find a rink near you and choose the correct skates

Ice skating is a fun way to spend an afternoon. In some cities, you can skate all year round and in others, rinks pop up for the winter holidays. One can also skate outside on a frozen pond but this takes a seasoned pro to know when the ice is thick enough to be safe. I have skated on a frozen pond and a frozen reservoir in a tucked away cove, but the ice has always been tested with a drill to measure the exact depth of the ice. Even with the ice depth tested, each person always skates with an ice hockey stick as a precaution – just in case the ice were to crack.

choosing your skates the first time

If you are a beginning skater or have a new skater with you, wearing figure skates until you have the basics down is a good idea. Figure skates have a long, flat blade that is pointed on the back with a toe pick on the front. Ice hockey skates have a rounded blade that is curved on both ends. I have often seen ice hockey skates being given to a new skater and have watched them fall backward over and over because of the rounded blades. If you have a new skater start with figure skates.

One other tip – a great way to start out as a new skater on the ice is to march – yes march! If you are taking steps up and down then you aren’t sliding out of control. You transition from marching steps to a gentle glide. From there, the gliding becomes skating.

A quick search on the term – “find an ice skating rink near me” – should locate a fun place to skate. Pack your warm gear and head out for a day of ice skating.

 

Trail hiking and fishing in Virginia

One of the great things about the Charlottesville, Virginia area is the variety of outdoor activities that are available. We have mountains to hike, rivers to raft and beautiful state and local parks to explore. Walnut Creek Park is one of the many gems in the countryside that you should definitely visit. Walnut Creek is in Albemarle County, just a short 15-minute drive south of Charlottesville. You can rent a canoe, play frisbee golf on a large course or swim in the lake during the warm months of the year. There are miles of mountain biking trails for riding enthusiasts. The bike trails are also great for walking, but you do you need to pay attention and be ready to step aside when bikers are coming.

I have recently been spending quite a bit of time at Walnut Creek Park. The park is a great place to take a dog for an on-leash walk. You can walk through the woods on different trails that are tagged based on their difficulty. You can also walk on a lovely trail that winds its way around the end of the lake.

If you are a fisherman, you need to bring your rod and reel out to Walnut Creek Park. I have seen folks fishing from the sides of the lake, as well as from boats that they have launched themselves. You could also fish from one of the many canoes that are available for rent.

All in all, Walnut Creek Park is a great place to spend an hour or an entire day.

Fog on the water at Walnut Creek Park, Charlottesville, VA