10 Lakes that Freeze Into Perfect Natural Ice Skating Rinks | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Natural lakes offer unique ice skating experiences
  • These skating spots combine scenery with recreation
  • Trustworthy guidance helps you find the best rinks

Imagine gliding across a frozen expanse, surrounded by natural beauty—a winter dream come true.

When temperatures drop and waters still, lakes across North America transform into spectacular ice rinks.

Did you know you can find natural skating paradises right on frozen lakes?

And not just any lakes; we're talking about those smooth, vast natural rinks that invite both athletes and casual skaters for an unforgettable glide.

You're looking for that magical winter experience, and we know just where to find it.

You'll feel confident lacing up your skates as we guide you to the top locations where frozen waters create the ideal setting for that perfect winter day.

Trust us; these icy wonders are nothing short of breathtaking.

Table of contents


Mirror Lake, New York

Ever laced up a pair of skates and glided across a frozen expanse, feeling the chill breeze and hearing the whisper of ice beneath your feet?

Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, New York, offers an experience that's tough to beat, especially if you're into natural ice skating.

Where is this icy paradise?

Nestled in the charming village of Lake Placid, within the Adirondacks, Mirror Lake becomes a winter wonderland when temperatures drop.

It's more than just a scenic spot; it's a hub of chilly thrills!

What can you do there?

  • Ice Skating: The lake is known for its long track cleared around the perimeter, perfect for leisurely laps or spirited sprints.
  • Hockey: Grab a puck and stick for some impromptu pond hockey.
  • Dogsled Rides: Glide over the ice on a sled led by a team of eager pups.

When to visit?

The best time to visit is when the ice is at least 6 inches thick to ensure safety.

This typically occurs in the deepest winter months, but check the local conditions just to be sure.

Did you know?

Mirror Lake isn't just for daytime adventure; it's a 24/7 open-to-the-public attraction.

So whether you're an early bird or night owl, the ice awaits you.

And the best part?

It's completely free to enjoy.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Safety first! Make sure the ice is verified safe before going out.
  • Dress warmly. It can get pretty nippy out there on the open ice.

Grab your skates and experience the magic of Mirror Lake's natural rink.

Trust me, it's a glide you'll remember!

Lake Morey, Vermont

Looking for a winter wonderland experience?

Grab your skates and head over to Lake Morey in Vermont!

  • Location: Vermont, USA
  • Known For: Longest ice skating trail in the U.S.

Winter Fun Awaits!

Ever dreamed of gliding across an expansive, natural ice rink?

Lake Morey fulfills those frosty fantasies with its stunning 4.5-mile-long ice skating trail.

It's not just any trail; it's the longest of its kind in the United States!

Get Ready to Skate:

  • When: Ice permitting
  • Maintained by: Lake Morey Resort

Did you know that the Lake Morey Ice Skating Trail also showcases breathtaking panoramic views?

Keep your eyes peeled — you might even spot a bald eagle overhead!

Need Gear?

No Problem!

Don't have skates?

No worries, because ice skating equipment can be easily rented.

Whether you're a seasoned skater or stepping onto the ice for the first time, Lake Morey welcomes everyone.

So, are you ready to trace the curves of Lake Morey on skates?

Remember, it's all about having fun and making the most of Vermont’s chilly charm.

Pull on your warmest socks, tie your laces, and take in the natural beauty as you skim over the ice!

Cazenovia Lake, New York

Ever felt the thrill of gliding across a natural ice rink?

Well, your winter wonderland dreams can come true at Cazenovia Lake in New York!

Located just 20 miles southeast of Syracuse, this 3.9-mile stretch of water turns into a frozen playground when the temperatures drop.

Ice Skating on Cazenovia Lake:

  • Season: Typically, in the colder months
  • Historical Records: Dating back to 1839
  • Modern Monitoring: Yes, by air surveillance

Imagine the crisp air brushing against your face as you skate over the smooth, frozen surface.

Locals have been enjoying this chilly pastime for decades, thanks to the lake's faithful freeze.

Want to know if it's safe to head out?

Dave Emerson is your go-to guy, cruising the skies two to three times a day for up-to-date ice coverage info.

Did You Know?

  • Ice Phenology studies, spanning up to 578 years, include data from Cazenovia Lake.
  • Cornell Biological Field Station: Offers a dataset on ice cover from 1826 to today.

So, dust off those skates, grab your scarf, and make your way to Cazenovia Lake.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just finding your ice legs, there's a spot on the lake just for you.

Just make sure to check the latest ice reports – safety first!

Remember, it's all about good times and great memories.

