Who’s ready for the May Long Weekend?! Here’s what we’ve got going on:
Campgrounds: Not only will Mule Deer, Hampton & Coldspring Campgrounds be open for business, but it looks like we are on track to open Lightning Lake Campground too! If Lightning Lake opens early, it will be first come, first serve until June 7th, after which it will be 100% reservable through Discover Camping. For more info on all our campgrounds, see our Camping page.
The Boathouseopens from 9am-6pm for canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard and rowboats. The Boathouse is open weekends until June 29th, when it will be daily. Boat rentals are available from the Front Desk outside of these times.
The first Interpretive programs start! These free programs are for kids of all ages to learn about the amazing flora and fauna in the park in fun and interesting ways. They run weekends from May 18-June 23, and daily from June 29-Sept. 1. Look for weekly posted schedules (& online) to know when and where to meet for talks.
Manning Park Visitor Centre is open May 17th. Open 9am-6pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until June 15 then daily during the summer months. Stop off here for information on camping, hiking, mountain biking, backcountry camping fees, fishing licenses and much more.
The ground squirrels may have gone to bed, and you may be heading back to the daily grind after a long, luxurious summer away, but don’t count out a few cheeky weekend trips away, and some great activities to do in fall at Manning Park.
My favourite things about fall in Manning Park – less bugs, no campfire bans, incredible colours and quiet hikes!
The vine maples have been changing colour already and are showing their full display of autumn foliage.
Here’s our top 5 for your list this Fall:
1. Larch Trees
On Mt. Frosty, we have a forest of the only coniferous, deciduous trees – the larch. This means the needles on this tree change colour seasonally and fall off. At the end of September – early October, they turn electric yellow and are truly a sight to behold! Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website, we will let you know when they start changing.
Mt. Frosty is a solid hike: 22.2 km from Lightning Lake to summit and return, 1150m elevation gain & 9-11 hours. See more info here: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/ecmanning/frosty.html
Cooler weather means those uphills don’t make you sweat so bad! We recommend Poland Lake or Windy Joe for a longer trip and the more adventurous, although cruising North Gibson and South Gibson are always worth the ride. See our updated mountain bike info on our webpage here.
3. Canoeing or kayaking
The Boathouse stays open weekends until Thanksgiving, but boat rentals are available throughout the week as well from our Front Desk. Pop by to pick up your paddles, life jacket and the key to a canoe, kayak or a SUP (if you’re not too scared of the cooler waters!)
4. Sample some vino.
Have you checked out our wine menu lately? We are proud to offer all local wines from the Similkameen Valley and Okanagan areas. Wine tastes great no matter what the weather is doing outside!
Our newest fall activity has been here the whole time – just look up! The cool, crisp days of autumn are a great time for stargazing. See more information about stargazing on our Manning Park Dark Sky page. Learn about our fall Dark Sky Discount by signing up for our mailing list, and don’t miss our first Astronomy Weekend from October 12-14th.
This past Saturday, July 16th marked Canada’s Parks Day, and was the date chosen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of EC Manning Provincial Park.
Despite being in the middle of summer, the weather resembled the initial ceremony that was held on an overcast, chilly September 12, 1941.
An enthusiastic crowd turned out to visit the community booths, which held excellent displays of Manning history, local hiking and conservation groups and represented the Hope, Princeton and Chilliwack communities. Many past and present staff from BC Parks were at the event. To the delight of kids, Jerry the Moose also made an appearance.
Dignitaries who spoke of the heritage and continuing conservation of the park included Mark Weston, BC Parks and Protected Areas Section Head of the Okanagan, Kevin Demers, owner of Manning Park Resort, and Tom Moore, former BC Parks District Manager from 1963-1973.
Mayors of Princeton, Hope and Chilliwack graced the ceremony. The honourable Frank Armitage (Princeton), Wilfried Vicktor (Hope), and Sharon Gaetz (Chilliwack) spoke of the influence of the Park on their communities, as well as their personal experiences and memories.
The Honourable Mayor Frank Armitage presented Manning Park with a special photo of the band that played at the opening ceremony in 1941. It will hang in a place of honour in Manning Park.
A number of volunteers were recognized for their ongoing commitment to maintain trails in the park, as well as supporting the programs and activities that make Manning a special place. They were given the gift of the 75th commemorative painting for their efforts.
Those recognized for their volunteer efforts:
Tom Moore, former BC Parks District Manager and longtime Friends of Manning Park
Kelley Cook, Friends of Manning Park and Heritage Trails
Rose Schroeder, Backcountry Horsemen of BC (not pictured)
Heather MacDonald, Fat Dog 120 organizer
Roger Bean, longtime Friend of Manning Park
Jim Hilton, longtime BC Parks employee with 3 generations (his dad, Joe, then son, Jamie) working in Manning Park (not pictured)
Kelly Pearce & Hope Mountain Centre (represented by Michele Drummond)
Canadian Ski Patrol – Manning Park Team
Jo Hughes, Park interpreter and Manning Park Resort employee (not pictured)
There are many more that could and should be recognized for their continuing dedication to make Manning Park the incredible place that it is. Thank you to these individuals and all those they represent within their organizations and others who work to conserve and protect EC Manning Provincial Park.
Murray Phillips unveiled his commemorative painting – “On the Way to Three Brothers – Manning Park.” He spoke lovingly of the park that he grew up in, and of his honour to memorialize it with his beautiful painting depicting the Heather Trail, looking towards the Three Brothers ridge in the alpine meadows of Manning Park.
All who attended were welcome to get a poster of his painting, and he signed over 250 copies.
Posters are available from Manning Park Visitor Centre. The 75th commemorative painting is also available as art prints and giclée canvas for purchase in the Country Store. Profits go towards the interpretive programs that run in the park throughout the summer.
Thank you for joining us to celebrate this remarkable milestone! Here’s to another 75 years!
As Manning Park turns 75 this year, we want to celebrate by sharing stories of My Manning Memory. There is a huge amount of nostalgia and love for Manning that we want to draw out and to showcase your stories.
Let’s reminisce about that time you saw a bear munching grass on your hike, or when you were camping and thought you heard a wolf, your family (mis)adventures of canoeing, or your historical knowledge of the area!
Share 1 photo + 1 story (300 words or less) of your favourite Manning Memory, and get entered into the contest for great prizes!
Prizes generously donated by our sponsors include:
Valhalla Pure-Abbotsford -two awesome backpacks to give away- a Tempest and a Talon backpack from Osprey
Leave a Leaf -Maple leaf shaped hiking baskets (We love these!)
Coleman -Coleman inflatable 1 person kayak
Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning – One-day program for one lucky person
Mt. Waddington’s -gift card
Manning Park Resort – 1 night queen room lodge accommodation + groomer ride (Redeemable Winter 2016/17)
BC Parks -75th commemorative painting, t-shirts & more swag
Contest runs from May 21 to September 4th. Winners will be announced at the Final Interpretive program for summer season – September 4th.
You can see a list of winners after September 4th by visiting summer.manningpark.com/my-manning-memory or check our Facebook.