modern washrooms

Location: On Butneau Road, 1km southwest of Gillam.

20. Zed Lake Provincial Park

Site overview: Sandy beach playgrounds, swimming, and a scenic getaway without the crowds. 10 sites available and pets permitted.

Amenities: Hand water pump, complimentary firewood, picnic shelter, non-modern washrooms

Location: Lynn Lake, Manitoba

 

 

21. Stanley Park

Wilderness Camping

Site overview: Free non-serviced camping within a municipal park

Amenities: Picnic shelters and washroom facilities

Location: Rural municipality of Stanley

22. Waterhen Wayside Ferry Park

Site overview: Fish, boat and bring your pets.

Amenities: Boat ramp, fire ring, picnic tables, non-modern washrooms 

Location: Near intersection of highways 328 and 276

23. Benito Campground

Site overview: Nearby playground

Amenities: Cook shack, outdoor fire pit

Location: Village of Benito.

24. Russell Peace Park

Site overview: Approximately 20 sites available, all close to a swimming pool and convenience store.

Amenities: Picnic shelter, playground, BBQ pits

Location: Town of Russell

25. Hollywood Beach

Site overview: Along Lake Manitoba. Perfect for bird watching.

Amenities: Fire ring, restrooms, trash cans

Location: Trans Canada Highway to Langruth

26. Deleau Sifton Tennis Park

Site overview: 30 + campsites available on a large green site.

Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, playground, basketball/soccer courts/field

Location: Trans Canada Highway W to Deleau on 1 Avenue

27. Sourisford Municipal Park

Site overview: 1-5 sites available

Amenities: Drinking water, boat launch, electricity (2 sites), non-modern washrooms

Location: Front St. in Melita, Manitoba

28. Bird River
Elbow Lake (Nopiming)

Water Route

Site overview: 19 sites available. If you want to continue to Woodland Caribou Provincial Park (ON), contact Ontario Parks for permit.

Amenities: Site markers, picnic table, firebox, parking, boat launch, non-modern washrooms, campground, lodge

Location: 3-day paddle (55 km) including 7 portages from Nopiming Provincial Park at PR 314

29. Oskar Lake
Turtle Mountain
Water Route

Site overview: 8 sites plus a cabin (must pre-register at 204-534-2026).

Amenities: Non-modern washrooms, boat launch, parking, firebox, picnic table, site markers

Location: 2 - 3 day (19 km) paddle with 7 portages from Turtle Mountain Provincial Park in Boissevain, MB.

30. Assiniboine River
Spruce Woods
Water Route

Site overview: 2 well-maintained sites

Amenities: Site markers, firebox, picnic table, parking, boat launch, campground, non-modern washrooms

Location: Accessible from Spruce Woods Provincial Park at MB-5

 

 

Looking for more places to camp for free across Canada?

15 Places to Camp for Free in Newfoundland & Labrador 

20 Free Places to Camp in Nova Scotia 

34 Free Places to Camp in Alberta 

50 Free Campsites in British Columbia 

50 Free Places to Camp in Ontario 

 

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