Well known for its Icelandic culture and polar bears, Winnipeg is also a great place to experience the joy of ice skating on frozen rivers at The Forks National Historic Site of Canada (Arctic Glacier Winter Park)! The length of the river skating trail at The Forks changes each year, depending on river and ice conditions. The river ice walk / skating trail can stretch westward to Manitoba Legislative Building, northeast to Esplanade Riel Pedestrian Bridge, or southward to Churchill High School. The river ice trail also include hockey rinks and curling rinks by the Forks Historic Port Lighthouse.
In January 2008, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized The Forks as the home of the longest skating rink in the world for its 8.54km Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail on the Assiniboine River and Red River. In comparison, the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario is only 7.8km long.
Other winter activities include toboggan slides, snowboard venue, and an Olympic-sized skating rink at the Scotiabank Stage by the Human Rights Museum; snowshoeing and onland ice skating trails at The Forks; musical outdoor skating at Canopy Skating Rink by The Forks Market Plaza; and Great West Life Snowman Lane in South Point Park.
The Red River played a pivotal role in the historical, cultural and economic development of Western Canada. This flood-prone prairie river originates in the northern United States and meanders north across rich, flat agricultural land to Lake Winnipeg at Netley Marsh. As the “highway” of its day for First Nations peoples, fur traders and immigrants, it was traveled by canoe, York boat and steamboat. The Red River Resistance led by Louis Riel, the beginning of the North West Mounted Police, and the making of Treaty No. 1, which opened the West to homesteaders, all occurred along the river. The Red River settlement established in 1812 at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers became Winnipeg, the “Gateway to the West”. As a Canadian Heritage River, the Red is managed for the benefit of all Canadians.
Public Outdoor Ice Skating Schedule
Map & Driving Direction
Exact location of The Forks parking lot (maximum 3 hours free parking) is indicated by Green Arrow on the following map. Metered hourly parking and daily parking lots are also available.