Recent weather in Riding Mountain National Park not expected to determine visitors

More rain is coming this weekend to parts of Manitoba, but Riding Mountain National Park is still trying to get rid of the snow that hit the province a few weeks ago.

Two of the main routes in and out of the park have been washed out due to flooding and snow drifts can still be found throughout the area.

Clear Lake is also covered in ice.

Despite the weather setbacks, the Town of Wasagaming is dry and open for business.

“Clear Lake is open and a lot of the businesses have managed to get open despite those weather challenges,” said Karly McRae, the owner of Lakehouse Hotel and Ice Cream.

“Just this past weekend we had a wedding for 200 people that we’ve been working to get ready for.”

Golf courses in the area are also set to open soon, and those hitting the green might have to deal with some extra obstacles.

“They might be hitting into the odd snowbank, but we do plan to be open,” said Ian Sarna, the general manager of Clear Lake Golf Course.

Sarna is hoping to see the typical 300 people a day when the course opens for May Long Weekend.

He also co-owns a nearby resort, which he said is having a record year.

“I think people are really anxious to get out, get out of the snow banks and enjoy the summer.”

Riding Mountain National Park will not be quite ready to fully open.

Some of the campsites are in good shape, but others have some flooding issues or are covered in snow.

“We are trying to clean them up as quickly as we can, but some definitely will not be available,” said Scot Shellborn, the visitor services coordinator for the park.

Hiking paths will be open but hikers are being told to expect snow and water on the trails.

“We want people to eat, for sure. But we just want them to prepare accordingly.”

Businesses in the area are prepared for people to flock come May Long Weekend, despite the remnants left behind from recent storms.

“We have seen everything from 30 degrees to ice and snow storms on the weekend and it never really seems to put a damper on people wanting to come to the lake,” said McRae.

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