Woody River[1] is a river in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The river's source is in the Porcupine Hills[2] and Porcupine Provincial Forest of eastern Saskatchewan. From there it flows south through boreal forest[3] and then east through Boreal Plains in the Parkland Region of Manitoba en route to Swan Lake. The river parallels the Swan River for much of its route as it travels through Swan River Valley between Duck Mountain and Porcupine Hills of the Manitoba Escarpment. Bowsman[4] is the only notable community along the course of Woody River. Several highways cross it, including Saskatchewan's Highway 980, Manitoba's Roads 588, 587, 366, 268, and Manitoba's Highway 10.[5]

Woody River
Woody River is located in Canada
Woody River
Location of the mouth in Manitoba
Woody River is located in Manitoba
Woody River
Woody River (Manitoba)
Country Canada
Physical characteristics
SourceWoody Lake
 • locationPorcupine Hills
 • coordinates52°27′57″N 101°41′28″W / 52.4657°N 101.6911°W / 52.4657; -101.6911
 • elevation691 m (2,267 ft)
MouthSwan Lake
 • location
Division No. 17, Manitoba
 • coordinates
52°30′37″N 100°50′47″W / 52.5103°N 100.8463°W / 52.5103; -100.8463Coordinates: 52°30′37″N 100°50′47″W / 52.5103°N 100.8463°W / 52.5103; -100.8463
 • elevation
259 m (850 ft)
Basin features
River systemNelson River
 • leftWhitefish Creek, Hubbell Creek, Bowsman River
 • rightHart Creek


Woody River begins from the southern shore of Woody Lake in Porcupine Hills Provincial Park. The main tributary for Woody Lake is Midnight Creek[6] which has its source deep in the Porcupine Hills and is connected to several lakes in the provincial park, including Isbister, Townsend, Elbow, Spirit, and Island Lakes.[7]

From Woody Lake and Porcupine Provincial Park, Woody River travels south through the RM of Hudson Bay No. 394 and out of Porcupine Hills. It enters the RM of Livingston No. 331 and the Swan River Valley before heading east. The river parallels Swan River, which also has its source in the Porcupine Hills, and it is joined by multiple tributaries, crossed by several highways, and passes through Bowsman, which is at confluence of Woody River and Smith Creek. It empties into the western shore of Swan Lake at Swan Lake First Nation.[8]


Tributaries of Woody River, from upstream to downstream, include:

  • Midnight Creek (flows into Woody Lake)
    • Island Creek
  • Whitefish Creek (from Whitefish Lake)
    • Little Fish Creek (into Whitefish Lake)
      • Smallfish Creek
    • Rock Creek (into Whitefish Lake)
      • Mud Creek
  • McVey Creek
  • Mink Creek
  • Hart Creek
  • Hubbell Creek
    • Trout Creek
  • Whitebeech Creek
  • Smith Creek
  • Bowsman River
  • Camp Nine Creek
    • Mullin Creek
  • Kemulch Creek
  • Birch River
  • Caldon River

Parks and recreationEdit

At the headwaters of Woody River in Saskatchewan is a portion Porcupine Hills Provincial Park[9] called the Woody River Block.[10] The park is centred around the lakes that make up the source of the river, including Isbister Lake, Townsend Lake, Elbow Lake, Woody Lake, Spirit Lake, Island Lake, and Smallfish Lake. Amenities and activities include camping, fishing, snowmobiling, swimming, and hiking.[11][12]

Whitefish Lake Provincial Park is a provincial park in Manitoba on Whitefish Lake, which is upstream along Whitefish Creek, a tributary of Woody River. The park has 40-unserviced campsites and lake access for fishing and other watersports.[13]

Fish speciesEdit

Fish commonly found in the river include walleye and northern pike.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. "Place names - Woody River". www4.rncan.gc.ca.
  2. ^ Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. "Place names - Porcupine Hills". www4.rncan.gc.ca.
  3. ^ "Boreal Plains Ecozone". ecozones. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Living Here, History of Bowsman". Minitonas-Bosman. MUNICIPALITY OF MINITONAS-BOWSMAN. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Woody River, Saskatchewan, Canada". Mindat.org. mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Midnight Creek". Canadian Geographical Names Database. Government of Canada.
  7. ^ "Map of Woody River in Manitoba". Cartographic.info. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  8. ^ "Woody River, Saskatchewan Map". Geodata.us. Geodata.us. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Porcupine Hills Provincial Park". Tourism Saskatchewan. Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  10. ^ Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. "Place names - Woody River Recreation Site". www4.rncan.gc.ca.
  11. ^ "Townsend Lake - Woody River Provincial Rec Site". Campendium. Campendium Inc. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  12. ^ "Porcupine Hills Provincial Park". Sites.google. Google. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Whitefish Lake Provincial Park". gov.mb. Government of Manitoba. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Woody River". Swan Valley Sportfishing. Swan Valley Sport Fishing Enhancement Inc. Retrieved 17 April 2022.