Province/Territory: Manitoba

Set a Wild Bird Free

  • 400,000 avian visitors daily during fall migration
  • 300 bird species
  • 36 square kilometres of thriving wetlands

Unfurl your fingers and let that wild bird fly free! Do what the experts do. Be part of important research by banding a real, live bird after you've learned why Oak Hammock Marsh is such an important stop on its migration path.
Feel its feathers flutter in your gently closed palms a second before the moment of release. Smell the blooming wildflowers of the wetland as you dip, dip and swing your paddle over the side of a long and lean Voyageur canoe. You're inside the marsh now, not standing on the fringe looking in. Let the bow push the bulrushes aside to reveal a red-winged blackbird perched on a cattail; a muskrat leaving a watery trail of its zigzag path. Train your ears to separate the species. Is that a white-throated sparrow or a Franklin's gull?

Why you should visit

• Release your bird in the hand—learn with your hands, eyes and ears about bird banding in Canada. Then set something wild free.
• Dip, dip and swing your paddle in an iconic Voyageur canoe as your cruise through a healthy wetland; see birds galore, smell blooming wildflowers.
• Grab a net and bucket then head for the boardwalk. Scoop up some wetland water and have a closer look at all those swimming creatures. It's Critter Dipping!
• When the snow falls, take a closer look at all those tracks. Do you know who makes them? Spot the fist-sized coyote track. Get down low to examine the tiny weasel trail.
• Look up, way up, on a frosty winter night and see the stars over the marsh. Explore the night sky from the stillness of the wild wetlands.

Weather

• Southern Manitoba has highly variable weather. Summer (June to August) can be hot and dry. Spring (April, May) and fall (September, October) bring pleasant days with cooler nights. Winter arrives in November with daytime temperatures below freezing, plenty of snow and extremely cold nights.
• Discover local weather information.  Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.

Visitor information

Hours & Admission Prices.
• Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre is closed January 1, November 11, December 24, 25.
• On-site food & beverage.
• Oak Hammock Marsh is located 20 kilometres north of Winnipeg. The nearest community is Stonewall, about 10 kilometres away.
Gift Shop.

When to go

• Fall migration happens in September and October with the highest concentrations of birds in the marsh.
• June, July and August are best for family nature walks, canoe rides and Critter Dipping.
• Visit in winter. Learn how to snowshoe, explore the night sky and identify mysterious animal tracks.

Need to know

• Moderate fitness skills are required to paddle a canoe or hike the trails.
• Wear comfortable walking/hiking footwear and apparel; bring rain gear.
• On-site picnic area.
• Children’s programs are available.
• Plan for at least three hours to fully explore the centre.

Getting Here

• Located at Oak Hammock Marsh Wildlife Management Area, a 20-minute drive from the northern edge of Winnipeg or 45 minutes from downtown.
• There is no public transportation available to and from the centre.
• Contact Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre to make special arrangements for transportation.
• On-site parking for cars and RVs.