A free-to-use skating loop has been installed over the holidays next to the Carrot River arena.
Miranda Blaber, Carrot River’s community development manager, said the loop is intended to give community members the opportunity to skate for a longer period of time, as both the indoor and outdoor rink are often used for hockey and figure skating.
“It gives people an opportunity to public skate outdoors and it’s not a space where you can play hockey,” Blaber said. “It’s just a place where you can skate, put on some distance, cover some ground and it’s not just a tight circle.”
Discussions around the idea started last year between Blaber and the town’s facilities manager, Pat Flegg. Before it could be finalized, they had to find a location that could be regularly cleaned and have access to parking.
“He had to basically get equipment in to pack a path the width of the Zamboni and then he had to let that freeze down to start laying water,” she said. “It took a lot more water than anticipated, I mean we should have known it would take a lot of water but it’s still surprising seeing it made.”
The loop was officially completed Dec. 23, but unfortunately due to the cold weather Blaber said most of the community still haven’t had a good opportunity to enjoy it.
“There have been a lot of positive comments and people looking forward to getting out there as soon as it gets a smidge warmer.”
While it will be regularly maintained, in the case of snow removal, streets and sidewalks will hold higher priority. The loop is not lit, so the town advises that it is best enjoyed during the daylight.
“We hope to make it an annual thing. As long as we have staff available to do it, we will work towards getting it done.”
Another winter activity the town is continuing is lending out snowshoes from the town office, with a returnable deposit required and sizes ranging from children to adults. Maps for the trail east of Carrot River are also made available at the town office.
Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal