Winnipeg lays claim to world's longest skating path

Winnipeg claims to have the world's longest naturally frozen skating trail, which officially opens Monday.

Officials in Winnipeg have taken measurements showing the city has the world's longest naturally frozen skating trail, along the Assiniboine and Red rivers.

A team including a lawyer, a landscape architect and two civil technologists announced the record on Saturday.

A crew checked the length of the 8.54-kilometre path using Google Earth, a surveying wheel and a GPS (global positioning system) unit.

Organizers hope hundreds of Manitobans turn out for the official opening of the skating trail on Monday morning.

Ottawa's more famous Rideau Canal skating trail measures 7.8 kilometres long, but Winnipeg is hoping to take its place in the Guinness World Records book.

Officials say Winnipeg's record will be verified by Guinness World Records authorities next month. The process usually take four to six weeks.

The rivalry between the two cities has spurred on efforts to clear snow off the river ice, according to Dave Pancoe, trail manager of the Forks, Winnipeg's district where its two rivers converge.

While Winnipeg's river rink is longer, the Rideau Canal path is wider and offers a much larger skating surface.