Winnipeggers got one last holiday treat on New Year’s Day: the annual Red River Mutual Trail officially opened.
The river trail is now open from The Forks to the Queen Elizabeth Way bridge on the Red River.
"We’re thrilled to be opening the Red River Mutual Trail for Jan. 1," Paul Jordan, The Forks' chief executive officer said in a news release.
"Thanks to cooler temperatures, we were able to complete the skating rink in The Forks Historic Port along with a portion of the trail. It’s great to welcome in the new year and (we) hope to see more of the trail opening later this week."
The Jan. 1 opening means skaters can get on the river 10 days earlier than last year. It also means Winnipeggers can get the jump on their river-trail rivals in Ottawa: According to the National Capital Commission’s website, the Rideau Canal Skateway has not opened yet.
Now that the trail is open, attention will soon turn to the 2015 warming huts, which are expected to be out on the ice around the third week of January, the release said. Pop-up restaurant Raw:almond is also back, beginning on January 22.
Skate rentals are now open as well, available at Iceland Skate Rentals located adjacent to the skate changing area inside The Forks Market. Rates are $3 for children and seniors and $5 for adults. Skate trainers are also available for $2.
"We love how Winnipeggers are embracing winter and wanting to enjoy more outdoor events," says Jordan. "Our calendar is packed with fun-filled events at The Forks, and the cold of winter doesn’t seem to be slowing us down."
Winnipeggers can look forward to a host of other upcoming winter activities. Over the next six weeks, the Red River Mutual Trail will host events including an Iron Man Curling Bonspiel, events during Festival du Voyageur, two winter cycling competitions as well as a winter version of Bike to Work day.
Updated on Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 9:40 PM CST: Adds slideshow.