Let’s just go for a drive. The weather’s nice, the fields are turning colours and we’re supposed to stay away from groups. Let’s just go for a drive.
I’ll offer two options, for this article. Both are within an hour away. If you choose left (south) you’ll visit Souris. If you choose right (north) you’ll head to Hamiota. Souris is about 30 minutes from Brandon, and Hamiota is an hour.
To start this adventure head west on the Trans Canada Highway #1. It won’t be long before you reach the turn at highway #250. This road will lead you right into the town of Souris. If you take a pass on Souris, and go 10 minutes further, you’ll see highway #21 to the north. It will take you on a few twists and turns, and through rolling hills, but soon enough, you’ll reach the beautiful town of Hamiota.
In Souris you’ll find many outdoor attractions (Victoria Park, The Plum, the Rock Shop agate pit) but the must-see attraction is Canada’s longest swinging bridge (pictured above). This suspension bridge was originally built in 1904 and was rebuilt after the flood of 2011. It takes less than 10 minutes to walk across the bridge and is especially beautiful at sunset.
While in Souris, expect to see wild peacocks roaming the town. If you are lucky enough to see them strutting around with their feathers on display, have your camera ready. Just be careful to keep your distance, and keep a watchful eye on traffic. If you hear the peacock whoop, and you are a fan of the Disney movie UP you’ll instantly think of Kevin. The peacock whoop, or screeching call sounds just like the bird from the movie. Your kids will love it!
To see an online visitor’s guide and learn more about the attractions and businesses in Souris visit www.sourismanitoba.com.
The town of Hamiota has a gorgeous mural that will catch your eye the minute you turn onto Maple Street. The heritage building and former bank, is officially known as the Heritage Arts Centre. Further along Maple Street you’ll see a small but beautiful public garden. A second bigger park, Millennium Park is along highway #21. If you want to do more than just stretch your legs, bring your golf clubs and play 9 holes at the Hamiota Golf Course. You’ll be pleased to see all this beautiful town has to offer. While I’ve yet to visit during bakery hours, I’m told that Country Crocus Bakeshop has THE best donuts in the region. I’m willing to go for a few more road trips and do some taste testing to prove this theory.
More details and event information can be found at www.hamiota.com or on their Instagram page @hamiota_municipality
If you do plan to take a drive, don’t forget to take your mask and your hand sanitizer. Spread only kindness.