The Greatest Skating on Earth
Don't Miss the Skate-a-Thon This Weekend on Lake Morey
skating for 60 years or so, but never have seen ice as good as that last
weekend on Lake Morey. The Lake Morey Inn maintains the ice each winter,
plowing a four and a half mile loop on Lake Morey and even using a Zamboni to
polish it up parts in advance of special events like this weekend’s
Skate-a-Thon or the various upcoming pond hockey tournaments.
But this past weekend the entire lake was skatable and polished smooth – without the need for a Zamboni. According to Russell Hirschler, with who I spoke on Tuesday, the loop should be in good condition on Sunday, January 22 for the Skate-a-Thon – even after the recent snow. I’ve been to this event before, and it is good family fun.
Plowed path in 2014
Russ gave me all the details: it is this Sunday, January 22, from 10am to 3pm. Adults cost $25 ($20 for members of the Trails Alliance) and kids 4 to 12 are $15 (members $10). The little ones are free. Included with this are burritos for lunch, soup, cookies and hot chocolate as needed. There will be a raffle as well, and you get an extra ticket for every loop of the lake that you skate.
Best of all, you can try out Nordic skates for free during the Skate-a-Thon event. These are long skates that I think are like the Seven League Boots of the fairy tale. Longer than hockey or figure skates, you can glide seemingly forever on these. I find they smooth over the bumps, too. They come in 2 pieces: the long blade, and the boots. The boots snap in at the toe, but have a free heel, just like cross country skis. In fact, your cross country boots can be used with the blades!
When I was there last Sunday, I talked to Lisa Avery, a member of the family that has been running the Lake Morey Inn since the 1970’s. This year, she told me, they have opened a skate shop on the weekends. Rentals and sharpening services are available there, as well as snacks, beer and hot chocolate.
Kick Spark rentals are available at Lake Morey Inn
Another fun rental at the skate shop and snack bar at the Lake is the “Kick Spark.” This is a sled with long runners and high handlebars for the kicker. Originally from Sweden, "Spark" is short for "Sparkstötting", which means kick. In Sweden, Norway and Finland there are competitive races for these sleds, racers reaching speeds of 30 to 40 km/hr.. They have places for your feet on the runners, so you can glide. They would be great for those who fear skating. So get on out there this weekend. The ice should be good. Hope to see you there!
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