Outdoor skating rinks in Saskatchewan are a common sight in the winter months. Ponds, lakes and even sloughs get cleared by kids and adults for impromptu games of shinny and revelry. (These rinks are always easy to spot with the characteristic red hockey nets at either end.)
Communities flood skating rinks, pads and trails. And while lake life is a little different in the winter than in the summer, many frozen and snow-covered lakes turn into a web of interconnected rinks and trails in front of cabins, where winter lake-goers can literally skate on over to their neighbours for an outdoor fire and hot chocolate.
Read below to discover some of the best outdoor skating rinks in Saskatchewan.
Table of Contents
- Best Outdoor Skating Rinks in Saskatchewan
- 1. Echo Valley Provincial Park
- 2. Boffins Public Garden
- 3. “Iceville” at Mosaic Stadium
- 4. Pike Lake Provincial Park
- 5. Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink at Nutrien Plaza
- 6. Patrick Park, Yorkton
- 7. Wakamow Skating Oval
- 8. Elk Ridge Resort, near Prince Albert National Park
- 9. Lac La Ronge
- 10. Riverbend Bridge
- 11. The Glen at Crossmount Skating Pond
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Best Outdoor Skating Rinks in Saskatchewan
All skating rinks mentioned are opened seasonally, weather permitting. Most are opened in December, prior to Christmas. Please look up the rink in advance to check opening and closing times and accessibility. Unless stated, most community rinks and skating loops listed are hockey stick and puck-free rinks.
Here are some of the best outdoor skating locations in Saskatchewan (in no particular order).
1. Echo Valley Provincial Park
Echo Valley Provincial Park has flooded a 2-kilometre skating loop that winds through Aspen campground. The “Skate the Park” skating trail is free to enjoy with a valid parks pass (bring your own skates). On weekends, there are often food trucks as well as hot chocolate and outdoor firepits to enjoy. There are also numerous other trails to explore in the park on cross-country skis or as part of a guided snowshoe tour.
READ MORE: The Best Snowshoe Trails in Saskatchewan
2. Boffins Public Garden
Known for its resident koi fish in the summer months, the pond at Boffins Public Garden is transformed into a beautiful skating pond in the winter. (The koi are happily relocated indoors for the season). There’s a wooden gazebo and an outdoor fire pit for warming up. Nighttime is particularly beautiful when it’s all lit up by strings of lights throughout the grounds, making this one of the most Instagram-worthy skating locations in the province. Although the on-site chalet is accessible only to tenants, the pond is open to the public.
3. “Iceville” at Mosaic Stadium
Imagine skating on Saskatchewan’s largest rink – 88,000 square feet of ice in a rink the size of a CFL regulation football field. Well, you can do exactly that at Mosaic Stadium’s “Iceville” in Regina. For the second year in a row, Evraz place will be flooding the home of the Riders to create a massive, open-aired skating rink free for the public to access. More than 350, 000 gallons of water are used to flood the rink.
Skaters can sign up online in 45-minute time slots to enjoy skating in the stadium. Find more information here.
4. Pike Lake Provincial Park
Every year, Pike Lake clears the snow on the lake to create a 5-kilometre skating trail along the shoreline. With access near the main beach, there are bales to sit on to enjoy the warmth of a bonfire before and after your skate. (Make sure to bring a thermos of hot chocolate and s’mores to enjoy over the fire). There’s also crokicurl, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails available in the park.
5. Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink at Nutrien Plaza
In the shadow of the castle-like Delta Bessborough, the Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink is one of the most iconic skating rinks in Canada. The rink is flooded amongst illuminated evergreen trees and offers views overlooking the South Saskatchewan River in downtown Saskatoon. There is a warm-up shack and free skate rentals (currently suspended due to Covid, so please bring your own skates) as well as an outdoor firepit. Throughout the year there are various programs and skate parties to come out and enjoy, often with free hot chocolate and coffee.
READ MORE: A Guide to Ski Hills in Saskatchewan
6. Patrick Park, Yorkton
New to Patrick Park in Yorkton in 2021 is a skating loop throughout the park. The city wanted a fun way to encourage its residents to enjoy the outdoors in the winter and began flooding the pathway in the park to turn it into a skating trail. There are nearby picnic tables to tie your skates and there are lights along the trail to illuminate it for night skating.
7. Wakamow Skating Oval
The city of Moose Jaw is home to the Wakamow Valley Skating Oval. The oval is open to the public throughout the season with an available heated shelter on-site. When the Kinsmen Speed Skating Club is practicing, it’s requested that public users skate on the inside lanes.
While visiting the park in December, take a stroll through the one-kilometre Winter Wonderland Valley light walk.
8. Elk Ridge Resort, near Prince Albert National Park
Elk Ridge is well-known for its outdoor ice hockey rinks and skating oval. Set in the “backyard” of the resort on the frozen pond, groundskeeping staff use a Zamboni to flood and groom the ice. At night, the loop is lit up by decorated trees. Skate rentals are included if you’re staying at the resort.
As a go-to winter destination in Saskatchewan, there are numerous other winter activities to enjoy at the resort including outdoor curling, a toboggan hill, and snowshoe and cross-country ski trails (with free rentals for guests). A perfect warm-up afterwards is with a warm drink in their on-site restaurant or a swim in the indoor pool.
9. Lac La Ronge
Occasionally, when the weather comes together just right, Lac La Ronge freezes over and the wind blows the snow off the icy surface. When this happens, the entire lake becomes one giant skating rink for miles. While skating on it anytime is a unique experience, it’s particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset when the colours of the sky reflect off the frozen water. Please check the ice thickness before skating in these conditions.
READ MORE: The Best Winter Getaways in Saskatchewan
10. Riverbend Bridge
It’s a gem known only to locals who live in the area. There’s a perfect shinny spot hidden from view under the Riverbend Bridge south of Estevan. The bridge leads to the site of the old Riverbend Tree nursery and is a fun spot to check out (both from the bridge and below on the ice). You might even find a net and a couple of pucks nearby for a game of shinny.
Even more unusual, you can be ice skating in the morning and polar dipping and winter kayaking in the afternoon due to the Boundary Dam Power Station. Read more about these unusual activities to experience in Estevan here.
11. The Glen at Crossmount Skating Pond
Grab a hot mulled cider and warm-up around an outdoor fire before heading out for a skate at The Glen at Crossmount. The Glen is a destination and event centre that is home to a local market, café and cidery. The rink is 15 minutes south of Saskatoon on Highway 219 and is open to the public but you’ll want to bring your own skates.
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