THUNDER BAY – A south end park is offering something a little new for local ice skaters this winter, as the City of Thunder Bay introduces its first skating trail.
The 250-metre loop at Vickers Park had already attracted an eager crowd of families Thursday afternoon, though city crews were still honing ice conditions.
The circular trail is in the northeast quadrant of the park, by the intersection of Arthur and Selkirk.
Cory Halvorsen, the city’s parks and open spaces manager, said there had been enthusiasm from the public for the concept.
“We had started doing some skating ovals at some of our sites, so that was sort of a trial to see what kind of ice conditions we’d get there, what kind of experience that would be,” he said. “There was enough interest in it from the public that we decided to commit to moving forward this year.”
With parks usership up during the pandemic, Halvorsen said the initiative was one small way to expand and diversify available recreation options.
Skaters should be aware there are benches around the skating trail, but no sheltered or heated area for putting on skates.
Workers will aim to flood the path every day, but the facility is unsupervised.
The city will be evaluating the success of the trail after this year, he said.
“This is essentially a trial year to see what kind of ice conditions we can maintain, and what the impacts to the use of the park are. We’re going to see how successful it is this year and then go from there.”
It’s the second such path opened in the area, after Dragon Hills golf course unveiled its ice track last year.