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River trail at The Forks closes for season on slushy, sunny day

People of all ages set out on the river trail at The Forks for one last skate of the season on Sunday.

On-land skating trails in Arctic Glacier Winter Park, Canopy Rink and Toboggan Hill will remain open

People of all ages set out on the River Trail at The Forks for one last skate of the season on Sunday. 2:01
People of all ages set out on the River Trail at The Forks for one last skate of the season on Sunday.
On Sunday, families came out for the last skate of the season on The Forks' Red River Mutual Trail. (Sam Karney/CBC)

But by the time they arrived, the ice was slushy with the sun shining down on it, which has happened more than once since the trail opened on Jan. 21 to Winnipeg's mild winter.

Still, more than 18,000 people skated there on Louis Riel Day, so the season had its ups, too.

Shevaun Fortune was at the Red River Mutual Trail, where she was trying to "embrace the last day," she said.

Shevaun Fortune said the trail has become part of her regular routine, and she goes for a skate after work around three times per week. (Sam Karney/CBC)

"I'm disappointed that we don't get to do it for much longer because it's been such a short time, but they've worked so hard on it this year. It's too bad it's ending so soon," she said.

The trail became part of Fortune's regular routine — she reported stopping by around three times a week to skate for a few hours after work.

"We've been doing so many things this year to embrace winter, and it feels like we've had so many hurdles with the weather," she said on Sunday.

That includes the wet, slushy conditions she saw on Sunday.

"Last night was beautiful. It was like, perfect temperature. It looks like everyone else got here first and slopped it up for us today," she said, laughing.

Rachel and Allison Courey were at the river trail on Sunday, too.

Allison and Rachel Courey say they are disappointed Sunday is the last day to skate on The Forks' Red River Mutual Trail. (Sam Karney/CBC)

"We've been really excited to get back out on the river," Rachel said. 

"We've been very busy for the last couple months and are kind of just sad that this is our last experience and it's melting away."

Allison said she takes their dog for a walk on the river every morning.

"He's definitely disappointed and suspicious about why it's starting to get wet," she said.

"I told them I put my bathing suit on underneath so we can go swimming afterwards if we want. I'm always up for an adventure, so if a slip and slide happens, I'm open."

Kim Nati was not sad at all that it was the trail's last day of the season, though.

Kim Nati said he is not sad the trail is closing for the season, and is looking forward to spring. (Sam Karney/CBC)

"It's really nice out here. The sun's up really bright and the weather's pretty cool. But, the ice is slushy and you can't really skate anymore," he said.

"I'm not sad. I'm good with winter ending and it's going to be spring soon."

According to The Forks, all on-land skating trails in the Arctic Glacier Winter Park, the Canopy Rink and Toboggan Hill will remain open, weather permitting.

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