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Nestaweya River Trail now open amid mild weather

Forks Skating Trail expands

A Winnipeg winter staple returns, albeit in a contracted form, with the first section of the Nestaweya River Trail officially opening Thursday morning.

Only one section of the ordinarily six-kilometre trail, the Port Rink on the Assiniboine River, is now open to the public.

"We saw a lot of challenges," said Sara Stasiuk, CEO of The Forks, noting the long, mild start to winter and an influx of rainwater south of the border.

"Add to that a big dump of snow a couple of weeks ago and we have a got a slush-ice sandwich to deal with," she said.

"Thankfully, crews have been working long hours to ensure the river trail is clear and safe to open."

Thursday marks the latest opening date on record, excluding 2020, when, due to poor ice conditions, the trail didn’t open at all.

Last year, the trail opened on the first of January. In 2022, the full length of the trail was open by January 24. In 2021, the river trail's full length opened to Manitobans by January 9.

"I never imagined in my entire life in January, in Winnipeg, I would be thinking, 'Gee I wish it was a bit colder,'" said LuAnn Lovlin, vice president of communications for The Winnipeg Foundation.

"I had really bad visions last night, of us all huddled around in a circle maybe getting a few laps (around the rink) in but the trail just looks magnificent," she said.

The Winnipeg Foundation has been a lead sponsor for the Nestaweya River Trail since 2020.

Ice safety levels on the Nestaweya River Trail are tested daily and only the sections listed as "open" are deemed safe. The public is encouraged to check on current ice conditions online. Top Stories

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