Sometimes the best vacation is the unstructured kind—chilling on the beach with a good book, taking a walk when you feel like it, or sitting by a campfire under the stars after a satisfying day in the fresh air. Manning is a perfect place to slow down and kick back for a few days. Check out everything you can do on your mellow-cation in the “Land of the Mighty Moose”—whenever you feel up to it, of course.
Where to Stay
Notikewin Provincial Park Campground
For a true escape, head to this gorgeous campground on the banks of the Peace River, less than an hour northeast of Manning. Notikewin is derived from a Cree word for battle because of the many clashes in this area between the Beaver and Cree tribes in times past. Nowadays, you can look forward to a relaxing experience at the campground while fishing, boating, hiking, nature-watching, and spending nights under the big Mighty Peace skies. There’s plenty to keep you busy right here, but if you need a break (or you run out of drinking water), check out some of the activities you can do in the town of Manning below.
Condy Meadows Golf Course and Campground
Another great all-in-one weekend option is Condy Meadows, 14 minutes north of Manning near the small community of Hotchkiss. Enjoy the perks of camping such as fresh air, beautiful scenery, and nights around the fire under the stars, as well as easy access to the 9-hole golf course and the clubhouse restaurant. There’s also a playground, RV station, horseshoe pit, and a kitchen shelter. Plus, it’s only a quick drive to all the amenities of Manning!
Manning Lions Riverside Park Campground
If you like the affordability of camping but would rather be a little closer to civilization, stay in downtown Manning at the Riverside Park Campground. Powered sites on the banks of the Notikewin River, a playground, showers, and potable water add to the appeal—not to mention, the campground is walking distance from anything else you might want to do.
Little Prairie RV Park Campground
Another great camping option is the Little Prairie RV Park Campground about 4 km south of town. Full hook-ups, potable water, and free firewood come packaged with a gazebo, playground, badminton and volleyball courts, horseshoe pit, large common firepit, and incredible scenery. Perfect for large groups or just your family to take a load off.
If your idea of “roughing it” is more like a hot shower and room service, book a room at the Nova Inn. Get Wi-Fi, a workout room, and wake-up calls (so you don’t miss a minute of enjoyment), along with a restaurant and lounge in the same building, to make your stay as stress-free and low-key as possible.
What to Do
There are three trails to take advantage of in town, all between six and twelve minutes of walking—two that run along the south edge of the river, and one on the north end that takes you up a hill to a fantastic view of town. For a great afternoon activity, take the trail east from the bridge past Rosary School and up to the Battle River Agricultural Grounds, which is home to the Battle River Pioneer Museum (see below). From the other side of the bridge, head west to access Millennium Park and the Lions Riverside Park Campground.
This wonderful community park is just west of the bridge. Play beach volleyball on the sand at the outdoor volleyball court, fish or swim in the river from Mighty Moose Beach, roast wieners over the firepit, or curl up with a book in the new gazebo while the kids play at the playground.
Three Battles Skate Park
Grab your bike, rollerblades, or skateboard and show off your moves at the Three Battles Skate Park—or watch the local athletes show off theirs. There’s a playground right beside it for the little ones. Be sure to take a walk up the hill on the hiking trail while you’re there and enjoy the view of Manning.
Battle River Pioneer Museum
Just outside of town on the south side, on the grounds of the Battle River Agricultural Society, is a collection of historic buildings and artifacts known as the Battle River Pioneer Museum. See an albino moose, an arrowhead made around the time Rome fell, antique tractors and farm machinery, and more. Come on Heritage Day (Sunday of the August Long Weekend) for a pancake breakfast, community church service, and demonstrations of many of the antique machines and traditional farming processes. Admission is by donation.
Where to Eat
The Humble Pie
Enjoy home-cooked food, freshly baked bread, and rotating sandwich specials in a cozy family-run atmosphere. You’ll find plenty of healthy options on the menu in an environmentally-conscious presentation. This is the kind of place where people feel at home.
Mugs and Dough
Known for their pizza and amazing service, this little shop is a local favourite. You’ll also find wings, bubble tea, sandwiches, and dim sum on their menu. They even have gluten-free pizza options!
When you search Google Reviews for Sings, the line “Best Chinese food I’ve ever had” comes up over and over again. This delicious fare is served in a homey, Eastern-inspired space. Whether you have the buffet or order from the menu, you’re in for a great culinary experience.
Nova Inn Restaurant and Lounge
All-day breakfast, a kids menu, and a selection popular dishes from soup to sandwiches to steak make it worth a stop at the Nova Inn Restaurant. Or relax over drinks and watch the game in the inviting atmosphere of the lounge.
The Snack Shack
Cool off on a hot afternoon with a fresh fruit milkshake or ice cream from this classic small-town burger joint. They might be small, but they deliver big flavour. When you get back to Main Street, look to the left to spot the giant moose!