Pond Ice Rinks: A Great Way to Enjoy your Pond All Year Long!
It can be a sad time of year when we have to hang up the hat on our summer pond time. But that doesn’t mean that all of your good-time pond-time has to end. It’s easy to turn those hours of summer enjoyment into winter fun with a pond ice rink.
If you turned off and removed your aerator before ice has started forming for the year (a must for safe, smooth skating ice!) then you’ve already completed the first step towards making yourself a pond ice rink. Skating, hockey, broom ball and curling are just around the corner for you, your family and your friends.
Now follow these steps:
- First make sure that your pond really is frozen through, no slushy parts. If you find slushy parts, wait, wait, wait! The Minnesota DNR recommends ice that is at least 4’ thick for on-foot ice activities.
- Once you’re sure you have thick, safe ice clear off every last bit of snow on the entire pond or the area of your pond or lake you want to make into a rink. Getting all the snow off is important so first shovel and then use a push broom to brush away the last bits of snow that remain.
- Now to the flooding. Some prefer to break open an area of the pond ice not designated for skating to access the water to flood their new rink. If you do this just make sure that any plant matter is fished out of your bucket of water before using it to flood the ice. Others use a hose and some others just prefer to carry a bucket at a time from the house or garage. Any of these options will work, it’s simply a matter of what works best for you!
- Spread the water evenly over the top of the exposed, snow-free ice. It’s best to do this when the weather is cold and windless. Let the new surface freeze overnight. Repeat this process at least 3 days but as many as 5. If your rink is used for hockey, you may find yourself putting a fresh layer of new water down each night.
You may find a couple of small bumps in the ice — you are outside, after all, and nature happens but larger bumps can be chipped away with a hatchet and then re-flooded on that spot. Following these 3 easy steps should leave you with a pristine pond ice rink for skating, hockey, broom ball, or any other fun winter ice activity!