I’ve lived in Manitoba my whole life, yet I’d never visited The Narcisse Snake Dens which are about 6 kms north of Narcisse, Manitoba.
These snake pits are the winter home of tens of thousands of Red-sided Garter Snakes – it’s actually the largest concentration of Red-sided garter snakes in the world. This past weekend we decided to take a trip out to see this hidden experience. My father-in-law came along, it had been 30 years since he took my husband (who was then 6) to see the dens.
Visiting Narcisse Snake Dens is absolutely free and people come from all over the world to see the snakes. There are interpretive signs, washrooms, a picnic area and a 3 km walking trail which winds through native grassland and aspen forest.
Spring: The latter part of April and first three weeks in May is generally the best time to visit the Narcisse Snake Dens. During this period snakes are preoccupied with mating and are easily viewed by visitors. The greatest activity tends to coincide with the Mother’s Day weekend.
Fall: Garter snakes return to their dens in early September. Once there, they remain active and visible to visitors until cool, wet autumn weather forces them underground. Fall viewing of snakes is best during warm sunny days.
This year, according to the government website, they expect the Snake activity will peak around May 14th.
I have to admit that I am NOT a snake person. Yet when I say that, I try very hard to give my daughters opportunities to experience things that I may not enjoy – so they can make up their own mind whether or not they like it themselves.
Apparently my girls DO like snakes – a lot. It made me smile to see how much fun my girls had with the snakes in their natural habitat.
We met quite a few people while we were walking the trails, two of which were from other provinces. Narcisse Snake Dens really are a hidden experience here in Manitoba. If you have not been out to visit the dens, you should make an afternoon of it.
There are so many cool places to explore right here in Manitoba. Last week we visited the Canadian Mint with our family.
What are some of your favorite places to experience in Manitoba?
Do you think you would ever plan a visit to the Narcisse Snake Dens?