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Marvelous Ice Skating Rinks au Natural

Updated on January 15, 2014

Naturally Formed Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks

As a child in Alaska, ice skating was as natural as building snowmen.

In fact, our school flooded the huge front yard every Winter and it became the town's rink.

I can still remember the sting the day I stepped over the barrier log to test the ice for strength when I was in first grade.

My rubber boot quickly filled with icy cold water up to the very top, since my child's eyes hadn't yet developed the knack for visual testing of our frozen ponds. So trusting and eager, I put all my weight on the thin ice and heard the cracking all around.

I never let a little frosty foot spoil my love of ice skating, so I was delighted to find all these photographs of wild and wonderful natural ice skating rinks. Lucky are the people for whom one of the charms of Winter is the freezing of their lakes and rivers, creating splendid free ice skating rinks.

In the outdoor setting these rinks are typically expansive. The feelings of freedom, of near effortless movement, are priceless!

If you live in such an area, or get to visit one of the featured sites, you might want to buy a simple set of ice skates. Carry them in your backpack, and stash your boots in the pack for unbridled pleasure. It greases your joints, and tickles your face!

This charming rink is in the center of downtown Ottawa, on the Rideau Canal. It runs for 7.8 kilometres, or just under 5 miles long! The Rideau Canal Skateway becomes the most expansive ice skating rink in the whole world.

The Skateway begins close to the Canadian parliament Buildings, and it terminates at Dows Lake, complete with a famous gallery right on the ice. Enjoy art, yearly celebrations and sports activities, while taking in the downtown landscape, along this scenic route.

image credit: credit: Vince Alongi

Montana's Canyon Ferry Lake Rink

image credit:Canyon Ferry Lake

Montana's Canyon Ferry Lake is a 28-mile favorite of natural ice skating fans, according to, because you'll rarely have to deal with snow: Since the area doesn't get much rough weather, the lake becomes a smooth sheet of black ice.

Canyon Ferry Lake is a man-made reservoir near Helena that measures up at more than 35,000 acres and it's also a popular spot for iceboating, in which riders sit on low benches spanning steel runners and powered by a kitesail.

You Can Buy Ice Skates For Less Than The Cost of Dinner Out

If you or the kids are newcomers to ice skating you've got a splendid experience in store. While experienced skaters opt for quality skates that will last for years, a beginner may want to pick a bargain deal.

Lake Placid Starglide Girl's Double Runner Figure Ice Skate (11J)
Lake Placid Starglide Girl's Double Runner Figure Ice Skate (11J)

I would have loved to have had pink ice skates. Back in the 50s in small town Alaska we used whatever was available, but today's kids can wear skates that look just as stylish as their running shoes.

This manufacturer haws a full line of styles for the whole family. In this case some pretty pink cheap skates are a great idea.


Ice Skating Rinks Poll #1

Have you ever ice skated?

See results

Skating on Moscow's Red Square, Finland, and More

Slick Women's Ice Skates

Lake Placid Supreme Women's Soft Boot Figure Ice Skate (9)
Lake Placid Supreme Women's Soft Boot Figure Ice Skate (9)

This is a wonderful all purpose skate at a modest price. I like the styling


Colorado's Keystone Lake City Rink

image credit: photo by diongillard

Ice skating is big at Keystone Lake in Colorado. Skaters can enjoy real skating freedom on the large five acre body of water, enjoying picturesque scenery all the white.

They know they are always close to city refreshments and cultural aspects of this city long known for its winter sports. Skaters are lucky that the city employs a Zamboni, like you see at hockey rinks, to smooth out any rough spots on the ice. This rink is a real tourist attraction for the city.

Ice Skating at Keystone Lake Video

Natural Rink at Banff National Park

I love the landscapes in this video.

Ice Skating Poll Question #2

Have you ever played hockey on the ice?

See results

Bag Up Your Ice Skates - hike in your boots - skate in your skates

High Sierra Access Laptop Backpack, Black
High Sierra Access Laptop Backpack, Black

It's nifty to tote your skates in on the way to the rink. You may use your backpack for other outings, but your skatebag keeps your ice skates clean and handy. No dings to your food or clothing from jostling around loose.


Toss a Blade Sharpener in Your Pack

A&R Sports BKWY Blade Sharpener
A&R Sports BKWY Blade Sharpener

How many times have you gone off skating without your sharpener! Skatemate sharpens three levels of hardness blades. Use the device between professional sharpenings. If you're just out to do some occasional skating, you may be able to bypass the pros. I know we never did sharpen our skates, as kids, but if we had continued on into adulthood, we surely would.


Fantastic Homemade Backyard Zamboni

Handy Way to Carry Your Refreshments

Backpack Cooler - Gray
Backpack Cooler - Gray

I like this backpack because it has rave reviews, for all it's features. Carry your hot drinks inside, your water in the pocket. The perfect backpack for ice skaters' long outdoor jaunts.


Unbelievable Ice Skating in Sweden

image credit Anna Moore at Nature Travels

Environmentally sensitive tours are regularly offered by Nature Travels, from the UK. For winter enthusiasts, they offer tours of winter ice skating experiences in the natural environment.

You are coached throughout your trip by experts who are well versed in ice safety. If you enjoy the northlands then this may be your ice skating venue of choice.

Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail Rink

image credit photo by Dano

The Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail has the longest reach of any natural ice skating rink on earth! recently claimed the Guinness World record for longest at a maximum length of 8.5 km.

This winter trail, on ice, boasts an incredibly long track, perfect for seasonal ice sports. Canadians are big on curling, hockey, ice skating, and even broomball winter activities. Check out the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail

Free Form Skating on Goose River

If you're lucky enough to live near a river that freezes you may enjoy this yourself. it reminds me of where I skated as a child, only the cattails were 6'tall and the blackberry vines were more like 8' tall. We were enclosed by natural vegetation, just skating under the moon.

Build Your Own Ice Rink

With very modest tools you can build your own ice rink in a day. It is important to spread thin layers of water, often hot water, over the ice. Let the ice freeze and then apply another layer.

Take your time and with freezing cold weather that you can count on remaining freezing, and with enough friends to help, and cheer you on, you'll have the neighborhood rink of your dreams. Adopt-a-Rink

Hockey Skate Guards Make Perfect Gifts

Proguard Centipede Hockey Skate Guard, Red
Proguard Centipede Hockey Skate Guard, Red

Pick one color for recreational skates and one for your hockey skates. Keep skates organized by color. Save yourself a lot of sharpening from accidental dings.


How to Ice Skate - video instruction for you

Ice Skating Poll Question #5

Are you ready to ice skate?

See results

What Do You Think About Ice Skating Outdoors? Have You Been There?

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    Post Comment

    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @rob-hemphill: That's the secret, I think, learning as a child when a hard smack on the ice is no big deal. I did learn then but I'm not so certain I can skate as well now on ice as I can in my memories.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      Like the idea, wish I could skate and ski but never learned as a child.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image


      5 years ago from New Jersey

      Nice lens. My wife likes ice skating, but I have bad knees so never really took to the sport.


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