It's official: the Red River Mutual Trail is the longest it's ever been

It's official: the Red River Mutual Trail is the longest it's ever been

With 10 long, icy kilometres stretching from Arlington Street to the St. Vital Bridge, The Forks Red River Mutual Trail broke its own record this year.

“There’s so many years where we don’t get very much trail or we don’t get very far … There’s quite a few of us in the office that are pretty pumped,” said Chelsea Thomson, a spokesperson for The Forks in Winnipeg.

The trail runs just over 7.5 kilometres on the Assiniboine River, from The Forks all the way to Arlington Street. Thomson said it’s the longest the trail has made it on that river since 2009.

When the trail had its official launch last month — weeks after it opened to the public for skating — the Red River portion reached Churchill Drive.

But earlier this week, crews extended the path down that river all the way to the St. Vital Bridge, for a total 10 kilometres of skating trail, Thomson said. Most years, it averages around six. In 2009, it was 9.3.

“This year, the Assiniboine froze so nicely, and we haven’t been able to go very far on the Assinboine for many, many years, so we wanted to extend it was far as we could,” she said.

“We still have — we hope, fingers crossed — a few weeks left still of the Red River Mutual Trail [so] we thought, why not extend it and make those people in the St. Vital community happy as well, by going to the St. Vital Bridge again.”

Going for another record

The trail opened to skaters relatively early on Dec. 22, Thomson said. That “head start” sets up the opportunity to break another record: most days open for skating.

“I don’t want to say anything to jinx it yet,” Thomson said.

The previous record of 66 days was set 2012, she said. This year’s trail has been open for 49 days and Thomson said staff are hopeful it will stay open until early March.

Before you lace up your skates, Thomson recommends checking skating conditions on The Forks’s website or Twitter. You should also only get onto the trail from designated access points, she added.

Published at Fri, 09 Feb 2018 01:08:03 -0500