Forks opens second leg of Red River Trail

The Forks has opened the second leg of the Red River Trail, from the Forks to Churchill Park, making it 5.5 kilometres long.
The Forks opened a second leg of Winnipeg's river trail Friday, making it 5.5 kms long. ( Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

Winnipeggers can now enjoy a longer skate on the Red River Trail.

Officials at The Forks said Friday they've opened the second leg from The Forks to Churchill Park, making the trail 5.5 kilometres long.

“We’re thrilled to be extending the Red River Mutual Trail down the Red into Riverview,” said the Forks' Paul Jordan in a news release.

“It’s great to be able to connect our communities and neighbourhoods in a way that isn’t possible throughout the other seasons. That’s part of what makes it so unique.”

Last weekend was one of the busiest ever at the Forks, with almost 20,000 people showing up to skate and otherwise take advantage of the warmer temperatures.

Forks spokesperson Clare MacKay said they are expecting another big crowd this weekend.

"Our crews are working later into the evenings and sometimes even through the night to prepare the trail," she said. "We do know that when large crowds come out the trail the Red River Mutual Trail takes some wear and tear."

She said crews keep a close eye on trail conditions and the information is continuously updated on the Forks' website.

"We'll be prepping the trail right now for the weekend," she said. "We really do assess the conditions every day. And we've got a very flexible and fantastic dedicated crew."

MacKay said benches and warming huts will be available for visitors as well, along both the Assiniboine and Red River portions of the trail this weekend.

Jordan added that as conditions permit, more of the trail will be opened in the coming weeks.