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Outdoor Skating & Winter Activities

THIS is page to find all things outdoorsy to do this winter!

Stave off the winter blues by staying active. Studies show that just 2 hours of time spent outside in nature per week provide noticeable health benefits! To help you get out and enjoy nature while staying local, we’ve compiled a list of things to do right here in Burlington. We’ll post updates about conditions of the Greenway and outdoor skating rinks below.

Remember that with the current COVID-19 pandemic, please following all current directive from state health officials. As of November we advise to stick to activities with your household only. Remember to wear a mask in the presence of non-household members and maintain physical distancing.  

Find some fun near you!

Click to view the map in your browser.

Descriptions:

  • 127 Bike Path – This path in not plowed or salted during the winter season. Enjoy the pathway, it is often tracked out by cross country skiers and offers a fun connection to the Ethan Allen Homestead and the Intervale. We highly recommend shoes and bikes designed to handle icy conditions on the path. 
  • Arms Forest – Come out to enjoy one of Burlington’s hidden natural gem featuring over 3 miles of walking/hiking trails.  When conditions allow, xc skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing are popular activities.  Winter parking for this area can be accessed from behind the North Ave Church.  
  • Battery Park – BPRW maintains an ice rink at this location. These are essentially big puddles that we create once the ground has frozen. We add water to keep them smooth throughout the winter. Please follow any signs, and don’t skate or play on the rinks when the ice is soft. Follow posted signs. Tracks on the slushy surface can ruin the rink for skating. 
  • Burlington Greenway – In order to support multi-use recreation on the path, we plow at the minimum width along the path corridor and push the snow to the western side of the path. This method leaves ample snow on the sides, and tracks  for cross country skiing usually form nicely.  Ski to the east!  Read more about our plowing policy.  Salt and sand are not typically used, and any application of salt and sand will be carefully considered (recognizing the harmful impact they have on lake health). Therefore, we highly recommend shoes and bikes designed to handle icy conditions on the paths! Even after the path is plowed, snow blows over, or snow melts and refreezes, and things can get slippery. 
  • Calahan Park – This beautiful park located in the South End of Burlington on Locust Street provides a variety of winter recreation opportunities.  The Calahan sledding hill is one of the most popular winter sledding spots in Burlington and safe for all ages. The Calahan ice rink is open when weather permits. Rink is maintained by volunteers and is lighted during the evenings. There is also an Ice Skate Loaner Program for families who do not own their own skates.  https://www.facebook.com/calahanparkcommunityrink  
  • Centennial Woods – This 70-acre nature preserve is home to diverse habitat of forests & streams, with hiking trails & rustic boardwalks. The 3.8 mile loop trail offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running. The location is managed by UVM. 
  • Derway Island –  One of Burlington’s hidden gems.  Come enjoy one of the wildest places in Burlington, home to old growth Silver Maple’s. This is a great place to walk, ski or snowshoe. Visit the WVPD website for more info: https://www.wvpd.org/derway-island/ 
  • Ethan Allen Park  This Urban Wild has a variety of trails.  Enjoy a walk, snowshoe, ski or bike.  No winter maintenance to trails.  Weather permitting, it makes a great gateway to the 127 bike path, the Ethan Allen Homestead and Burlington’s IntervaleThere’s also some small hill for sledding with the little ones. 
  • Ethan Allen Homestead – the Homestead is an exciting place to explore in the winter.  The floodplain terrain makes for a great place to take a gentle ski or stroll.  No winter trail maintenance means conditions will be variable.  Visit the WVPD website for more info: https://www.wvpd.org/ethan-allen-homestead/ 
  • Intervale Center/McKenzie Park – When weather permits, come any day to enjoy over 3 miles of groomed cross country ski trails for skate and classic skiing and snowshoeing.  Check out and contribute to the updated trail conditions HERE.  Bring your dogs on leash and try out skijoring!  These trails are 100% supported by our community and people like you so consider volunteering and donating to support the program. Join the Intervale Center for “Trees on Skis” classes to learn to identify the trees that live in our beautiful floodplain forest while you learn to ski. See what animals live at the Intervale and how they go about their days and nights with our wildlife tracking events.  Safely celebrate food, community, and our connection to this land at Wintervale! with music, free ski, snowshoe, and fat bike rentals. Be sure to keep an eye out for all snow related pop-up classes and clinics by visiting our website’s events and activities page and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter!  Questions?  Comments?  Contact us HERE. 
  • Lakeside Park –  The skating rink at Lakeside is maintained by volunteers in the community with support from the Department. The rink has lights for evening skating and provides loaner skates! Consider supporting the communities that make it happen!  https://www.facebook.com/Lakeside-Skating-Rink-439944602731945  
  • Lakeview Cemetery – Looking for a place to find some solitude and quiet?  Visit Lakeview Cemetery.  Many roads wind their way through the cemetery and make a great place to take a walk, ski, or showshoe.  Some roads are plowed, but variable and sometimes icy terrain persists.  Please use this space with care and respect. 
  • Leddy Park – Leddy offers forested and field areas as well as sandy beach.  There is an informal loop trail throughout the park that makes a wonderful place to get out, stretch your legs and enjoy some fresh air. 
  • North Beach – Exciting news for winter activities at North Beach.  We are working with community volunteers to maintain a groomed cross country ski loop when conditions allow.  Also, stay tuned for snow shoe and youth cross country skis rentals this winter season. 
  • Oakledge Park – There’s lots of space to play in Oakledge when it snows. Walk through the wooded trails, or snow shoe around the perimeter. Little ones can sled in the hills on the southern end of the park. 
  • Old Manhattan Landfill  – A lesser known area to explore in the Winter, the large expanse of the City’s once active landfill (its now capped with soil and vegetation) makes a great place to get away from things while not being too far away at all.  Access via Manhattan drive 127 bike path entrance. 
  • Rock Point – One of Burlington’s Natural Wonders, Rock Point is a special place of wonderment and rejuvenation, of discovery and transformation. Rock Point encompasses 130 acres of publicly accessible conserved lands. Trails may take users on outcropped areas and uneven terrain so please use caution, especially if icy conditions exist.  Please visit the Rock Point website before visiting to learn about important property updates. 
  • Roosevelt Park – Roosevelt Park has lots of open space for building snow forts and snow sculptures! Our Parks staff dumps BIG piles of snow in in the park for kids to let their creativity run wild. 
  • Salmon Hole Park – Salmon Hole is always a dynamic place to visit.  Winter conditions can be variable and the trails and access are not maintained.  Please use this space with caution as high currents in the River in these sections persist through the winter.  If conditions allow access, the Riverwalk trail marks the beginning of the Wildways trail. https://www.wvpd.org/salmon-hole-park-riverwalk-trail/ 
  • Sea Caves/Arthur Park – Looking for a classic pond skating experience?  Look no further.  Once ice conditions allow, this park boasts some of the most classic skating opportunities out there.  The winter is also a special time to visit this area because the Sea Caves are available to visit due to the frozen conditions.  Please use this space with care and respect for the many different wild mammal species who use it for their home and feeding. 
  • Schifilliti Park – Please enjoy the “pop-up” disc golf course! The temporary 9-hole disc golf course will stay up through the winter to give our community one more good reason to get outside and play! When softball/baseball season starts we will remove the course from the current location. The course is designed by Chris Young of Disc Golf Vermont  
  • Schmanska ParkJoin neighbors at Schmanska Park for winter play, pop-up winter events and sledding as the weather allows. 
  • Starr Farm Park – When the weather is right, this large park in the far north end is an ideal place to play.  BPRW maintains an ice rink at this location. When the ground has frozen, we add water to a depression and help keep them smooth throughout the winter. Please follow any signs, and don’t skate or play on the rinks when the ice is soft. Tracks on the slushy surface can ruin the rink for skating.  This is another location that our Parks staff created large piles of snow for kids to let their creativity run wild. 
  • Smalley Park – Smalley Park has lots of opportunities for outdoor winter play for younger kids, from the natural playground to smaller hills for sledding. There is also a large open field that provides opportunities for snow angels, snowball fights, and other creative winter play.  
  • Urban Reserve – Cross Country ski or snow shoe through the Urban Reserve and near the old path alignment.
  • Wildway trail –  Head out on foot or snowshoes depending on the weather and follow the logo blazes all the way from Salmon Hole Park to Ethan Allen Park. Find out more about the trail and partnership that connects and protects the wild places and paths of Burlington.

