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The wait is over for those who want to hit the rivers of Winnipeg for a skate this year.

The Forks announced the opening of the Red River Mutual Trail this afternoon.

They have opened two kilometres so far and are hoping to have two more ready by the weekend.

Chelsea Thomson is the Manager of Marketing and Communications for The Forks.

“It’s pretty exciting because this year we get to go down the Assiniboine River, which we haven’t been able to do in the past three years,” said Thomson. “Today we are down to the Osborne Bridge on the Assiniboine and the Norwood Bridge on the Red River but we’ll be building further down both in the days and weeks to come.”

Thomson says the ice has been ready for quite some time and they may have been able to open earlier if not for the amount of snow that has hit Winnipeg over the past few weeks.

“We had the cold snap in December which really helped us, especially down the Assiniboine,” she said. “But every time is snows we have to clean if off so it’s safe for skaters.”

Thomson says the warming huts from previous years are out on the trail and are being put into place by crews this week. She says the winners from this year’s warming hut competition will be out on the ice at the end of the month. 

Check out some photos from opening day below: