Manitoba

The Forks skating trail reopens as weather chills

Colder temperatures in Winnipeg have allowed The Forks to reopen the Red River Mutual Trail, which has been closed for about a week.

Crokicurl also ready for players, warming huts will soon to be added to river trail

A stretch of mild weather had forced the popular skating trail and rinks at The Forks to close for about a week. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

Winnipeg's river skating trail is back in business.

The past few days of colder temperatures have allowed The Forks to reopen the Red River Mutual Trail, which has been closed for about a week.

"After our bizarre, record-warm January weather, it's great to reopen and invite people back onto the trails," said Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership.

The stretch of mild weather filled the skating trail and the adjacent walking trail with puddles but the ice itself is still plenty thick.

For now, the trail winds 1.3 kilometres on the Assiniboine River from the port at The Forks to Osborne Village, as well as 0.7 kilometres on the Red River to the Norwood Bridge. But extensions to the path are already underway along both rivers.

The kilometre of on-land trails that meander through The Forks site are also open again, as are the snowboarding and tobogganing sites at The Forks' Arctic Glacier Winter Park.

For now, the Red River Mutual Trail winds 1.3 kilometres on the Assiniboine River from the port at The Forks to Osborne Village, as well as 0.7 kilometres on the Red River to the Norwood Bridge, but extensions are already underway. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

On top of all of that, the latest Canadian ice attraction is also now open.

A rink for ​crokicurl, which combines two popular pastimes — crokinole and curling — is available on a free-to-play basis near the canopy.

Players can borrow rocks from The Common, which is open from noon until late most nights.

As long as the weather behaves like middle-of-winter weather should in Winterpeg, the latest warming huts will soon be added to the river trails.

The architects should have their pieces completed by the end of this week and the huts will be moved to their places on the trail shortly after that, officials with The Forks said.

"I'm amazed at the creativity and variety of the submissions we received this year," said Jordan. "There's a fully-enclosed beach, a hut that spans the entire width of the Red River Mutual Trail, and a giant lantern suspended over a snow tunnel.

"It's great to see that we continue to receive original designs from all over the world, right here in Winnipeg."

The winners of the 2017 warming hut competition will join 2016 winners Temple and Shelter Belt, and past winners Woolhaus, Hygge House, Smokehouse, Skybox, Fir Hut, Apparition, Under the Covers, Wind Catcher, Red Blanket, Windshield, Recycling Words and The Hole Idea.

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