Leaves for your lens: You’ll fall for foliage at these Winnipeg spots
Fall in Winnipeg is shorter than the average height in The Shire (when Gandalf is not visiting, of course).
Those leaves will change and drop before you know it, but before they do we’ll be treated to some spectacular fall foliage whose auburn, yellow, and red colours are nearly as magical as that aforementioned grey wizard.
Here’s just a few spots we recommend, ranging from parklands, to lookouts, to scenes set alongside the river.
The city’s largest park, Assiniboine Park, flaunts fall like an #influencer flaunts free toner (#branding).
Amongst its 1,110 acres you’ll find an abundance of tree-lined paths beckoning you with their beauty, while one can’t-miss locale is the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden. Here, as you’ll see below, you’ll encounter the master sculpture’s works framed by backdrops of gold.
The Nature’s Playground too is surrounded by transforming trees, while The English Garden contains an abundance of flora that becomes even more beautiful in the fall.
Plus, the Park Café (open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), located right beside the Duck Pond in the middle of the park, is ready with delicious lunch, brunch and breakfast dishes, along with hot drinks you can get from its outdoor service window.
Not to be outdone by Assiniboine, Kildonan Park’s 73 acres are also brimming with fall goodness, with plenty of spots from which you can snap up the season.
The Witch’s Hut is of course of top billing here, with its fairytale façade being surrounded by elms and ashes whose branches could double as broom holders. The park contains several handsome small foot bridges, an abundance of trees, Rainbow Stage – whose colourful façade plays well with the ever-changing leaves, and plenty quiet, contemplative areas from which to edit your photos.
While there, be sure to check out Prairie’s Edge restaurant in the Pavilion (open breakfast, brunch and dinner), where tasty regional dishes can be savoured on a gorgeous patio which overlooks the forest and duck pond, the latter of which has really cool light features called BOKEH by local artist Takashi Iwasaki and Nadi Design. (Come winter, you can also skate under these lights once the duck pond freezes).
On the waterfront
Watch the leaves change from the water with a canoe or paddleboard rental (more info on that in our paddling blog post), or take a last minute ride on a Splash Dash boat tour before the season ends. The perspective of the city from the water is completely unique and your photos will be unlike anything you’ve captured from land.
There are plenty of paths to wander the riverside as well, including the winding downtown Riverwalk, which stretches from The Forks to the grounds of the Legislative Building. Another favourite is Bois-des-Esprits, the largest remaining riverbank forest in the city where you’ll find many a falling leaf to photograph along with a large population of white-tailed deer and a handful of bird and wood spirit carvings embedded in tree stumps — including a 3-metre high carved spirit tree that is said to guard the forest.
If you’re over the water, why not literally go over the water? Winnipeg’s many pedestrian bridges are the perfect place to set up a tripod and slay those scenic pics for social media. For even more Insta-worthy images, five bridges around the city have been transformed into art with colourful murals by local artists through Cool Streets Winnipeg.
To take your photography to new heights, consider climbing up, up, up for a full view of our expansive prairie city. The six-storey observation tower at The Forks is a great, easily-accessible place for an uninterrupted look at the fall landscape. While you’re there, grab a beer and bite in the food hall while you bring out the saturation in those crimson and russet leaves. Nearby you’ll also find the Canadian Museum for Human Right’s Israel Asper Tower of Hope observation platform, which brings you 100 meters above ground for panoramic views of Winnipeg (museum admission required).
For a drink with a view, head up to Forth’s rooftop bar where you can sip a craft cocktail while capturing some of North America's largest and best preserved heritage buildings.