See you on the ice!

Lake Mendota, Wisconsin

Are you dreaming of gliding across a natural ice rink?

Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, becomes a must-visit spot for ice skating enthusiasts when winter rolls around.

Imagine a chilly, bright day, lacing up your skates, and setting off on an icy adventure.

Did You Know?

Lake Mendota holds the title of the third-latest freeze date in its recorded history, following a January 15 freeze in 2024.

For context, the lake typically freezes by December 20th, which is the median ice-on date.

But records show the latest-ever freeze happened January 30th, way back in 1932!

Safety First!

Always remember, ice safety is paramount.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources advises at least four inches of ice before you take a step onto the frozen lake.

And guess who helps keep an eye on the ice conditions?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Hoofers Sailing Club clears areas just for ice skating.

Isn't that thoughtful?

Quick Facts:

  • Median Freeze Date: December 20th
  • 2024 Freeze Date: January 15th
  • Ice Thickness for Skating: Minimum 4 inches

So, bundle up, check the ice reports, and if conditions are right, you're in for a skate you'll remember.

Don't forget, no ice is ever "100% safe," so take those warnings seriously and stay where the ice is monitored.

Enjoy the thrill of skating on this historic lake!

Evergreen Lake, Colorado

Have you laced up your skates and felt the cool mountain air on your face?

If not, Evergreen Lake in Colorado awaits you with its frozen surface transforming into one of the largest groomed outdoor ice rinks in the world.

Location Guru

  • Address: 29612 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen, CO 80439
  • Accessibility: Easily reachable via I-70, Highway 74

Cool Stats

  • Ice Rink Season: Mid-December through Early March
  • Activities: Public Skating, Hockey, Ice Fishing, Broomball Leagues
  • Facilities: Warming Hut, Skate Rentals

What’s on Offer?

  • Try your hand at ice fishing once the lake is solid enough, typically starting in December. Remember, bring your fishing license!
  • Zoom across the ice or play a puck game on designated skating and hockey areas.
  • Unwind in the historical warming hut—perfect for rejuvenating with a hot drink in hand.

Did You Know?

Evergreen Lake has a rich history, with skating traditions dating back to 1928.

Not just a winter wonderland, it's a slice of local heritage.

Before You Go

  • Evergreen Lake is subject to the whims of Mother Nature, so ice conditions vary. Always check with Evergreen Park & Recreation for up-to-date ice status!

Wrap up warm, grab those skates, and get ready to glide on the picturesque Evergreen Lake—where your winter adventures come alive amidst the stunning Colorado backdrop.

Lake of the Isles, Minnesota

Ever dreamed of gliding across the ice under a wintery sky?

Lake of the Isles in Minnesota is your quintessential natural ice rink.

In the heart of Minneapolis, this enchanting lake transforms into a frozen playground that's just waiting for your skates.

Ice Skating on Lake of the Isles:

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Winter Treat: Groomed rinks, warming houses
  • Skating Season: Depends on weather, typically available in winter months

Why Choose Lake of the Isles?

  • Easily accessible from the city
  • Well maintained with groomed ice – perfect for smooth sailing
  • Warming houses to defrost your toes
  • Scenic views that provide a magical backdrop to your skating

Remember to check the weather and ice conditions before you go – safety first!

When the conditions are right, the ice at Lake of the Isles is usually reliable thanks to dedicated local maintenance.

Before You Lace Up:

  • Make sure your skates are sharp!
  • Dress warmly in layers
  • Bring a thermos with your favorite hot drink to stay cozy

And don't worry if you're a bit wobbly on skates – everyone starts somewhere, and the community vibe is supportive and jovial.

Who knows, you might just make a few new friends on the ice!

Ready to make some chilly memories?

Lake of the Isles is calling your name!

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Did you know that Lake Winnipesaukee transforms into a winter wonderland when conditions line up just right?

Imagine gliding over a frozen expanse where land meets ice and the breeze cheers you on.

Here's what you should keep in mind:

  • Size: Lake Winnipesaukee is vast, covering 72 square miles. It's the largest lake in all of New Hampshire!
  • Ice-Out: Keep an ear out for the term "ice out." It's traditionally called when the lake is navigable from end to end. For ice skaters, the period just before "ice out" can be magical.
  • Safety First: Always check ice conditions with local news before you lace up those skates.

Activities: Not only can you enjoy skating, but there's a host of winter activities to indulge in:

  1. Ice fishing (check the derby dates)
  2. Snowmobiling across the lake's frozen surface
  3. Skiing at nearby Gunstock Mountain Resort

Surrounded by mountain vistas and crisp winter air, taking a spin on Lake Winnipesaukee's ice is nothing short of exhilarating.

