World’s largest mosquito statue in Komarno Manitoba
Not a week goes by where Manitoba by Motorcycle does not get some variant of the above question. How are the locations chosen? Does this spot count? That’s cool, but what about this place? Do I need to get all these locations?
Although it gets asked a lot I am always happy to answer it because it means motorcyclists are out there exploring Manitoba on 2 wheels and finding all kinds of cool places to stop. That is what Manitoba by Motorcycle is all about, exploring Manitoba on a motorcycle. Since it is such a popular question I decided to write out an explanation of just how the locations were chosen for each of the 3 Manitoba by Motorcycle patches.
Manitoba Provincial Parks
The Manitoba government website has a complete list of every provincial park in Manitoba, along with directions and descriptions of each park. So I could just list all of the parks however, it is not that simple. The Manitoba Provincial Parks list evolves and grows but it is also not focused on any specific type of travel. Some parks are completely inaccessible by motorcycle. For example, there are several that are located across bodies of water with no bridges or considered fly-in locations. Too remote for any 2 wheel vehicle to travel to. Other provincial parks are small and unmarked (no signage or landmarks) and usually you only know you are in them by GPS location.
I went through the complete list of Manitoba provincial parks and removed the ones that appear to be too remote for a motorcycle and then removed ones that I know do not have any formal signage. If a rider cannot get there it is not listed and if a rider cannot take the required photo from a sign or iconic landmark it is not listed.
In some cases, there are parks that are not on the list but should be. I may have missed them or they may have been added as new provincial parks since I created the list. If a rider can show me they made it to a Manitoba provincial park not listed I will accept that as an entry for the Manitoba by Motorcycle Provincial Parks Patch.
Manitoba Town Statues
This is the main list that Manitoba by Motorcycle was built upon. I know there are so many cool places to visit all over Manitoba and I wanted to find a way to highlight as many as possible. Checking out unique art installations is a great way to spend an afternoon. This is also the list that takes the most time and effort to put together as there is no quick and simple way to find all the town statues in Manitoba. Multiple sites list town statues/roadside attractions in Manitoba but no complete list I could find.
The town statues listed are all places that make people stop and look, true roadside attractions. Places that make you do a double-take, wondering if you really did see a completely random looking giant banana in the middle of a Manitoba town (looking at you Melita!).
Not every town in Manitoba has a town statue to showcase. Winnipeg and Brandon are the two major cities in Manitoba and they do not have any fun or unique statues on display (too big for a “town statue” fun I guess). That’s okay though. The purpose of Manitoba by Motorcycle is to explore Manitoba, the small towns, not the major cities (nothing against city life though).
Most importantly, the Manitoba Town Statues Patch list is frequently evolving. Riders will send me new locations to check out and if they are cool and unique I will add them to the list. That is how Brandon got on the list with its ’67 ‘Cuda, Neepawa’s Birdhouse, Morris’s Cowboy and Sandy Lakes’ Rose statue. If a rider finds a cool Manitoba town statue not on my list, take a selfie there with the current year’s poster and send it to me. I’ll probably accept it and add it to the list for next year.
Manitoba Municipal Monuments
Manitoba, being 150 years old now, is rich with history all over this great province. What better way to mark this history than with some form of monument to mark the location and explain a bit of the history of that location. When I say Manitoba is rich with history, I mean it. There are more than 2,300 historic monuments in Manitoba and that is a LOT of history. There is a historic Manitoba monument of some kind around almost every corner. It is also far, far too much for me to promote and track.
I restricted the Manitoba Municipal Monuments list to be only monuments that are Municipally designated sites according to the Manitoba Historical Society. This reduces the number of sites down to a very manageable 40. I can promote and track 40 locations a lot easier than 2,300+. Not to say you should not visit as many historic sites as possible, because you absolutely should, just that these 40 sites are the ones you need to visit to earn the Manitoba by Motorcycle Municipal Monuments Patch.
When the MHS adds newly designated sites I will add them to the list as well. There is a secondary restriction for the Manitoba by Motorcycle Municipal Monuments patch that limits the number of monument photos to one per area. I highly recommend visiting as many locations as you can but only one monument in each location will count for the patch. This is primarily because 12 of the 40 municipal monuments are located in Winnipeg and I am doing my best to encourage riders to explore as much of Manitoba as possible and not just push to get the patch as quickly as possible.
For best results, take your time and explore all over Manitoba. Manitoba by Motorcycle is not a race, though it sometimes feels like an obstacle course. Go somewhere you have never been, stop in places you normally pass through, and enjoy everything that Manitoba has to offer. And always ride safe.