What better way to ring in the New Year than by gliding across ice on steel blades with family and friends?
The Flathead Valley contains numerous places to ice skate, from the Stumptown Ice Den in Whitefish to the new Woodland Park Ice Rink in Kalispell. But for those looking for something a bit more rustic, look no further than the Woodland Park Pond.
Groomers have maintained the pond surface in downtown Kalispell that is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. A section on the south side of the pond is available for hockey players.
“There’s not a lot of people so you can be silly,” said Kari Potter who was visiting her family for the holidays. “And it’s great exercise after (holiday) meals.”
Potter and her friend Kit Patterson said they also enjoyed the pond over rinks because of its rustic nature – being surrounded by trees including a large Willow at the north end – concluding it is also more romantic.
The pond is sizable which gives new skaters the chance to experiment without many obstacles.
Being free, the only expense is skate rentals, Potter said.
How to get there: From U.S. Highway 93 in downtown Kalispell, go east on Second Street East. Continue through the large intersection with Woodland Avenue. Turn north on Woodland Park Drive. The pond is on the west side of the park.
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