This idyllic place is at Marsh Lake in Spruce Woods Provincial Park. The lake is actually an oxbow of the Assiniboine River. Horseshoe-shaped, it was created when erosion changed the river’s course, isolating a bend in the river. The water is fresh and abundant with life. Painted turtles catch some rays on fallen logs, deer, raccoon, rabbits, coyotes and the occasional elk call it home. I have seen cormorants, pelicans, swans, cranes, geese and ducks on the water. Around the water’s edge there is a self-guiding hike through the forest that’s one leisurely kilometer long. At the apex of the hike, there is a tiny island accessible by a floating walkway. The island’s park bench offers a grand view of the red sands, green spruce and blue water. Adjacent to Highway #5, Marsh Lake has picnic facilities, primitive restrooms and huge mature cottonwoods that sing the happiest songs on hot summer days. Linda and I stopped here many times, to hike, sit by the water, be free.
Top: the blue waters of Marsh Lake. Hwy #5 along the left.
Centre: painted turtles sunning themselves on a log.
Bottom: the view from bench on the island at the tip of the oxbow.