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First Leg of River Skating Trail Opens at The Forks

January 4, 2022 9:40 AM | News

Red River Skating Trail

The river skating trail at The Forks is shown in this 2018 file photo. (LEIF NORMAN / THE FORKS)

WINNIPEG — A sure sign of winter is appearing at The Forks, where officials have opened the first leg of the popular river skating trail.

Called the Nestaweya River Trail this year, the skating surface in The Forks Historic Port is the only section of ice ready for skaters as of Tuesday.

“Nestaweya (Ness-ta-way-ah) is the original Cree name used for the site of The Forks, and the area we now call Winnipeg,” says Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Indigenous curator, The Forks.

“Nestaweya literally means ‘three points,’ used here to mean that people came together to this site from three directions on the rivers: Cree came from the north on the Red River; Ojibway from the south on the Red River; and, Lakota/Dakota/Nakota or Assiniboine came from the west on the Assiniboine River. Three points is a name that tells how communities forged a life here for millennia.”

The trail is being presented by The Winnipeg Foundation, which has committed to another five years of sponsorship to lend its name.

As ice conditions allow, crews will work to extend the trail to various points along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Known as one of Canada’s longest skating trails, it typically ranges between 7-10 kilometres in length every winter.