Make sure to pack a thermos of hot cocoa to warm up after a day of adventure!

Remember, every winter is different, so while some see this lake as a perfect natural rink, others enjoy the reflective clarity of the ice.

Bundle up, check the weather, and join the tradition of ice skating on Lake Winnipesaukee!

Lily Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Have you ever twirled on ice surrounded by snow-dusted peaks?

Lily Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is the place where your ice skating dreams come alive.

When winter wraps its chilly arms around the landscape, the lake transforms into a glassy rink, waiting for you to lace up your skates.

Elevation & Accessibility

At an elevation that kisses the sky, the air is crisp, and the views?

Absolutely stellar.

  • Elevation: Over 9,000 feet
  • Accessibility: Easy access from Estes Park

With Lily Lake, there's no need to worry about crowds.

This high-altitude gem is not as well known for ice skating as other lakes, giving you ample space to glide with grace.

Scenic Surrounds & Activities

Just picture it: Longs Peak towering in the distance as you navigate the naturally smooth surface.

Not just a winter wonderland, this spot is a haven for other activities too.

  • Summer joys: Birding, fishing, hiking
  • Trail: 0.8-mile loop, gentle elevation gain (10 feet)

Before You Go

Remember, Mother Nature decides when the ice is skate-ready.

Always check the ice thickness for safety, and peek at local guidelines—skating is a thrill, but staying safe?

That's the real win.

So, ready to etch figure eights in the ice under the Colorado sun?

Pack your skates, bundle up, and prepare for a chill adventure you won't forget at Lily Lake.

Just don't forget to warm up with some hot cocoa afterward!

Silver Lake, California

Have you ever laced up a pair of skates and glided over a frozen lake?

If not, Silver Lake in California's Eastern Sierra might be your ticket to an icy adventure.

When winter's chill is just right, this lake transforms into a natural ice skating rink — but always check that the ice is safe before you venture out.

Location & Conditions

  • Where? Eastern Sierra, California
  • When does it freeze? Winter, when conditions allow

Ice Skating 101 at Silver Lake

  • Safety First: Ensure the ice is thick enough.
  • Best Time: Visit when the crowds are thin for a serene skate.
  • The View: Surrounded by snow-dusted peaks.

Fishing Too?

Funny you should ask!

Ice fishing enthusiasts come for the trout as Silver Lake isn't just about skating.

In fact, it's been named a top destination for ice fishing in the U.S.

What Can You Catch?

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Other Species: Depending on the season.

Remember, while skating on Silver Lake, it's not just about the sport; it's about soaking in the moment.

Imagine the stillness of the landscape, only broken by the whisper of your skates.

It's a place where the winter wonder stuff isn't just made; it's where you're part of it.

Don't Forget:

  • Check the ice.
  • Embrace the silence.
  • Share the fun but respect nature's peace.

So, grab your skates and experience the majesty of Silver Lake — your icy escapade awaits!

Lake Placid, New York

Have you ever laced up your skates and glided over a frozen lake?

If not, Lake Placid in New York is calling your name!

With its historical charm and natural beauty, it's not just a hub for winter sports enthusiasts but also a delightful spot for ice skating adventurers like you.

  • Location: Lake Placid, New York
  • Famous for: 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics
  • Activities: Ice Skating, Dogsled Rides, Pond Hockey
  • Access: Mirror Lake, 49 Parkside Drive

Mirror Lake, nestled right in the middle of the picturesque village of Lake Placid, transforms into a winter wonderland every year.

Envision dogsleds zipping across the snow-dusted surface and the echoes of pond hockey games.

Here, winter isn't just a season; it's a playground.

What Can You Do?

  • Skating: Glide across the ice, rent a pair from a local shop, or bring your own.
  • Hockey: Join in on a game of pond hockey or cheer from the sidelines.
  • Cross-country Skiing: Go for a scenic tour around the lake's perimeter.

Just imagine the pure joy of spinning around on a natural rink where Olympic champions once competed.

But remember, to skate on natural ice requires patience; the ice must be thick enough to ensure your safety.

Locals and officials advise on the right conditions, so always check in before you step out.

Quick Tips:

  • Safety First: Check the ice thickness with local authorities.
  • Warm Up: Grab a hot cocoa from nearby cafes after your ice adventure.

Mirror Lake is not just another skating rink; it's a slice of icy paradise in upstate New York.

Next time you're pondering a winter getaway, why not answer the cool call of Lake Placid?