Golden Lake skating loop and rinks open to large crowd

Golden Lake – There was a party on Golden Lake – on the frozen ice surface – as about 300 people enjoyed the new skating loop and rinks opened by the Golden Lake Property Owners Association.

The inaugural event to open the rinks and skating loop – called the Snow Moon Skating Loop – was held Saturday and included music and lights under the stars, hot dogs and marshmallows, shinny hockey, and lots of games.

“We were thrilled with the response,” said Theresa Rasp, director of corporate sponsorship for the Golden Lake Property Owners Association (GLPOA). “We had well over 300 people coming and going.

“A lot of people just had fun being there,” she said. “It provided something for everybody.”

The rinks and skating loop are located by Island View Drive with parking at Island View Park (the former Goldcrest Lodge) and Red Pine Camp. There is signage there as well, including if the ice surface is open or closed.

The project to open the rinks and skating loop had been a dauting one with the weather in 2023 being very uncooperative, but the volunteers with the GLPOA were able to get it ready for the Family Day weekend, she noted. The response was very positive from those who attended and it was also a great chance to meet others in the community, including many who live around the lake.

“There were a number of people who mentioned they normally would have had a rink, but it was too challenging this year,” she added.

The skating loop has already dealt with some challenges and on Monday with warmer weather on the weekend it was closed because the ice had already softened too much. Signage is posted closing the loop and there are hopes it might re-open. The three rinks around the loop seem to have fared better and the volunteers are working to get everything opened again.

“We want to do flooding so we can open it up,” she said.

There are two skating rinks on one side and the rink on the other side is suitable for hockey.

Mrs. Rasp said on Saturday during the opening many people were skating, but others were just enjoying the atmosphere and outdoor time.

“It was heartwarming,” she said. “It validated there was a need or want for this.”

There was also a positive spin off for local business, she pointed out. The owners of the Cottage Cup in Golden Lake pointed out they saw a notable increase in traffic on Saturday with people mentioning they had been at the event.

“They said people were coming from far and wide for the day,” she said. “There were people who came from Ottawa just to skate.”

Having a response like this shows how important it can be to promote the area, she said.

This is the first year for a venture like this and while the GLPOA volunteers are going to keep the rinks open – and hopefully the 1.5 kilometre skating loop – there won’t be another large event on the ice sponsored by the organization.

“We have reached out to local businesses who supported us and hopefully they can host some events,” she said.

As well, the GLPOA is looking for volunteers to keep working on the ice surface and the rinks.

“And we have shovels, so people can clear the ice,” she said.

While this was the first year the skating loop and rinks were built, the GLPOA is planning to keep this going next year and in coming years.

“We have our equipment now,” she said.

Updates on the status of the rink and skating loop can be found on the GLPOA Facebook page, their website and there are also links from other supporting organizations around the lake.

Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader