CowanThe friendly Village of Cowan is well known for the beginning of the Cowan Trail; which winds its way through the Northeast side of the Duck Mountains to Minitonas (Tent Town). This trail originated in Cowan in 1898. Cowan is situated at the junction of # 10 and #20 Highways; and is well known as the blueberry capital of the area. The North Duck River runs through the town.
The business sector of the community has shrunk; but still has a general store, restaurant, gas and diesel, construction company and a number of outfitters in the area. The area also has a strong farming, ranching, and logging sector. Other points of interest are well-groomed snowmobile trails, scenic trails, and school museum. The Village of Cowan is well worth a visit when you are passing through the Swan River Valley.
Cowan School Districts #1132, #2305, #1808 Museum
The Cowan one room schoolhouse museum is located next to Kolisnyk’s General Store on Highway #10.
The Kolisnyk family have been setting out their collectables in the store for a number of years for everyone to enjoy; and thought of preserving history by setting up a school museum. Sylvester and Rosann Wowchuk heard of the idea and donated the West School # 1132. It got moved into town next to the store in 2003.
For a number of years this school was used for a grianery. So there was a lot of work to replace the floor joists, clean, patch, paint, replace windows and find items such as blackboards, desks, books, maps, lights, ink bottles, bell, strap, stove, boiler, etc and build book cases.
While restoring the treasure to be as original as possible, the roof got new cedar shingles, the hardwood floor got oiled and new siding made by Bill Boychuk (a 1940’s pupil) was installed.
So when passing through Cowan please make a point of stopping at the School and taking a step back in time. If you went to a one- room school it will bring back a lot of memories; but if you didn’t you will be able to see what schools were like back then.
Cowan Trail Celebration The Cowan Trail Celebration is an annual event in the small village of Cowan, Manitoba. The festivities start on Saturday morning with a delicious pancake breakfast. This unbelievable breakfast includes pancakes, sausages, hash browns, scrambled eggs, fruit platters and beverages. The first event to get underway is the horse drawn wagons and horse trail rides. Every year there are over seventy-five participants that enjoy the scenic 15 - 25 mile trail, as they travel to the foothills and out into the sand ridges in blueberry country. Along the trail they experience wildlife, birds, forests, streams, rivers, plant life and wild berries. They stop to visit and enjoy a provided picnic lunch. The second event of the day is the ATV derby (for those not wanting saddle sores). The ATV derby has over sixty-five participants as they cover 50 – 60 miles. The trail ventures through the Duck Mountains taking you through the boreal forest, around swamps, across grassy meadows and a few wet spots. You need to pay special attention on this journey as you're traveling the famous “Cowan Trail”. The Cowan Trail is one hundred and thirteen years old, used by the first pioneer settlers that moved to the Valley in 1898. You experience nature at its finest, wildlife, birds, waterfowl on the small ponds, many small animals and rodents, luscious plant life, and wild berry crops. (You can experience the Cowan Trail in winter, its part of the groomed snowmobile trail system). At the end of the day everyone returns to the Cowan Community Centre anticipating the scrumptious BBQ supper, with lots and lots of trimmings. Once you and the horse are fed and watered, you put on your dancing shoes and kick up your heals until the band shuts down at the end of the night. This is hospitality at its best, a full day experiencing back country, delicious food and unforgettable people. This summer plan to attend the Cowan Trail Celebration on August 27th. 2011. Submitted by Debbie Soloway
For more information on Cowan contact the RM of Mountain office at 1-204-236-4222
Cowan Trail Ride