Great Outdoor Skating Rinks in the Columbia Valley
Time spent in the Columbia Valley during the winter is special, activities are in abundance, and gliding across the ice, or playing a game of shinny is a great way to spend the afternoon, followed by a soak in one of the Columbia Valley Hot Springs and a snack or cup of cocoa.
When temperatures start to drop and, Lake Windermere has started to freeze, and the outlying communities have started to stockpile firewood and brace themselves for the annual winter flooding. Flooding of the outdoor community skating rinks, and wood for the firepits, that is!
Ice Skating in the Columbia Valley from North to South
There are several popular ice rinks throughout the Columbia Valley, including Lake Windermere, where you can skate the world’s longest ice skating trail, The Whiteway, boasting over 30km of picturesque ice-skating. We also recommend lacing up your skates at the volunteer-maintained outdoor skating rinks, and on Columbia Lake in Canal Flats.
Edgewater – Frank’s Rink
Frank’s Rink, found at the corner of Purcell Avenue and Vermillion Street in Edgewater, BC, is known not only as a hub for hockey, shiny, skating and more, but also as a lasting reminder of one man’s love for his community. The rink is a monument to Frank Schnider, who made maintaining the rink his passion for five years, from the time he retired at age 65 until he passed away at age 70 in 2005.
Franks Rink has maintained a dedicated group of volunteers within the Edgewater Rec Society.
Skating in Radium Hot Springs
Radium Hot Springs Skating Rink
Skaters will enjoy a new addition to the Village of Radium Hot Springs this winter. Construction of the new ice rink, located in Legends Field in the heart of the village, began in the fall. The new rink is 140’ long x 60’ wide and is anticipated to open December 21st.
Skating at Mill Pond
Looking for a hidden gem? Head to where the locals play! Located just beyond the Foresters Landing Road Rail Crossing, in Radium Hot Springs, the Mill Pond Skating rink is exactly what you’re looking for in a day of skating fun. You may need to pack your shovel, but if the locals have been down with their quads and plows you’re in for a real treat. Nothing beats an afternoon skate on the wetlands topped with an evening soak.
Skating in Invermere
Invermere is a winter playground like none other! The rink is located only minutes from Panorama Mountain Resort, where you can get your downhill skiing & snowboard adventure on, find great shopping and incredible places to dine. Invermere is also home to terrific winter events such as Columbia Valley Rockies Pond Hockey, the Bonspiel on the Lake, and the Whiteway Challenge.
Lake Windermere Whiteway
Maintained by the Toby Creek Nordic Club, the Lake Windermere Whiteway offers over 30km of multi-use trails for snowshoeing, ice-skating as well as groomed skate and classic cross-country ski trails and was named the world’s longest skating trail by Guinness World Records in 2014.
The Whiteway has two access points, one at Kinsmen Beach in Invermere and one at Windermere Beach. Visit the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club’s Facebook page for trail reports to learn more about current conditions or to purchase passes online.
Wilmer Skating Rink
Wilmer BC is a tiny community where everyone is family and at one time was home to the largest Broomball Tournament in the region. Located about 5 minutes from Invermere, this little community is a must-visit for anyone who loves history.
All year long community members start planning for winter in Wilmer. In December, this quaint little community fills the entire Columbia Valley with light! Nearly every resident has an elaborate Christmas light display, and the Community Association hosts an incredible fireworks display on Christmas Eve. This is the perfect time to test out another community outdoor skating rink while taking in the spirit of the season.
Skating on Lake Lillian
Also maintained by the Toby Creek Nordic Club, Lake Lillian composes a northern section that is part of the Whiteway above (although not connected) and is located 10 minutes outside of Invermere offering a 3km lake-based trail. Access Lake Lillian via Toby Creek Road on your way to Panorama Mountain Resort.
Skating in Canal Flats
Columbia Lake in Canal Flats is the primary lake at the headwaters of the Columbia River. In summer enjoyed by windsurfers, paddlers, motorized watercraft and water enthusiasts, during the winter months, Columbia Lake is occupied by fishing shacks, and enjoyed by ice skaters, cross-country skiers, and more.
At 2 km wide x 14 km long, Columbia Lake is a large, shallow lake that typically freezes over early in December, making it the perfect playground for ice skating, shinny, and family pond hockey. The Village of Canal Flats does not plow a formal rink on Columbia Lake, however, if you venture to Canal Flats, it’s likely a resident will have already done the job! Access to Columbia Lake can be found at the north end of Canal Flats through Tilly Memorial Park.
Now that the lakes and ponds are frozen over and safe for winter fun, grab your skates, pack your stick and puck and discover the Columbia Valley’s excellent outdoor skating rinks! And don’t forget to tag us when sharing your images on your social media channels.
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