The crew has been hard at work, the ice has been tested, and the rink has been cleared, the first section of the Nestaweya River Trail presented by The Winnipeg Foundation is now open for skating. In spite of several setbacks and some challenging circumstances, the Port Rink located on the Assiniboine River in The Forks Historic Port is ready and safe for public access.
“As soon as temperatures start to drop, we start anticipating the day we can offer visitors and guests peak winter experiences on the rivers,” says Sara Stasiuk, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Forks North Portage. “It’s our community that enables us to create this winter amenity by coming here and supporting us all year round – it’s truly built by the community, for the community.”
Nestaweya River Trail presented by The Winnipeg Foundation was re-named in 2022 to honour the original Cree name used for the site of The Forks and the area we now call Winnipeg. “Nestaweya” means “three points” and depicts how people have accessed the area by river coming from three directions.
This year marks the fourth season of The Winnipeg Foundation’s lead sponsorship of the river trail. The Forks is grateful for the ongoing support.
“The Nestaweya River Trail has become an important winter amenity in our city; bringing people together, outdoors, to enjoy each other and our community. The Winnipeg Foundation is thrilled to collaborate with The Forks to offer this much-loved trail again this year,” says Sky Bridges, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Winnipeg Foundation.
This late January opening marks the latest the trail has ever opened, surpassing the Jan. 21 opening in 2016. This excludes 2020 when the trail never opened due to poor ice conditions. Last year the trail opened on Jan. 1 and remained open for 72 days, closing in mid-March.
For safety, the ice on the Nestaweya River Trail presented by The Winnipeg Foundation is tested daily. Guests are asked to adhere to all signage on the trail. Only the open section(s) are deemed safe, and it is not advisable to go on any other parts of the rivers.
Visitors can stay up-to-date on the Nestaweya River Trail presented by The Winnipeg Foundation's conditions here!
Photo courtesy of Travel Manitoba