About the WinterPeg Mobile Ski Library.
The first and only one of its kind in the world (that we know of), Winnipeg Trails’ mobile library brings winter equipment and fresh groomed trails to unexpected places. The idea sprung out of necessity during the pandemic, when transport pressures were high and people needed safe and fun activities to do outdoors near their home.
Our motto is “Winter Fun Near You.”
It was WAY too much fun to stop, pandemic or not.
Now it is here to stay.
The initial library was made possible thanks to donations of equipment from hundreds generous Winnipeggers. We added things like more kids ski boots and kicksleds thanks to grants and revenue generated from rentals. We continue to recieve support from all levels of government, as well as partner organizations who pay us to come host librairies or do grooming for them.
The mobile library visits are all about gathering together to spread the joy of winter. Events are typically family friendly and always welcoming to people trying new things. Our largest single day turnout so far was 872 people! On a blizzard-filled and suddenly blustery day in a park that no one ever visits in winter, sometimes it might be that one family that turns up.
But it is always worth it! And if you are that family, we guarantee you will leave happy.
Most site visits last a day or two, each lasting a few hours. Expect “pop-ups”, sometimes on short notice. We set up our calendar as early as possible and then adjust as needed. Sometimes Mother Nature dictates. We come and go like the snow and a howling Nor’wester. Watch Winnipeg Trails on social media for the latest.
We love to show up at special events like winter carnivals.
People can borrow skis (or snowshoes, kicksleds, sit skis, Wheel Blades and more..). We try to make the experience as accessible as possible, and always aim to provide amenities like benches, warming fires, indoor spaces and even washrooms because we know they matter.
People with certain needs sometimes appreciate a special place to learn and try. We started programs specifically aimed at giving people with disabilities the tools they need to get outdoors. We also run programming for women/2-sprit and older adults that proved popular. We strive to give all staff and volunteers the guidance they need to welcome anyone to try something new.
Building new trails will always be our jam. Snow is our canvas. We use grooming machines to make skiing a joy. Grooming equipment was purchased thanks to grants and sponsors. In 2023, we started working with the Forks to bring top notch grooming to the Nestawaya River trail, focusing on the Assiniboine river on weekends.
It takes resources to run programming, and we know you all want more ski trails. If you or or your organization wants to get involved, we’ll always work something out. To request a mobile library visit, request a ski trail near you or share your idea, send us an email.
Hooked on skiing? Want to borrow equipment you can take anywhere you want?
Winnipeggers can access affordable ski rentals through Winnipeg Trails’ social enterprise at Plain Bicycle at the Forks. Visit our bikeshop inside the antique traincars. Kicksleds and nordic skates are available too. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, you can find us down on the ice at the Forks on the Nestwaya River Trail! Look for the blue ice shack. Snowshoes are available at our Sherbrook location. Group rates available. All proceeds from rentals go towards the free Winterpeg programming we do all over the city we love.
Many local bike shops also sell skis and offers rentals at a fair price. Also, Windsor Nordic Centre, run by Cross Country Ski Manitoba, is a great place to ski with excellent trails; grooming at all times. If you intend to ski at Windsor, there is a small user fee and rentals available on site.
We’ve moved our ski trail reporting map over to the TrailForks app, which is a great app for finding new trails and making updates. Below is a map that highlights places to cross country ski near you, including all of the loops we do when the mobile ski library visits a park near you!
Help report conditions. Most Winterpeg loops last from the moment we host a library until the snow comes. But if people keep skiing, the trails will still be there – or you can make them! If you ski a trail and want to post an update, you can use the handy tool below. You can also post updates on more established trails in the city by visiting TrailsForks.com and learning more about posting updates.
A project of:
We are grateful for the support of:
Our volunteers including our board.
The staff and the staff of community centres, festival organizers and schools, and the supervisors of parks we visit.
Event partners including Accessible Sport Manitoba, Biathlon Manitoba, Spirit North, Whyte Ridge CC, Bourkevale CC, Lindenwoods CC, Transcona GC, Norwood Grove BIZ, Gas Station Arts Centre, The Beer Can, Save Our Seine and The Forks and more.
You and everyone who has shared their curiosity about winter and their vulnerability with us, especially those who try something new.
Those who made this event possible beginning in the past starting 2020.
And this year’s financial contributors: