The Poconos is an amazing place during the winter, with thick snowfall, beautiful woods, small towns, and frozen lakes. This winter dreamland is loved by everyone, because of the number of activities you can try. But, nothing comes close to the feeling of elegantly gliding over ice. Ice skating in Poconos is an activity that one should not miss out on. Time to put on your skates and jackets as we discover the best places for ice skating in the Poconos.
Outdoor Ice Skating
When it comes to ice skating in the Poconos, its strength lies in outdoor skating. Its natual lakes and freezing winters create some of the most wonderful natural ice rinks, surrounded by the lush Poconos woods. Here are some of the best outdoor skating spots in the Poconos.
Gouldsboro State Park
This 2,800-acre park has a plethora of activities and adventures, but it really comes to life in the winters when one of its lakes morphs into a natural ice rink. There is a one-acre area right next to Parking Lot 4, where Ice skating is allowed in Goldsbrough state park if the weather conditions permit.
Hickory run state Park
This is the place for the best ice skating in the Poconos. During the winter the sand spring lake freezes completely, and is open for skating. Apart from skating, hickory run state park also has cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Tips to remember for safety
- The ice thickness is not monitored in most of these state parks, so be careful when you are out there.
- Use an auger to determine the thickness of the ice, it should ideally be four inches thick for a single person and at least seven inches for a small group.
- People in groups should spread out as crowding can put too much weight on one area.
- Always carry safety equipment and learn how to use them.
- Avoid dangerous areas like perimeter ice and ice with protruding logs, plants, and docks as these tend to be weaker.
Indoor Ice Skating
It is an enormous and well-equipped rink, ideal for the entire family. This rink is beginner-friendly, and the pros can have fun at this expansive rink too. This rink also offer ample seating arrangements for visitors and spectators.
Seniors and children under the age of four may skate for just $4, while the adult entrance is $8.
The pavilion at Skytop lodge turns into a beautiful skating rink every winter. This weather-controlled rink is perfect for both novice and pro skaters. The rink is open to the public every day during the winter. If weather permits, skating in the lake is allowed as well. They provide skates for rent, and the rink starts at $10 if you bring your skates, and it costs $ 20 for both the rental and the rink.
Steel Ice center
This skating rink is located in Lehigh valley and provides rinks for hockey, figure skating, and public skating. They also have classes and coaching for hockey basics and how to learn skating. This prestigious rink has a lot of clubs and even conducts leagues and tournaments. You can even host events and parties here.
The prices for adults are $10, for children under ten $8, and for kids four and under $3. The skate rentals also cost $3.
Best time to go Ice skating in the Poconos
There are many indoor ice skating rinks around the Poconos where you can go skating all year long, but for outdoor skating and the best experience overall, November to early February is the best time. During this time, the outdoor rinks are open and the weather is typically cold enough for the ice to be maintained.
Safety tips for skating outdoors include:
Dress warmly, including multiple layers and a waterproof coat.
Wear gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm.
Wear a helmet to protect your head.
Wear skates that fit properly and are in good condition.
Be aware of your surroundings and other skaters.
How to prepare yourself for a skate day
Ice skating can seem daunting if you’ve never tried it before. Balancing on the skates and feeling confident with the momentum all come with practice. Trying roller skating is a good beginner exercise before getting on actual skates. You can master roller skates first at Big Wheel Roller Skating in Stroudsburg, PA. If you want to experience the real thing you can try the skating lessons at Bethlehem Ice Rink or Steel Ice Center.
Ice skating lessons and programs for beginners
If you have fallen in love with the sport and want to learn it, consider these places for skating lessons.
Toyota Sportsplex- has a “youth learn to skate program” which is designed to teach beginner skaters of all ages (skaters must be at least 3 years old). Contact Toyota sportsplex for more info, the registration is open for the winter 2023 session.
Steel Ice Center – They have a 6 Week Session for ice skating that costs $ 135 and a yearly fee of $17. This includes Half hour lessons, Skate rental on lesson day, and ten Public Skating Session Admissions (Skate Rental included).
One of the best ways to spend your winters is heading out to the Poconos mountains. You can try a multitude of activities here, ice skating is a must-try. There are outdoor rinks for nature lovers and indoor rinks for those who prefer comfortable and temperature-controlled indoor rinks.
Q. When is the best time of year to go ice skating in the Poconos?
A. For the best experience overall, November to early February is the best time
Q. What safety measures are necessary when ice skating?
A. Use an auger to determine the thickness of the ice, it should ideally be four inches thick for a single person and at least seven inches for a small group. People in groups should spread out as crowding can put too much weight on one area. Always carry safety equipment and learn how to use them.Avoid dangerous areas like perimeter ice and ice with protruding logs, plants, and docks as these tend to be weaker.
Q. Where in the Poconos is the best place to go ice skating outside?
A. Gouldsboro State Park and Hickory run state Park
Q. Do the Poconos host any ice skating competitions?
A. No, they are very lame