An Inroduction

The rivers of southwestern Manitoba - their valleys, their banks, their bridges and dams - are the most scenic spots the area has to offer. Although rivers were once the most important transportation links in this area, riverside locations were only important for the first few years of the settlement era. The coming of the railroad quickly made the rivers nearly irrelevant as transportation routes. Because of this our riverbanks remain relatively undeveloped and uninhabited. Seeing the river scenery from the river offers a unique perspective.

This project had it's beginning in a series of canoe trips I made in 1995 and 1996. We wanted a series of local day trips, and as we were scouting departure points and landings, I started keeping notes. During the trips my interest in local history was sparked and ... before I knew it I had enough material for a short book.

I hope this guide will help people get acquainted with a part of our province that is just a bit out of the way. It is meant as a time saver and trip companion. I've tried to offer easy directions to access points on the rivers, suggestions concerning points of interest, and simple maps.

For More Details...

I have made brief mention of certain historical and geographical details that I have explored in much more detail in other places.

For more history on places like Brandon, Currie's Landing, Grand Valley, Millford, Gregory's Mill, Souris City, 
The Souris Mouth Fur Trade Posts and the Assiniboine River Steamboats go to:

False Starts: A Settlement History of Western Manitoba

For photographs and info on other places mentioned - go to:

Past & Present - The Virtual Maniotba Image Gallery

For a closer look at the Souris Bend - the location of the best canoe route in Western Manitoba - see:

The Souris Bend

For dozens of Manitoba Photographs on topics such as: Westman Rivers, River Flights, Heritage Sites etc., go to:

The Manitoba Photo Gallery

Just a word about the maps. Much more detailed (and accurate) maps are available from the Department of Natural Resources. They cost about $10 each. The maps included here are quite basic, but designed for easy use. I've included only information I think is relevant. I've recently added Google Earth clips, and recommend this amazing resource to anyone wanting to take a close look at a river route.

If anyone using this guide has suggestions, corrections, etc. please Contact Me.

Note From the Author

My interest in canoeing is relatively recent, and is actually more of an interest in rivers than in it is in canoeing. The canoe is simply my favorite way of exploring the rivers. So this little volume is not about paddling skills and technique. For that I recommend Bill Mason's excellent " The Path of the Paddle". My focus is on the river experience on these specific routes and as such is more of a travel guide.

With that in mind I advise readers that river travel must be undertaken with caution and that my information about river conditions and paddling difficulty is based only upon my experience with these rivers. Conditions can change dramatically in a short period of time. I am not an expert in river safety and can not assume any liability for the reader's use of my information.

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