Lessons From The Land Trail

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The Lessons from the Land interpretive trail is a pleasant 2.3 km (1.4 mi.) walk through scenic vistas of the Cypress Creek valley. Located at the edge of Clearwater, the trailhead begins at the Lessons From the Land sign at the Clearwater Curling Rink. At a leisurely pace, the complete loop takes about one hour. Benches along the way allow hikers to rest and contemplate the sights, sounds, and smells of the prairie meadows and riparian forest.

View Lessons from the Land Trail in a larger map

The trail’s nine themed interpretive stops weave a story of the Valley and the interaction between its creek, flora, fauna and people.

Self-guided trail brochures document the changes to the creek throughout the history of the small town. Local residents share the lessons they have learned living alongside this natural treasure.

Pick up a copy of the trail brochure from the Harvest Moon Learning Centre or at the trail head sign at the Clearwater Curling Rink.

Contact us to arrange a guided tour or school field trip.

History of the Trail

The Lessons From the Land interpretive trail was created in collaboration between the Harvest Moon Society and the community of Clearwater. The trail was designed to promote sustainable land use and showcases the value of maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Through the vision of Harvest Moon Society member, Alexis Knispel and local elder Roy McLaren, the unique trail experience was developed. In 2006, Alexis was working on her doctoral degree in environmental science, with a special interest in prairie ecology. After meeting local resident Roy McLaren, it was clear Alexis’ academic understanding could only offer a partial view of the Cypress Creek Valley. Roy’s memories and passion contributed the essential historical narrative of the environment and the community.

The creek is today no more than a trickle of what it once was. Roy wants more people to understand how the creek has been altered by human activities and the environmental changes that he has witnessed over the years. By hiking the trail, he hopes visitors and community members alike will become aware of the land management problems of the past and work towards improving them.

The trail was designed by professional interpretive planner, Sherry Dangerfield with funding from the Manitoba Heritage Grants Program. The trail was cut by volunteers from the Harvest Moon Society and help from the Pembina Valley Conservation District.

In addition to its natural features, the trail is home to an arched-truss pedestrian bridge and a lookout platform nestled on the edge of the trail’s wooded forest. Constructed out of reclaimed wood from the old Crystal River one-room school house, these structures were designed and built as part of a University of Manitoba Architecture Studio.

The trail is dedicated to the memory of Pte. Lane Watkins, a peacemaker who died in Afghanistan during the creation of the trail. Lane was raised in Clearwater, loved the outdoors, playing ball, hunting and fishing. Lane, along with generations of Clearwater children, spent endless hours down at the creek exploring and gaining an appreciation for nature.