Picturesque skating: skating on a forest path, a safe and unique experience

LAC-DES-LOUPS, QUE. – A unique and serene adventure awaits you just north of the Capital Region, where the only sounds to be heard are those of skates scratching on the ice – and the occasional birdsong – while sliding down an ice trail three kilometers into the bush.

The enchanting and peaceful Patinage en Forêt, in Lac-Des-Loups, Quebec, located about 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa, offers a quintessential Canadian winter pastime, skating, through a dense landscape of spruce and balsam fir.

Levi McGibney, 10, along with his parents, siblings and cousins, arrived early and all skated the winding slopes for most of the afternoon.

“It’s really cool. I like it,” McGibney says. “Doing the big loop is really fun because you can run a bit.”

Skates and sleds are available for hire, and at the entrance to the ice rink, the rustic log cabin offers a place to boot or warm up. Snacks are also available, but COVID-19 restrictions require food to stay outside. There are plenty of benches and bonfires to warm up, and while you take a skate break, don’t forget to say hello to their mascot, and one of the kids’ favorites, ‘Loupie’ the wolf.

Maintaining such a vast network of smooth, bump-free ice takes a lot of commitment and late nights flooding the surface, but for owner Dave Mayer, who is in his sixth season, it’s a challenge he enjoys.

“Hard work and persistence is what it is. Each day has different equipment depending on the weather, but the Zamboni certainly deserves a lot of credit, ”says Mayer, who has spent the past 30 years as a custom home builder. “We have been told that we create happiness. It’s a beautiful thing when someone walks up to you and says something like that. It is an honor to be able to make people so happy.

The skating rink is a must-see magical adventure and a fun day out for those who skate and those who don’t. There are also snowshoeing and hiking trails on the grounds.

Whether it’s for family fun or a romantic date, with such a long trail it’s easy to find a piece of nature just for yourself.

Skating in the Forest is open from 9 a.m. until sunset and costs $ 18 for adults and $ 14 for children. It is best to book online in advance of your visit, as ice time can fill up quickly with provincial capacity limits in place and proof of vaccination is required for ages 13 and over in order to access the park and trails skate.

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