The Forks shuts down Winnipeg's river skating trail for the season

A record-breaking skating season came to an end Tuesday, as the Red River Mutual Trail was shut down for the winter.

Pathway reached 8.6 km in length, operated for a record 75 days total

Signs warn people to stay off the Red River Mutual Trail at The Forks Tuesday evening. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

A record-breaking skating season came to an end Tuesday, as the Red River Mutual Trail in Winnipeg was shut down for the winter.

Since opening on Dec. 28, the skating path on the Red and Assiniboine rivers operated for 75 days, edging last year's 72 and easily eclipsing the 2016-17 season, when it was only open for 33 days total.

Paul Jordan, the chief executive officer at The Forks, said it was a great winter for the trail, which reached a maximum length of 8.6 kilometres. Despite the polar vortex that gripped the city, nearly 800,000 people had stepped onto the trail through the end of February.

"Thanks to those who made great use of the trail this year," Jordan said in a statement. "It's exciting to see the city come to life and convene on the rivers in the wintertime — it's something that makes Winnipeg exceptional."

Almost 800,000 people stepped onto the trail between its opening on Dec. 28 and the end of February. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Although people are advised to stay off the rivers and it will no longer be maintaining the trail, The Forks will continue to operate on-land skating trails in Arctic Glacier Winter Park, weather permitting.

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A few facts about the 2019 Red River Mutual Trail:

  • Litres of water pumped from the Red River to flood the trail: 3,500,000.
  • Distance driven by the Olympic ice resurfacer: 1,700 km.
  • Warming huts: 20.
  • Hockey pucks recovered from berms along the trail: 43.
  • Smartphones found along the trail: 22.
  • Thickest ice on the trail: 99 centimetres.
  • Number of recycled Christmas trees used along the trail: 450.
  • Number of trail crew members: 12.

— Source: The Forks