Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park is comprised of Hecla Island, Grindstone (the area located on the mainland peninsula along
the west shore of Lake Winnipeg), Black Island and a number of other small islands. Hecla Island is approximately 1084 square
km and is surrounded by Lake Winnipeg, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world.
Landscapes are varied, and include areas of coniferous and mixed forests, limestone cliffs and silica sand beaches, as
well as marshes, bogs, fens and wet meadows. Classified as a Natural Park, its purpose is to preserve areas that are
representative of the Mid Boreal Lowland portion of the Manitoba Lowlands Natural Region; and accommodate a diversity of
recreational opportunities and resource uses.
Hecla was named after a famous landmark in Iceland, the volcano called
Mount Hekla. Icelandic settlers landed on Hecla in the summer of 1876.
In the 1920s and 1930s the population of Hecla was over 500 at one point.
In 1926 the Gull Harbor Lighthouse was built, replacing the original that
was built in 1898. The park was established in August of 1969 and opened
for public use in 1975. Hecla Village has 6 restored buildings, a church, school, community hall, a
period home, dockside fish station and boarding house.
For animal lovers, there are over 180
species of birds (bald eagles in October) and 24 kinds of animals on the
island. Animals that are found in the park are moose, white tailed deer, fox,
beaver, coyote, wolf, lynx, fisher, skunk, bear and otter. There are also many
edible berries that can be picked, such as strawberry, raspberry, dewberry,
saskatoon, chokecherry and pincherry.