Sunday, 15 January 2017

Maple Lake offers skating and other winter activities

   by Keith and Heather Nicol
     We were at a dinner party on Saturday, January 14 and Norm Reynolds mentioned that he had heard that people were skating on Maple Lake near Cumberland. After 6 weeks of abnormally cold weather for the Comox Valley snow was lingering on many lawns and ice was forming on small lakes. With the weather about to change on Monday  (rain and + 6 C) it seemed like a good idea to check this area out on Sunday morning before the forecasted thaw changed conditions. We had not been to Maple Lake before but it is easily accessed off the Cumberland connector by turning on Minto Road and following it past a cemetery and under the Inland Highway to a parking lot. From there the actual road to the lake was quite icy and rough so we gathered up our skates and walked the short distance to the lake. 
Keith checking out the ice on Maple Lake

     We were joined by Steve Faraher-Amidon who also likes outdoor skating. Once on the lake we could see some areas that had been shoveled off for skating but we also saw several people ice fishing and other people out walking their dogs and enjoying the pleasant weather.  The sun was out and there was no wind making this a special setting for a winter outing.  We skated on one pond on reasonably good ice and then checked out another “rink” that had some natural flooding along the edges. This “rink” was larger but the flooded area had not frozen solidly so we skated on the smooth non flooded surface.  If the weather cooperates again this winter skaters might want to check this area out and if readers know of other outdoor places to skate in the Comox Valley let us know. Be sure to confirm that the ice is solid enough by checking its thickness along the shore. The Red Cross recommends at least 20 cm of ice if groups are going to be skating or walking. We will certainly be back to check out Maple Lake if we get another cold snap. 
Steve skating on another "rink" that had natural flooding along its edges

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Keith has pointed out many of the beautiful, memorable features of Maple Lake. We where there at a special time, early on the 14th, with special blue sky, cool temps, conditions, in which the skating offered outdoor participation at its best... conditions commiserated with our love of the outdoors. It was a match made in the Comox Valley. At end, 2 young gals, ventured onto the icy area we skated on, and were filled with joy at the opportunity to transport themselves onto to the beautiful , natural lake. Ice fishers were in appearance, long and short of us, as the lake, particularly large and elegant, presented its winter wonderland on this special January day. Hope to see may happy returns!!
    Steve Faraher-Amidon