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Winnipeg River Trail Opens, Breaks Record at the Same Time

January 25, 2024 11:30 AM | News

River Skating Trail

Skaters are seen at the Nestaweya River Trail at The Forks on Thursday, January 25, 2024. (CHRISD.CA)

WINNIPEG — The Forks river trail is finally open for the season and a new record has already been set.

January 25 is the latest the trail, officially called the Nestaweya River Trail, has ever opened. The old record was January 21, 2016, when the trail finally allowed itself to be enjoyed by winter revellers.

The first portion of the ice opened Thursday in The Forks’ Historic Port. Weather permitting, additional sections up the Assiniboine River and Red River will follow.

Mild temperatures and increased water flowing north from the U.S. are both reasons why officials couldn’t open the river to skaters earlier. During a normal year, the six-kilometre trail is usually open in early January.

“As soon as temperatures start to drop, we start anticipating the day we can offer visitors and guests peak winter experiences on the rivers,” said Sara Stasiuk, president and CEO, The Forks North Portage.

“It’s our community that enables us to create this winter amenity by coming here and supporting us all year round – it’s truly built by the community, for the community.”

Last year, the trail opened on January 1 and remained open for 72 days, closing in mid-March. The only year it didn’t open was in 2020, due to poor ice conditions.

Winnipeg 150 Winter Park, a series of on-land skating trails and rinks, opened in late December.

Ice conditions are updated daily on The Forks’ website.