Branden Macnaughton, Lane Ogden, Kourtney Holberton, and Kally Campbell skate along Sparwood’s new skating trail. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Branden Macnaughton, Lane Ogden, Kourtney Holberton, and Kally Campbell skate along Sparwood’s new skating trail. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Sparwood’s outdoor skate trail proves a hit

The 400m trail will return in years to come with more trail, and more lights

In a light-bulb moment, a bright spark in Sparwood came up with the brilliant idea to take a Zamboni for a joy ride through Lions Park – and it turned out to be one of the best things for outdoor recreation in the district this winter, with skaters enjoying the Elk Valley’s first outdoor skate trail for the month it was open.

While the trail – which was an experiment that went right – is now closed for the season following warm weather, there are already plans for it to return bigger and better in years to come.

Mayor David Wilks said given it was so well used, there were plans being thought up in the recreation department at the district to extend the Lions Park trail from it’s 400m length this year, to up to 1000m in years to come.

“They’ve worked out the kinks that they had at the beginning, and they know how they’ll do it a little better next year, and also make sure we’ll have more lighting,” he said.

In the future, as it was this year, the trail will be prepped by the Zamboni from the Recreation and Leisure Centre, next to the park. While the Zamboni is usually used on surfaces that were almost completely flat, district staff had figured out how to make it work in the park.

“Once that happened, it was awesome,” said Wilks, who said residents from around the valley had come to Sparwood to try out the trail which was the valley’s first outdoor skating trail.

The trail – like everything else in winter – is dependent on how the season plays out next year. For this season, varied weather limited the trail to a month-long window – but the feedback was enthusiastic and heartfelt.

“We were tickled pink with the response we got (from the community),” said Wilks, who credited the Recreation department for the idea and execution of the trail. “It was obviously the brain child of someone at the Rec Centre, and it was a really awesome thing to do.”

READ MORE: Lace up those skates: District of Sparwood opens public skating trail



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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