The reason the river trail won't return in 2020
WINNIPEG -- Fears that high water in Winnipeg in the fall would prevent a skating trail from opening on the Red or Assiniboine River have come to fruition.
A spokesperson for The Forks told CTV News it’s unlikely there will be a river trail in 2020.
“It looks like the Manitoba 150 trails will be all on land,” said Larissa Peck, manager of marketing and communications for The Forks.
Peck said chunks of ice that formed along the river banks throughout the freeze-up are creating access issues.
“Because of how the river froze at a very high level, very unprecedented river level at the freeze, we’re seeing these big cliffs of broken ice as the river has dropped.”
She said the ice chunks are a safety concern when it comes to bringing equipment or people to the ice surface.
The last time there was no river trail accessible from The Forks was in 2000. In recent years, conditions have been much more favourable: a record for the longest-opening season was broken in 2018, when the trail was open 69 days, only to be broken again last year with 76 days.
“We know that the community loves this amenity,” Peck said, discussing how people use entry points along the trail to be able to skate to The Forks.
She also said while it’s a disappointment, there is nearly 2 km of on-land trails to explore.
“We hope people will come here to celebrate winter, and enjoy friends and family and use this as a meeting place.”
-With a file from CTV's Jamie Dowsett