Taking To The Ice!

Woodland Park’s Meadow Wood Rink Offers Prime Opportunities for Nordic Skaters

Trevor Phipps

With some businesses still shut down and building capacities restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic, recreational options remain limited.

Over the past few weeks more people have been taking up ice skating and Woodland Park’s ice rink at the Meadow Wood Sports Complex has become a favorite for both locals and visitors.

According to Woodland Park’s Park and Recreations Sports Coordinator Ryan Baade, the rink is now open up to the public every day from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The ice rink does have a schedule so that they can have open skate times, open hockey times, and then private reservations for hockey league games and practices.

“The schedule is posted on our parks and rec website and we always post it on our Facebook page,” Baade said. “So, they can always find an updated schedule there. It is open to the community during open hockey and open skate times. So, they can go out there and they don’t need a reservation. Of course, right now under COVID guidelines there are no more than 25 people allowed on the ice at one time. But we don’t ever get to those big numbers at any given time.”

There are no rental services available to those wishing to skate or play hockey so people must provide their own ice skates and equipment. Currently due to COVID restrictions, the rink’s warming huts are not open so ice skaters only have access to a bench and the ice.

According to Baade, the rink is enjoyed by many due to the fact that it is outdoors. “It’s a community rink so we have people that are old, young, people that have skated forever and people that are just trying it out,” the sports coordinator said. “They all want to come out since it is an outdoor rink and all natural. So especially people coming from out-of-state where they don’t ever skate outside due to the climate, they always find it enjoyable to actually skate on an outdoor rink.”

The rink is well groomed and maintained by the city several times each day. Now that restrictions are loosening up, the ice rink will be the home to youth hockey league games and the Woodland Park Panthers hockey team.

The Panther team practices on the rink regularly even though they play most of their games in indoor rinks in Colorado Springs. However, there are a couple of high school games planned at the home rink so local fans can go watch the Panthers play in their hometown.

In Woodland Park, the only other place in town where ice skating is allowed is at the pond at Memorial Park when the ice is thick enough. Baade said that the ice has been thick and anyone can ice skate on it during park hours if there are no thin ice warning signs posted.

However, the ice-skating experience is not the same at the park’s pond because the ice does not get groomed and maintained. The pond is good for those looking for an all-natural option and learn how to skate on a rougher surface.

The only other place to ice skate in Teller County is at Brian’s Ice-Skating Rink in Victor. The rink is open air and gets groomed on a regular basis.

The rink, located on Portland Ave. between 4th and 6th Streets, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8p.m from December until the ice thaws in the spring. Ice skaters are welcome any time within those hours except Wednesday and Thursday nights, which are reserved for hockey league play.

According to Baade, those are the only three ice skating options available in Teller County. All of the other rinks are in the Colorado Springs area and many of them are indoor rinks that have stiffer coronavirus regulations.

Another option, but totally contingent on conditions, is the lake in Green Mountain Falls. This is also a great outdoor option, as long as the weather doesn’t get too warm.  Limited areas are available there too for hockey or broom-ball buffs.