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Dragon Hills launches ice track, other winter attractions

Kilometre-long ice skating track, snowshoeing some of the activities on offer at golf course

THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay residents have some new recreation options, after the Dragon Hills golf course opened its gates for a range of winter activities.

Michael Komar has thought about launching an ice track at his course just north of the city on Onion Lake Road for years, he said. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he started getting more requests to accommodate winter sports.

On Friday, the course welcomed the first skater on its winding, kilometre-long ice track, while also opening up kilometres of trails for walking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

The response has been emphatic, with hundreds showing up over the first two days, Komar reported.

“Everybody seems to be just excited to do something – there’s not much to do anymore,” he said Saturday.

The track took weeks of work with a heavy truck, and will be maintained with a zamboni.

Steve Samec, who came to check out the track with his son Parker, said there’s nothing like it in the area.

“It’s about time someone in town took a venture like this on,” he said.

For nine-year-old Gracie Marano, the track offered a chance to have a different kind of fun on the ice after her hockey season was cut short.

“I’m enjoying it a lot,” she said. “Since I can’t go play hockey, I get to come here and just have fun.”

Dragon Hills plans to open between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Friday to Sunday, though Komar said those hours could expand depending on demand. Entrance is $10 a person, or $20 for a family.

Snacks and refreshments are available for sale on site.

Komar said he'll likely continue the initiative in future years.

“You know, we don’t do anything all winter anyway,” he said. “We can hopefully run this until March or April and have the golf course open right after that – we’ll have a full season.”

Ian Kaufman

About the Author: Ian Kaufman

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