Did you know Winnipeg is home to an island where ancient hunters roamed and Victorian-era citizens picnicked? Dave and I hiked Pollock Island this last week. It is located at the end of Rue St. Pierre in St. Norbert.
Donated to the city by the Pollock family in 2006 the island is a 16-acre woodland plot. The Red River flows on one side and the LaSalle River on the other. In spring when the waters rise, road access is often cut off by floods, making the forested acres an island. Hence the name Pollock Island.
I don’t think many people know about Pollock Island. The day we hiked it we were all alone.
But a plaque at the site lets you know that in the past it’s been a busy place. 6000 years ago woodland hunters stalked deer here and in 780 traders came to broker deals with treasures from as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. The Assiniboin, Cree and Ojibwa did battle with the Dakota Sioux here from 1600 to 1800 and fur traders began regular visits in the late 1700s. Metis families farmed along the rivers and Selkirk Settlers rested nearby when they first arrived in 1812.
Buffalo hunters used to rendezvous on the island before a hunt and in the 1800s picnickers from Winnipeg came out to Pollock Island in their horse and buggies.
Learning about the rich history of the Pollock Island area made us feel like we were walking back through time as we did our hike.
An information board introduced us to the flora and fauna and wildlife on Pollock Island. Even in winter, the island has plenty of natural beauty for walkers to appreciate.
The trail on Pollock Island is only about a kilometre loop so you might choose to hike it twice or do what we did and visit a couple of other walking trails nearby. I’ll write about them in future posts.
A great cycle, walk and paddle we’ve had in Winnipeg …….