Last Friday I decided to check out the St. Norbert Heritage Trails. For those who don’t know they are along “Pembina” but outside the city in the town of St. Norbert, home to the infamous Farmers market.  The majority of my walk was through the residential portion of the trail. I also visited the heritage buildings in the small provincial park. This was one of the most enjoyable walks of my life. I have always enjoyed guided walks and trail hikes but this was an interesting trail walk that is like no other. The urban setting, with the lovely architecture and historic buildings compliment the older trees and quiet neighbourhood. For those who want to undertake this part of the trail I recommend printing off a copy of our PDF trail map to help guide you through the town if you are not familiar. It helped me and made me feel like an explorer. There are also trail signs throughout so you will know you are on the right street if you see one.

I want to focus on the residential portion of the trail because I feel like many will skip it as it is a bit of a jut-off from the main street and at first glace wont hold anything special. WRONG! This little trail was super fun to walk and had some wicked buildings. Some of the houses that I saw I wanted to pack my bags and move into. I am either weird or an enthusiast for homes with character, but I wanted to take pictures of them. Around the half-way point of the walk there is a beautiful church and a special open chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This chapel is one of the only open/outdoor chapels and is of historic and religious significance to the community. The chapel was built in 1875 and was built for prayer to the Virgin Mary who the Métis credited their victory in the resistance to. (1) This is a great stop to check out because of the history in the building itself and you may find it a spiritual place. The trail is also part of the Trans Canada Trail and there is a cool marker for it on a lamppost that i found neat. (Hint: there may be a gem there).

So if you ever feel like heading out to St. Norbert, go explore the trail. I recommend an afternoon or morning because it was quiet.

Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)

Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.

(1) http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/louis_riel/pdf/st_norbert.pdf

(2) photo credit: http://winnipegtrails.blogspot.ca/