When You Arrive
You’ll begin your adventure at the Alloway Reception Centre. Please ensure to drive to our main entrance off of McCreary Road, not to our private entrance (for group use only) off of McGillivray. One of our Visitor Ambassadors will welcome you in the Reception Centre and will be happy to provide you with a map of the trails, and guidance regarding unique experiences that are happening that particular day.
You are welcome to relax and enjoy the Alloway Reception Centre, which features the opportunity to browse in the Nature Shop and to enjoy a light meal or snack at the Buffalo Stone Café, without paying admission. If you are interested in a full experience at FortWhyte Alive, you will pay admission at the Front Desk and then be ready to start your exploration!
FortWhyte Alive is wheelchair accessible, and offers a range of services for visitors with additional needs. These services can be explored below. For more information about accessibility at FortWhyte Alive, to provide us with feedback or to discuss in detail how we might best cater to your specific needs, please contact us.
Magnifying glasses and reading sheets are available to borrow from the Ambassadors in the Alloway Reception Centre. You will be asked to sign a rental agreement and present photo identification.
- Step-free access is available in all buildings.
- Service animals are welcome with appropriate documentation. Be aware that FortWhyte Alive is home to predatory wildlife and ensure the safety of your animal.
- Wheelchairs are available to borrow during your visit. Please ask at the Ambassadors in the Alloway Reception Centre or contact us in advance to reserve at 204.989.8355 x201.
- Accessible parking is available. We have a limited number of parking bays available to for visitors who are pass holders.
- Accessible washrooms are available each of the public buildings on our site. A private washroom is available by request to our bookings office, subject to availability. Please enquire at 204.989.8355 x311.
- Guided visits are available by reservation for those with extra access needs. Please see our event page to choose a program that suits your needs.
- Emergency procedures for the safe evacuation of people with disabilities have been organized by FortWhyte Alive. Please contact us if you require assistance or would like further information on our procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I reach FortWhyte Alive by bus?
- Can I bring my dog?
- How much time do I need?
- What should I bring?
- What should I wear?
- Can I purchase food to eat?
- Where can I eat my lunch?
- Do you have an ATM?
- Can I visit FortWhyte Farms?
- What kind of wildlife can I see?
- Can we feed the wildlife?
- Can I pick flowers?
- Can I take home antlers or feathers that I find?
- What if it's raining?
- What if it's -40 degrees?
- Can I swim?
- Can I camp?
Can I reach FortWhyte Alive by bus?
Despite our urban location, should you decide to take a bus to visit us, you would have to walk approximately 30 minutes from the closest bus stop to the site. The closest bus stop is outside of Costco Wholesale (2365 McGillivray Boulevard, Winnipeg, MB R3Y 0A1.)
Can I bring my dog?
Due to the diverse range of wild animals that call our property home we do not allow pets on site.
How much time do I need?
There is always time for an adventure at FortWhyte, whether you have 30 minutes or four hours! If you are interested in wandering through the majority of the trails, with time to savour the sights, of course, we recommend reserving at least three hours out of your day. If you have the whole day to enjoy we recommend starting your visit with an exploration of the Interpretive Centre and south trails, relax in one of our many picnic areas or Café for lunch, then top off your undoubtedly lovely morning with a visit to the bison along our north trail. Be sure to check out our calendar of events so that you can take into consideration any of the special events going on during your visit.
What should I bring?
What kind of adventure would you like to experience at FortWhyte Alive during your visit? This is the question that you should ask yourself before you determine what you need to bring. Will you spend hours meandering along the trails? If so, you will likely want to bring a water bottle and a snack that you can enjoy at one of our scenic outlooks.
Will you bring children and enjoy watching them frolic in the meadow as they try to catch grasshoppers? If so, you may want to bring sturdy shoes and lots of bug spray! You can explore and enjoy our urban nature oasis year-round, and as such whichever seasonally appropriate items you wish to bring to FortWhyte are likely allowed.
You are welcome to take advantage of our many equipment rentals and seasonal experiences, and as we offer many opportunities to do so we ask that you do not bring personal watercrafts, or motorized recreational vehicles onto the property. We also ask that you also do not bring dogs onto the property as they scare the wildlife.
What should I wear?
There is no such thing as bad weather at FortWhyte Alive, only many opportunities for unique and adventurous experiences! We are open no matter the rain, snow, -40 degree celsius or +40 degree celsius weather, and we encourage you to experience every bit of natural wonder that Manitoba has to offer during these periods.
We always recommend that you check the weather the day of your visit to ensure your comfort during your adventure.
- Summer - Insect repellent, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, a hat, and shoes that are sturdy enough to enjoy your walk
- Autumn - Some autumn days are lovely and warm, and some can be very chilly! By checking the weather you should be able to tell whether to throw on a thin jacket or if you need to break out the parkas and winter scarves.
