It’s time to hit the trail, Winnipeg.
The Red River Mutual Trail officially opened at The Forks this morning, marking the official start of 6-8 weeks of winter programming at the public gathering spot.
Work on the skating and walking trail is ongoing, but right now officials have cleared a path from the Historic Port down the Assiniboine River to the Osborne Bridge (a distance of 1.5 kilometres) and a smaller section from the port down the Red River to the Norwood Bridge.
Crews continue to work on the trail past those river points. Once snow clearing and ice thickness testing is complete, officials at The Forks hope to have the trail stretch down the Assiniboine River to Omand’s Creek, and down the Red River to Churchill Drive Park.
Further legs of the trail will open in the coming weeks as conditions permit.
Two hockey rinks are also open on the Assiniboine River, located at the main port entrance.
Other features of the skating and walking trail — warming huts, art exhibits, weekend entertainment programming — are expected to be in place later this month. The widely popular pop-up restaurant, Raw:Almond, is also scheduled to open Jan. 24.
Among the other attractions on The Forks winter calendar include the Iron Man Curling Bonspiel (Feb. 7-9); the Ice Bike Race (Feb. 16); and an entire weekend’s worth of events commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Festival du Voyageur (Feb. 14-17).
Updated on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM CST: adds new photo