Sunday 29 January 2012

Seine: the forgotten river II

Two years ago I wrote Seine: the forgotten river -- a short photo tour of a winter bike ride down the under-appreciated Seine River, south of Bishop Grandin Blvd. This weekend I took a short bike ride up the river north of Fermor Ave., past the Windsor Park and St.Boniface golf courses and took a couple of photos along the way. (click to enlarge)

broken pump house near Windsor Park golf course

This winter has been almost perfect for bike riding on the river because of the lack of snow. People walk up and down the river all the time, packing down a trail that is very easy to ride on. In years with lots of snow the trail might not get packed down, and it will be much more like pedaling through sand. I said "almost" perfect because there are some areas along the river that are still not quite frozen over, including one area in particular where warmer water is diverted into the river from the east.

This guy has a wicked setup: a cozy patio with fire pit
sheltered by pine trees with a decent-sized
skating rink cleared on the river.

People often ask me if I have special tires on my bike. I do own studded tires, but I don't always use them and did not have them on this past weekend. They're not really necessary unless you expect to be riding over icy surfaces. There are several spots along the river where people have cleared skating rinks, but you can usually either ride around them or glide over them. The key to biking over ice is to ride in as straight a line as possible.

At one point along the river there is a cleared skating trail that must run for several hundred meters. Sure it's a little more modest than the river trail at the Forks, but it's quieter and it was also open earlier in the season.

Damn beavers

The trail takes a diversion up onto land just north of the St.Boniface Golf Course where a beaver dam, made partially from wooden pallets, makes the trail unsuitable for walking .. for people at least. I can tell from the foot prints that dogs can't resist the trickle of cool tasty water.

Anyhow, I hope this inspires one of you to think outside the Active Transportation Path and explore a river instead.. If the nice weather holds up I might add a part III in the series before the snow melts.


One Man Committee said...

Very interesting post. The Seine River is a part of Winnipeg that I've never explored and your post has inspired me to check it out.

Just one question: is there an actual marked trail to follow or are they mainly of the "monkey trail" variety?

1spiritedmom said...

I have some other cool pics from our adventures on that river: if you want them, let me know!

cherenkov said...

No marked trails where I went. Down in the Royal Wood area there are paved paths as well as monkey trails up on land, and there are other monkey trails here and there along the trail. I was just biking on the river itself, and it's just a path created by all the people walking up and down the river.

A couple years ago I biked up the river all the way to Provencher. It's a fun way to see the city. You could hike or ski if you wanted to, though there are no groomed ski tracks.

cherenkov said...

@SM: What part of the river are they from?

Purple Rod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Purple Rod said...

I used to cross country ski every chance I could get at the Windsor Park Golf Course years ago, when I was on the Manitoba Provincial team. I also Kayaked along the Seine River several times. It's a true hidden gem for the city.

One thing I never figured out is why the need for two bridges along the Seine. I never liked the idea of building a bridge over the Seine River for Shorehill Drive, when the city has plans to build a second bridge just a few hundred metres south, when the Warde Avenue extension is completed.

cherenkov said...

That doesn't seem well thought-out, does it?

I would like to try kayaking or canoeing on the Seine some time.

Anonymous said...

I once rode my bike along the Seine. It was wild terrain & I got 2 tire blowouts near the golf course in Windsor Park. It was a long 12 km walk home w/ 2 flat tires! What a fun adventure though!

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