PLACES: Ice Skating on Woodland Park Pond

By Beacon Staff

What better way to celebrate the New Year than by sliding across the frozen surface of the Woodland Park pond with family and friends?

There are numerous places throughout the valley to ice skate, from the Stumptown Ice Den in Whitefish to the Woodland Park Ice Rink in Kalispell. But for those looking for something a bit more rustic, the frozen pond is a perfect option.

Lacing up the skates, touching down the sharp metal to the ice and pushing off across the open pond is like a step back into time. The simplicity of gliding over the frozen water, circumnavigating an island of trees on the north end and dodging hockey players and pucks on the south end is nostalgic.

The rustic nature of the pond does bring a few more bumps and natural obstacles than a professionally groomed rink. The pond is sizable, which provides space for skaters of any ability to practice and become comfortable balancing on slippery blades. The ice is maintained and is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

For those who are budget conscious, skating on the pond is free. The only expense is skate rentals and hot chocolate to warm up.

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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