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Northern portion of Mantario hiking trail re-opens, southern portion remains closed

In the beginning of May, the wildfire ripped through parts of the trail, completely destroying the vegetation. The northern trail has been re-opened but the southern portion remains closed.
In the beginning of May, the wildfire ripped through parts of the trail, completely destroying the vegetation. The northern trail has been re-opened but the southern portion remains closed. Cameron Kovachik/Facebook

The Mantario Hiking Trail was partially re-opened Friday afternoon after being closed off to trekkers just over two weeks ago due to wildfires.

The longest trail in the Canadian Shield in Western Canada, Mantario is a popular destination for backpackers, hikers and even marathoners who have taken to the trail every year since 1980.

READ MORE: Manitoba wildfire closes down popular hiking trail

According to Rick Shone, owner of Wilderness Supply and an active member of the Canadian outdoors community, the north trailhead from Big Whiteshell to Olive Lake will be open to the public. The southern portion between Olive Lake and Caddy Lake will remain closed indefinitely due to the Caddy Lake fire. No date has been given as to the re-opening of the remaining portion.

“I would be very surprised if it [the southern portion] opened this year,” Shone said. “There is a lot of damage, it’s still really fresh.”
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READ MORE: Winnipeggers rescued from wildfire after hiking near Manitoba-Ontario border

The extent of the damage is still unknown at this point, but Shone stated there would be a fair amount of clean-up involved. Additionally, Parks Canada has recommended that people stay patient and trek the trail with caution.

The water bombers working on putting out the wildfire May 10
The water bombers working on putting out the wildfire May 10 Cameron Kovachik/Facebook
Wildfire tore through parts of the Mantario trail .
Wildfire tore through parts of the Mantario trail . Cameron Kovachik/Facebook
Smoke billowing in the distance from Marion Lake.
Smoke billowing in the distance from Marion Lake. Cameron Kovachik/Facebook

“I know Parks Canada is working as hard as they can,” Shone added.

Despite the damages to the southern side, the re-opened northern portion encompasses roughly half the trail, leaving hikers with plenty of distance to cover.

It is unknown what started the wildfire, however Conservation Manitoba stated that the cause was “human” and likely not intentional.

WATCH: Mantario hikers capture wildfire burning across the lake

Mantario hikers capture wildfire burning across the lake
Mantario hikers capture wildfire burning across the lake
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