Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com
Canada, Manitoba, Nature, Off the Beaten Path, Outdoor Adventures, Ruins

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Pinawa is a small town located close to the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairie province of Manitoba, near Whiteshell Provincial Park. It is a peaceful place surrounded by stunning natural beauty including thick evergreen and birch tree forests and lakes and rivers. Located only an hour and a half east of Winnipeg, this town is the perfect place to take a day trip. Pinawa is a slightly off-the-beaten-path hidden gem in Manitoba that is worth exploring to discover and appreciate the natural beauty! 

There are two main places near the town of Pinawa which attract visitors to this area – The Old Pinawa Dam and the Pinawa Suspension Bridge

The Old Pinawa Dam was originally constructed in 1906 to generate power for the city of Winnipeg to keep up with the residential and commercial demand, as the city was rapidly growing. It was Manitoba’s first hydro-electric generating station. It was shut down in 1951, as a new dam had been built in the nearby town of Seven Sisters. When the dam stopped generating power, it was abandoned. Now, people come to the area to explore the ruins of this old dam. 

The Pinawa Suspension Bridge is a 54-metre long and 1-metre wide swinging bridge that was completed in 1998 and crosses the Pinawa Channel. Gorgeous vegetation and thick forests can be found on both sides of the bridge with a network of hiking trails as well. 

Two weekends ago, I spent a couple of days in Pinawa for a retreat with some other young adults and friends from the church that I attend. It was an amazing weekend filled with lots of exploring and outdoor adventures! 

Prior to that weekend, I had only visited Pinawa during the summer when all the vegetation was lush and thick. Visiting in the winter was a totally different experience and it was incredible to see how everything looked in the winter, covered in ice and snow. 

Here is a collection of some of the photos that I took during my explorations of the old Pinawa Dam, the hiking trails in the town of Pinawa, and the Pinawa Suspension Bridge. I hope this post inspires your future trip to Pinawa to explore everything that it has to offer! Enjoy! 

Town of Pinawa

Pinawa is a quiet and pretty town that sits along the river that connects Sylvia Lake with Natalie Lake. Throughout town, there are a few different hiking trails that meander along the water and cut through beautiful terrain and forests. I enjoyed hiking one of the trails called the Ironwood. The scenery was gorgeous! 

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Checking out the river

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Walking on the frozen river

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

A bench along the trail through Pinawa

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

The snowy hiking trail along the water

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Lots of birch trees!

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Beautiful forests

The Old Pinawa Dam

Exploring the Old Pinawa Dam was amazing! A portion of the dam has a walkway with railings on top and the views of the entire area were incredible from up top. I then spent some time exploring the other side of the dam. There were large rocks which were snow-covered, some small waterfalls and rushing water. I loved climbing around on the ruins of the dam and photographing the natural beauty surrounding the area. 

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Views from the walkway on top of the dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Exploring the top of the old Pinawa Dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Views from the top of the Pinawa Dam! Amazing!

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Pinawa Dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

I loved the light shining over these holes in the dam!

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Pinawa Dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Pinawa Dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

The Pinawa Dam from the walkway along the top

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Approaching the Pinawa Dam along the walkway on top.

And here are some photos from the beautiful nature around the Pinawa Dam. 

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Rushing water near the dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

There were a few small waterfalls in the area

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

A beautiful waterfall

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Gorgeous nature

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Views of the old Pinawa Dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Rushing water

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Waterfalls

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

A massive chunk of snow and ice almost falling into the water

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Waterfalls

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Beautiful flowing water

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Admiring the beauty

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Views of the entire area

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Ruins of the old Pinawa Dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Beautiful nature

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Rushing water!

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Crumbling section of the dam

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Peeking through the trees

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

A bench with great views of this waterfall

Pinawa Suspension Bridge

Before last summer, I had no idea that there was even a suspension bridge in Manitoba and I have lived here my whole life. It was really cool to walk across this bridge as it swung back and forth and bounced up and down, albeit a little bit scary also (the worst case scenario of it breaking was in the back of my mind)! 

On both sides of the bridge, there are a loop of hiking trails through the forests, which I plan to check out next summer. The scenery around the bridge was beautiful and I loved photographing it. 

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

The Pinawa Suspension Bridge

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Beautiful evergreen trees near the bridge

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Views of the Pinawa Channel through the trees

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Starting to walk across the Pinawa Suspension Bridge!

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

I love this perspective of the bridge!

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

The Suspension Bridge

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Views of the Pinawa Suspension Bridge

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

A hiking trail leading through the forest on the other side of the bridge

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Views of the Pinawa Channel along the bridge

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Views from standing up!

Pinawa is the perfect place to explore for the nature lover and outdoor adventurer. There are numerous activities offered like hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, swimming, snowmobiling, and more. If you haven’t been to this area yet, I highly recommend checking it out – both during the summer and winter. 

Practical Information

Location – Pinawa is located 1.5 hours east of Winnipeg. The Suspension Bridge is situated just off Dorchester Avenue north of the town (here is a map) and the Old Pinawa Dam is situated off Provincial Road 520, also north of the town (check out the map here). 

Further Reading – Read more about the history of the Pinawa Dam and area here. You can see a map of the Pinawa Dam area here

Pin It!

Photo Essay: Winter Explorations in Pinawa, Manitoba | brittanymthiessen.com

Have you been to Pinawa, Manitoba? 

Let me know in the comments below. I would also love to hear your thoughts about this post and the photos.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay updated about my current adventures. 

Thanks for reading! 

I’m Brittany, a small town girl living simply in the Canadian prairies. I love exploring off the beaten path and discovering hidden gems both locally in Manitoba and beyond; traveling independently; photography; eating plant-based and gluten-free foods; browsing local markets; and learning about cultures and ethnic cuisines. My other loves include cuddling with my cats, playing board games, drinking kombucha and matcha tea, spending time in nature, studying maps, eating Mexican food, and making fresh fruit smoothies. On this website, I share my photography, in-depth travel guides, reflections on a variety of travel-related topics, reviews, and favourite simple and healthy recipes, while also documenting stories from my experiences, travel adventures, local wanderings and explorations. Follow along using the social media buttons below and read more about me here
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  • Great photos, Brittany! I have only visited Pinawa once and that was in summer. It’s quite a different landscape in winter. I love your birch tree shot. 🙂