Greenway Conditions:

We post updates here within a few days of winter storms. See below for more details about our plowing policy.

Skating Rink Conditions

Our Outdoor Skating Rink locations usually include:

  • Calahan
  • Battery
  • Starr Farm
  • Lakeside
  • Roosevelt

For current conditions of some of our neighborhood volunteer-run rinks, follow them on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/calahanparkcommunityrink

https://www.facebook.com/Lakeside-Skating-Rink-439944602731945

 

 

More Info

Outdoor Ice Skating

Burlington usually has outdoor ice rinks in five of our parks (Lakeside, Battery, Calahan, Roosevelt, & Starr Farm). Ice is maintained by either volunteers and those that skate there, or BPRW park staff. If you want to have a quick game of ice hockey, or just practice your skating, the outdoor rinks are the perfect place. Some rinks offer free skates to borrow, and some even have skating under the lights. There are also public skating hours at Leddy Arena if you prefer skating indoors!

Reminder: Please keep off the outdoor ice rinks when they aren’t frozen solid.

Snow Shoeing, Cross Country Skiing, & Walking/Biking

The Burlington Greenway and other trails, are an excellent place to get some snow shoeing in. The Greenway offers 8 miles of path that is maintained by Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront. Plowing of the path usually begins between 24 and 72 hours after a storm event. For more information on plowing, please visit the Winter Plowing Policy post!