Every spring thousands of garter snakes start to emerge from their dens near a small Manitoba town called Narcisse.
Update May 5, 2019:
The snakes are just starting to emerge but there will be much more activity after some more consistent warm weather so maybe around Mid-May or slightly later.
Good to know:
Think of it like a hike – dress appropriately, bring a wagon or stroller for young ones and a picnic or snacks. It can get very busy in the spring so don’t be surprised to find a full parking lot on the weekends in during peak spring viewing times. You may have to park alongside the highway in this case so remember to be safe and have a plan to wrangle your kids.
Essentially it’s a big long trail with several ‘dens’ along the way. You can see the big bundles of snakes at the dens but also in and around the dens in the grass or trees. There are bathrooms at various points in the trails. Kids can try to spot snakes in the grass and you can pick them up if you are careful and quick (but be gentle!). Ask an interpreter for help or more information about the dens. You can also visit for a period in fall when the snakes start to return to the dens. The density of snakes is a bit more sparse/spread out at that time – spring is usually when you will see the most snakes in one place.
If you are driving from Winnipeg there are stores and stops along the way in some of the towns. If you go in later May, there is a cute little park Norris Lake Provincial Park, that might make a pretty picnic spot!
It’s about one hour and twenty five minutes to drive from Winnipeg on Highway 17 which branches off of Highway 7 at Teulon.