- Winter - Cover right up! Manitoba is very cold in the winter so ensure that you check the windchill and dress appropriately. Scarves, hats, mittens, winter coats, snow pants and thick winter boots will make your experience exponentially more enjoyable. If you intend to rent snowshoes from us we do not recommend wearing delicate suede or leather boots.
- Spring - The only way to know what kind of clothing to wear is to assess the weather conditions for yourself the day of your planned visit. Rainboots may be necessary if there has been a considerable amount of rain in the past few days.
Can I purchase food to eat?
Enjoy fresh, truly-Manitoban cuisine with a global twist at the Buffalo Stone Café by Diversity Foods. The Café is sure to be a highlight of your visit, whether you are interested in relaxing in our cozy Café for a light meal with friends, or if you would like to pick up a steamy cup of coffee and locally-made granola bar for taking with you on an adventure. The Buffalo Stone Café is located within our Alloway Reception Centre.
Where can I eat my lunch?
We encourage you to enjoy your lunch at the Buffalo Stone Café inside our intimate café or outside watching the wildlife on the patio deck overlooking our beautiful Lake Devonian.
If you wish to take a picnic on your adventure, you are welcome to bring your own or purchase food items ‘to-go’ from the Café. We have a great variety of spots for you to choose from! Some of these sites include the opportunity to use any available picnic tables, to luxuriate in seclusion in our treehouse or remote benches, or during any inclement or sweltering weather, to rest in our covered picnic shelter at Loly Lookout. Please inquire at the front desk of the Alloway Reception Centre, or call 204-989-8355, to determine availability of picnic areas.
Do you have an ATM?
We do not have a cash machine at this time, however FortWhyte Alive and the Buffalo Stone Café accept all forms of payment, including debit or credit cards.
Can I visit FortWhyte Farms?
The FortWhyte Farms is available to be explored during Market days and Farm Q+A days.
More information regarding the operation can be found at here.
The Market at FortWhyte Farms is the place to buy fresh, naturally-grown, in-season produce for you and your family when you visit FortWhyte Alive. The Market is open every Tuesday in July (starting July 12), August and September from 12 noon until 6 pm.
What kind of wildlife can I see?
FortWhyte Alive is home to an abundance of wildlife including waterfowl, whitetail deer, and muskrats. Fall brings thousands of migrating birds, Canada geese, and ducks for a truly natural spectacle, making this a must-see destination for birding enthusiasts.
Each experience with us will be unique, including which wildlife you might encounter. We can guarantee that you will have a chance to see the animals that call the Interpretive Centre home, including Burrowing Owls and Prairie Dogs in the Prairie Partners Exhibit, the snakes basking in the Kiwanis Touch Museum and our underwater friends in the Manitoba Aquariums.
Can we feed the wildlife?
FortWhyte Alive has chosen not to sell food for, nor to allow the hand-feeding of animals on the property. We understand that many people visit FortWhyte to experience a close encounter with nature. However, touching/feeding wild animals is contrary to ensuring “wild” wildlife.
When animals are fed by hand, their behaviour changes and they begin to expect handouts from visitors. This “tames” the animal as they become used to contact with humans, creating a series of events that can be harmful to the animal and even result in the animal’s death.
Top 5 reasons not to hand-feed wildlife:
- Human food can kill - Most people don’t know what animals eat in the wild. Human food is highly processed, and is unhealthy for the animals. A good example of this is bread - this should never be fed to ducks!
- Wild animals are dangerous - All wild animals are unpredictable, and the consequences of approaching wildlife can be serious. Wild animals may also carry diseases harmful to humans.
- It gives children the wrong impression - Children learn by example and may have difficulty distinguishing wild animals and domesticated animals. They may approach an animal they think is tame when adults are not supervising
- Feeding changes the animal’s behaviour - Adult wildlife that are used to hand-feeding will teach their young to beg. This can interfere with the natural progress of their offspring in learning to forage for themselves.
Feeding can put the animal in danger – wildlife who are fed may be lured away from the security of their natural habitat. The animal may find itself in a dangerous situation that it would normally avoid, such as crossing a road or being distracted from the threat of predators.
Can I pick flowers?
The plants at FortWhyte Alive are needed to tell their stories; we ask that you do not pick the flowers or plants that you see.
Can I take home antlers or feathers that I find?
It is very exciting to find a treasure along our trails! We have lots of Canada Goose feathers that you are welcome to take home, however we ask that you investigate anything else that you discover at FortWhyte Alive and then release the item to Visitor Reception so that others may also benefit from your discovery.
What if it’s minus 40 degrees?
We love the winter here, and encourage you to take full advantage of it. With snowshoeing, skiing, and sometimes skating, it can be a chance to experience the winds and snows of a Manitoba winter within easy access of a warm, bright building.
Can I swim?
At this time there is no public swimming. FortWhyte Alive has five beautiful lakes, and many marshland areas that you are welcome to explore on via the trails and lakeside rest stops.
Can I camp?
You are welcome to experience FortWhyte Alive within hours of operation; we are unable to accommodate overnight guests.