Minnesota town breaks record for longest skate path in US

The Minnesota town of Warroad now boasts the longest skate path in the country after residents paved the path last year as a way for community members to safely gather amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Riverbend Skate Path along the Warroad River in northern Minnesota has doubled in size since last year and now measures 5.2 miles long. The Riverbend plowing crew measured the distance using GPS and onX apps. The distance surpassed the previously held unofficial titleholder in Vermont whose path ran 4.3 to 4.5 miles the last few years.

Jared Olafson, one of the path’s creators, got together with his brother and a friend last December to connect their backyard ice rinks. The path grew from there, eventually seeing 300 to 400 skaters on weekend days last year doing activities like pulling sleds, curling, playing broomball and practicing puck handling.

The creators of the path, known as the Riverbender Crew, are planning several events and activities for skaters on the path, including hot chocolate and merchandise sales. They also have partnered with Warroad High School to build two warming hut concession stands and moveable fire pits along the path.

The Riverbend Skate Path Facebook page will feature updates on the condition of the skate path, which is still being prepped for this winter season.