The Forks, Winnipeg – To reference Guy Maddin’s description of his 2018 Warming Hut, the “Dark Stupid Puddle” is coming. It has been a record-breaking year for the Red River Mutual Trail, but all good things come to and end and as of yesterday morning the trail is now closed.
The Red River Mutual Trail opened December 22, for a total of 72 days. In 2015, the trail was open for 68 days, and in 2017, with many opens and closes, we only saw 33 days altogether on the trail.
This year, at its longest, the trail stretched from the St. Vital Bridge to Arlington St, for a total of 10 km. The last time it exceeded 6.5 km was in 2009 when it was 9.34 km. In 2008, we won the Guinness Book of World Record for at 8.4 km for longest skating trail on a naturally frozen surface, a record now held by Lake Windermere in BC for some 34 km.
Counters on the Port stairs saw over 50,000 people accessing the river on some weekends, and from the beginning of December to end of February over 600,000 hopped onto the trail at The Forks.
“Thanks to all those who made great use of the trail this year,” Jordan says. “It’s exciting to see the city come to life and convene on the rivers in the wintertime – it’s something that makes Winnipeg really exceptional.”
The Forks is no longer maintaining the ice and advises the public to stay off the river.
All on-land skating trails in Arctic Glacier Winter Park, the Canopy Rink and Toboggan Hill are also closed.
Fun Facts about the 2018 Red River Mutual Trail (RRMTrail):
Open for a total of 72 days
Litres of water pumped from the Red River to flood the RRMTrail: 1.1 million
Kilometres driven by the Olympic Ice Resurfacer: 1011 km (roughly the distance to Medicine Hat, AB)
Warming Huts on the RRMTrail: 20
Hockey pucks recovered from berms along the trail: 43
Smart phones lost + found along the trail: 28
Thickest ice on the RRMTrail: 36 inches
Number of recycled Christmas trees used along the RRMTrail: 450
Number of RRMTrail Crew members: 12
Litres of coffee consumed by the RRMTrail Crew: 282
Number of Tall Grass Prairie cinnamon buns consumed by RRMTrail Crew: 200
Why you suddenly might smell French fries or mini donuts when the Olympic Ice Resurfacer passes you on the trail: it runs on used fryer oil from the restaurants at The Forks Market!