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Communing with Nature

Campers take note! If you tend to steer clear of provincial parks overflowing with people during the summer months, you can take refuge near St. Malo, in southern Manitoba! The banks of the Roseau River will offer you seclusion and guaranteed relaxation, far from the city lights. Lucien and Lucienne Loiselle, lovers of the great outdoors and wilderness camping enthusiasts, share their O’Roseau experience with you.

“Every summer, our family camps on the O’Roseau grounds,” says Lucienne Loiselle. “We come looking for the quiet tranquility of the wilderness setting, with only the sound of the river and rapids.”
With its abundance of space, it is the perfect place for people who enjoy independent camping.” Five acres of field are prepared for light use camping. Campers will all find that perfect spot, close to the river, in the middle of the group or in a more out-of-the-way area.

Les amateurs de camping autonome y trouveront leur compte, car ici, ce n’est pas l’espace qui manque. Cinq acres de pré sont aménagées pour les campeurs et il y en a pour tous les goûts. Chacun trouvera son recoin idéal, plus proche de la rivière, au sein d’un groupe ou encore plus isolé.

“We are located in the Roseau River valley and surrounded by huge sand cliffs,” says Georges Beaudry, owner of O’Roseau. People don’t know about this valley, but it’s magnificent. Beautiful and private white sandy beaches line the river.”

Family atmosphere

“It’s the perfect place to bring your children and grandchildren,” says Lucien Loiselle. “Between picnicking with the family beside the river and kayaking, it’s a lovely setting. The owners have created a natural river water pool, which is really great for the little ones, and we don’t have to worry about the current.”

Every summer, campers can take advantage of the many activities offered on the camp site. From the campfire singsongs to the historic interpretation programs, there is something for everyone.

Georges Beaudry

Exceptional setting

But the Loiselle family doesn’t need any special activities with such a rich natural setting. For five days or a weekend, they come to recharge their batteries with friends, stargaze and enjoy the fresh air in this 100% natural part of Manitoba. What’s more, the Roseau River has at least 30 kilometres of rapids, a geographic rarity in the middle of the Prairies.

Along the Roseau River, life follows the rhythm of the seasons that transform the watercourse. “I personally like to go there in the spring, because the river is really high,” says Lucienne Loiselle. “The grandchildren can kayak and there’s a lot of vegetation and wildflowers; it’s fantastic.”

After the summer period, the banks of the Roseau River keep their charm into the fall. Nature lovers can spend the weekend walking in the woods along the trails cleared by the owner of this little piece of heaven, Georges Beaudry himself.

At the heart of Aboriginal culture

“The Roseau River is one of the first rivers used by La Vérendrye; it was a river of Voyageurs,” says Georges Beaudry, a Manitoba history buff. “Further downstream is the Crow Wing Trail, used by the Métis for the fur trade in the 19th century. It was the link between the Red River and the Mississippi, which means that we are located at the crossroads of two sites of historical significance for the francophone community. This is where the first contact between the Aboriginal peoples and Europeans occurred. It’s an area with all kinds of stories that people don’t know about.”

History enthusiasts can enjoy a one-of-a-kind historical experience here. The Aboriginal camp offers visitors the opportunity to live like the Métis for a few days. Sleep on a buffalo robe in a teepee, cook your own bannock, hear the stories of Voyageurs and Native legends, do finger weaving and sing around the campfire... O’Roseau offers countless unique and authentic experiences.

Charming historical trail

“Old Voyageurs maps show a trail that goes around the rapids,” says Georges Beaudry. “This trail, which was the Sioux warpath, passes right alongside us. It’s a piece of the Trans Canada Trail, and I’m working to maintain it.”

On snowmobile or cross-country skis in winter, by all-terrain vehicle or on foot in the summer, the roughly ten-kilometre route constitutes an unparalleled trail area. Along this verdant path, sharp-eyed visitors can sample wild grapes and high-bush cranberries. Lucky hikers might even catch a glimpse of deer, hares, partridges or wild turkeys. The area boasts richly diverse flora and fauna.

“We keep an inventory of all of the trees and leaves on our land, and we also hold nature interpretation workshops,” says Georges Beaudry.

In harmony with nature

“We want to help visitors experience nature here,” says Georges Beaudry. “This is a place where people can power down, disconnect, breathe fresh air and listen to birdsong. At night, when all the lights are out, we are alone in the world and can watch the stars in silence.”

Most of the 200 acres owned by Georges Beaudry and his wife remain in their natural state, and all of the tall prairie grasses have been there for thousands of years.

Why come to St.Malo?

The St. Malo area itself is a hub of many interesting activities. Located in the south of Manitoba, in the heart of the Prairies, it is the ideal place to enjoy the lovely warm days of your summer vacation. St. Malo Provincial Park and its lake offer a refreshing outdoor spot, while spiritual and religious tourists will find refuge in the St. Malo Grotto, a replica of the grotto at Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes.

“The grotto is our somewhat hidden and most ‘secret’ tourist attraction,” says Camille Fisette-Mulaire, Tourism Development Officer at CDEM (Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities). It’s a place where families can rejuvenate their spirits.”

For families seeking new experiences, the Dan Di Alpacas farm offers wool spinning workshops. Visitors can also learn more about this charming francophone village near the Red River by stopping in at the St. Malo Pioneer Museum.

“Life in St. Malo is very season-driven,” says Camille Fisette-Mulaire. “It’s most enjoyable to spend time here in the summer, with all of the small restaurants. It’s a town with many tourism-focused developments.” 

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