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Will the River Trail reopen? The decision still unknown

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With another shutdown of the Nestaweya River Trail on Saturday, its future for the rest of the season is up in the air.

The trail, which originates at The Forks, opened on Jan. 25 - the latest the trail has ever opened in its history. However, the opening lasted less than a week, as mild temperatures shut the popular ice skating trail down.

On Feb. 13, the trail reopened, but that only lasted until Saturday. The Forks announced it was closed due to high water levels from the United States rushing into Winnipeg and spilling over onto the trail.

"All of this is a cause for a sort of frustrating on-again, off-again River Trail season," said Zach Peters, marketing and communications manager with The Forks.

Peters said the latest closure is strictly due to high water levels, noting the ice is still fairly thick.

"As this water comes up, it actually is flowing over top of that frozen ice sheet. So it's seeping and pooling on top and flowing actually rather quickly."

Peters expects the water to recede in the next day or so, but once the water gets back to normal levels, mild temperatures will once again be taking over Winnipeg.

The daytime highs are projected to be above zero, but Peters is hoping nighttime lows dipping below zero will maybe give the trail one last bash before the season ends.

"We'll monitor that as we go. So we're not making any promises either way. But we do know that this is a beloved amenity for folks and that there's pent-up demand for it this year, especially because of this bizarre winter that we're having."

Despite the lack of access to the trail this season, Peters said there are still a number of fun activities Winnipeggers can enjoy including skating at the Canopy Rink and the Winnipeg 150 Winter Park.

There are also events planned for Louis Riel Day on Monday.

"It's everything from family-friendly dance parties and dance battles even outside by the Canopy Rink to our winter programming that usually is on Saturdays and Sundays, extending into the holiday Monday…It really will just be a day where you can walk around and you'll find something different."

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