Out with the snow, in with the fun

Winnipeg offers a large playground for outdoor fun

Although there is still snow on the ground, pretty soon Winnipeggers will be dusting off their bicycles, runners and softball bats in anticipation of outdoor playtime.

Whether you are trying to save money, get active, or help the environment, cycling has many benefits – but it is also just plain fun.

While Winnipeg doesn’t have the number of bicycle trails that a city the likes of Toronto or Vancouver has, Winnipeg does have some hidden treats.

On example is the North East Pioneers Greenway, which was built in northeast Winnipeg in 2007.

The trail is six kilometres long and stretches from the heart of Elmwood to the perimeter. According to the Winnipeg Trails Association (WTA), the hope if for the trail to eventually connect from The Forks all the way to Birds Hill Park. If this does occur, it would provide a solid trail for cyclists to get from North Kildonan to downtown in an effective manner, without having to fight with city traffic.

Another trail that Winnipeggers enjoy is the Seine River trail, located in St. Boniface. According to the WTA, the trail stretches 2.9 kilometers along the banks of the Seine. While cycling along this trail, you’ll get to experience lots of luscious green parks, including Lagimodiere Gaboury Heritage Park.

For more information on the city’s trails, log onto www.mrta.mb.ca.

Don’t have a bike? All you need is a decent pair of runners to try out parkour. The sport that has been picking up in popularity all over the world and has a nice home in Winnipeg.

The goal of parkour is to move from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible, no matter what the obstacles are.

WinnipegParkour.com offers an online resource and community. Also on the site are videos and hotspot locations for running in Winnipeg.

The Forks is a great place for parkour practitioners (or traceurs) to play like kids again.

Spring is also the start of local softball recreational leagues across the city. One such league is the Winnipeg Fastball League (WFL), which starts up on May 20.

Their regular season usually runs through late May until late July with playoffs from August until early September. Each team plays around 16 regular season games.

The WFL plays their games at Charlie Krupp Stadium in Winnipeg and at Portage La Prairie’s Republic of Manitoba Park.

Published in Volume 63, Number 26 of The Uniter (April 2, 2009)

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