The District of Sparwood has officially opened the Elk Valley’s first public skating trail, a 400 metre loop located in Lion’s Park.
“We thought this might be a great opportunity for outdoor activity during these COVID times – it’s a great opportunity for everyone to get out, get some fresh air, and have some fun,” said Sparwood Mayor, David Wilks.
Though trail use is weather-dependant and there are no guarantees for the trial’s success, Mayor Wilks is hopeful the community will enjoy the project, adding that future expansion is a possibility.
“I think it’s going to be really awesome – these next couple of weeks looks like they’re going to be colder so that works out well for us, and as long as we have the weather cooperating we can keep it going,” said Mayor Wilks.
“If it’s well received then it’s something we can continue to do every year.”
The three-metre wide trail is located on a pre-existing walking path adjacent to the Recreation and Leisure Centre. The path will be overseen by the Recreation and Leisure Centre’s maintenance team, who will level out the ice using a Zamboni as needed.
“We have an area that we don’t use in Lion’s Park that is a walking trail, so by freezing that walking trail we’re not wrecking the grass or anything,” said Mayor Wilks.
Users of the trail are encouraged to skate according to their ability, wear a helmet, and always maintain social distancing. Playing hockey on the trail is prohibited.
“Be mindful that it’s for public use and not everyone has the same skills…not everyone is Wayne Gretzky. It’s there for everyone to use and have some fun,” added Mayor Wilks.
While the district will be hanging lights around the trail, residents are recommend to only skate from dawn until dusk. The instillation of permanent lighting fixtures is a possibility depending on the trail’s popularity.