After my run yesterday I still don't really know much about it, but I'm sure I will be going back.
For some reason the Winnipeg Trails website doesn't have a proper map of the trail through Fort Whyte, but there is this map:
.. and there are better maps on the Fort Whyte website.
I parked at the reception centre, which might have been a bit of a mistake. Firstly, there is a sign saying that you need to report to reception and pay $7. I wasn't clear if you needed to pay just to jog on the trail, especially since it's easily accessible from other city trails, but if you don't pay the sign will make you feel guilty. Secondly, it's difficult to find the south leg of the trail from there because there is a maze of boardwalks and paths to navigate. If I were to do it again I would park south of McGillivray and start at the south trail head.
Anyhow, I only ended up running the longer north leg of the path, which includes a scenic loop called the Carolyn Sifton trail. From that loop the path winds northward until it hits the paved trail along Stirling Lyon Parkway. The total trail length is probably about 5 km, but the part I did was about 3.5 or 7 km return.
The trail is crushed limestone and in good condition. It also weaves and winds quite a bit, even in the open areas, making it less dull than many other city trails.
It can be busy. You will encounter a variety of cyclists and walkers in groups and on their own, moving at different speeds. It didn't cause any problems for me, but just be aware of others.
The trail is very flat, with the exception of the occasional mound which you can run or walk up to view the surrounding area. Part of if passes by the bison enclosure where you can see the buffalo ... not roam exactly, but ... exist. Still kind of cool.
There is also network of boardwalks and other paths that might not be suitable for running on, but might make a nice walk for cooling down
You will also see small lakes, trees and flowers, and wild grasses. It is nice, but it feels a little awkward running and sweating down a trail where families and tourists are sightseeing.
- decent length and condition
- stuff to see
- not straight and boring
- connects to other city trails
- lots of people
- might cost you $7