After six weeks travelling in Canada we’ve been reflecting on our highlights, and the one we can’t stop talking about is our time in a cabin in the woods in Whiteshell Provincial Park. If hopping in a canoe and paddling over to a sauna (which you even get to light yourself) on the edge of a lake sounds like heaven to you, then the Falcon Trails Resort is one for your Canadian bucket list.
It is such a unique place and we spent two days soaking up the wilderness vibe and wishing we were there for two weeks! It’s the kind of place that inspires you and it had us thinking we should start writing a novel!
Here’s why we loved it and just a few things you can do at this special hideaway in the Whiteshell.
Why we loved Falcon Trails Resort
Relaxing in the secluded eco cabin
There are few places we’ve ever been to that truly felt like an escape from the outside world and a chance to be fully immersed in nature. The eco cabins are perfect for couples or families wanting to spend quality time in the outdoors together with no distractions.
After spending so long moving around from place to place, it was just what we needed - somewhere to unwind but with enough to explore when we could tear ourselves away from the cabin.
Like many of our favourite things, it starts with a walk. We were staying at Kingfisher Cabin on High Lake which is around a 3km easy walk through the forest from reception (don’t worry, your luggage is transported for you!). You begin to feel further and further from the outside world with each step.
The walk takes you from Falcon Lake, over a small hill before dropping down to the shore of High Lake and your cabin.
As soon as we opened the door we knew it was going to be special: a cosy cabin right on the shore of the lake with stunning views and its own pier so that you can hop in a canoe and paddle to your heart’s content whenever the mood takes you.
The cabins have no TV, no WiFi, no road access and are completely off the grid - utilising solar power and compostable toilets to minimise your impact on the environment. This doesn’t mean it compromises on style or comfort, but they specialise in returning to a more simple life.
The trendy term is “digital detox”, but it’s effectively a rural getaway, where you can take a break from the frantic pace of modern life.
We’ve been living on the road for almost two years now and can honestly say this is exactly what we needed. No Instagram, no Facebook, no phone calls - no worries.
However, Falcon Trails isn’t all about staying in. Far from it. There’s plenty to keep you busy and active. Here’s a few of our favourites.
You can create your own sauna
Yep, you read that right! On the shore of the lake is a little hut which has to be the most picturesque spot for a sauna we have ever seen.
It has a stove with stones on top, and once you collect some kindling and get the fire going you have created your very own sauna - bliss in the evening or on a cold day.
We loved the fact that we could hop in our canoe, paddle across the lake and create our own sauna to warm up in during a cold snap.
The daring can go full Scandinavian by following up a session in the sauna with a dip in the lake to instantly cool off (you’d have to be pretty brave unless you’re there in summer though!).
You can paddle your way to Ontario
Every cabin has its own canoe and pier, so you can simply hop in the water whenever you want.
You can explore the lake area around the cabins or even paddle over the border and into Ontario! We were visiting during quite a cold snap so couldn’t get that far but it’s something we’ll be back for one summer!
There are hiking trails
The cabins have direct access to several trails which will take you to various parts of the Whiteshell without needing to get in your car. It’s unlikely you’ll see anyone on them either, we didn’t!
The must-do is the easy “Top of the World” trail, which is about 4.5 km long if walked from the cabin. You can also do it as a side trail on your way to your cabin from reception which would only make it about a 1.5km detour.
This takes you up to a hill that overlooks Falcon Lake - which for Manitoba is about as high as you get 😂. Even on a gloomy day the view was lovely and we got to see the start of the fall colours with some pretty yellow’s and orange’s.
You can also check out the Pine Ridge trail which takes you into the forest and away from the lake. The trail goes along a small ridge which can be a little rougher in places (think a few rocks and tree roots), but it’s overall an easy walk.
You can also mountain bike a few of the trails if you prefer. If you can drag yourself away from the cabin and want to explore more you could head back to your car and pick up other nearby trails in the Whiteshell.
You can build your own fire with a beautiful view
Coziness is taken to a new level with either the stove in the cabins or the fire pit outside. There’s something about getting a roaring fire going in the fire pit and roasting marshmallows by the lake - it was one of those simple moments which you never forget.
The stove fire in the cabin itself was also really cosy and one of our favourite memories is sitting on the window seat and listening to the rain next to the crackling fire.
Swimming in the lake
Now we’re not going to lie, it’s not a warm lake, but in summer the air temperature would be a bit more inviting than our fall visit when they were having cooler temperatures than usual.
I couldn’t look at those steps down into the water and not take a plunge though! It’s a lovely spot to swim because the lake is calm, and climbing in from our own private pontoon was a novel experience!
Our tips for making the most of your trip
There are cabins right by Falcon Lake which don’t require walking to get to and then six eco cabins which are just under a 3km walk from the car park area. Your luggage will be transported to the cabin for you (don’t worry, there’s no carrying involved!).
The Falcon Lake cabins have jacuzzis which sounds amazing, but personally we loved feeling like the only people for miles in our eco cabin (they are all spaced out so you never see anyone else).
Bring all of your food with you so that you don’t have to walk back to your car unless you want to. Once we got to the cabin we wanted to make the most of it and were glad not to have to worry about needing groceries or finding a restaurant. Don’t forget the marshmallows!
There is no wifi at the eco cabins and very limited cell service so download any reading material you might want before you get there - or if you forget the cabin had quite a few books which I made use of : )
When heading to the sauna bring some matches (your cabin will have some), sometimes they are left there but not always.
Don’t forget your swim stuff and hiking boots in case you decide to get active!
Congratulate yourself for having booked one of the most peaceful and relaxing places we’ve visited anywhere in the world.
Getting to Falcon Trails Resort
Falcon Trails Resort is in Whiteshell Provincial Park in the south-east of Manitoba. It is a two hour drive from Winnipeg and straight forward to get to. Once you get to the village of Falcon Lake, follow Ridge Road all the way to the reception. Whilst the road here is unsealed, it is in really good condition.
Our trip to Winnipeg was in partnership with Travel Manitoba and Destination Canada. All opinions are - as always - our own.
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Are you planning a trip to Manitoba? Would you escape to a cabin in the woods like at the Falcon Trails Resort? Let us know in the comments below!