The best outdoor skating rinks near BSM


Lucy Hanson

Located in Orono, MN, the Woodhill Rink is not very popular among BSM students, who prefer the ROC and Lake of the Isles.

Lucy Hanson, Staff Writer

Outdoor ice skating: the perfect COVID friendly activity for the winter. Some common outdoor rinks that BSM students skate at are Lake Minnetonka, Lake of the Isles, Klapprich Park, Centennial Lakes Park, and of course many others. 

However, the fan favorite among BSM students is The ROC (Recreation Outdoor Center). The ROC is attached to The St. Louis Park Rec Center, which is the home rink for BSM hockey. The ROC is very convenient being just 1.6 miles away from BSM. “I like The ROC because it has the same quality as an indoor rink, but the same special appeal of skating on a lake,” senior Anna Podein said.

Another popular location where BSM students enjoy skating is on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. “I like skating on Lake of the Isles mainly because of the surroundings. The visible Minneapolis skyline and lakeside neighborhoods, especially during Christmas time, create a really cool ambiance when you’re on the ice,” Podein said.

Lake of the Isles scenery is very welcoming which makes it a favorite spot for local skaters. “Lake of the Isles is my favorite place to skate outside because I get to see my old Minneapolis friends, it’s really close to my house, and it’s on a lake versus a made rink,” senior James Callahan said.

Along with The ROC and Lake of the Isles, another common place to skate outdoors is on Lake Minnetonka. Being about 11 miles in length and located fairly close to BSM, Lake Minnetonka is a perfect place to strap on your skates. “The fresh air, smoothness, and amount of open space to skate makes Lake Minnetonka the best place to skate outside,” senior Charlie Frattalone said.

A lesser known rink to check out this winter is Weber Park, located in Edina. “Weber park has always been one of my favorite rinks to skate at because, in my opinion, it has one of the nicest warming houses and some of the best-maintained ice in the metro area. Weber Park is also not very crowded and is a little bit farther but it is always worth the drive. Games at night are much better at Weber because the Park lights illuminate the rink very well,” junior Emerson Foley said.

Outdoor skating is a great social activity that anybody can try out at any rink. “My favorite part of pond hockey is being able to skate with my friends and people that I usually don’t skate with,” Callahan said.

Whether you play hockey, figure skate, or have never even touched a pair of skates, skating is a fun, easy activity to pick up. “I personally love the interactions with new people on the ponds. I think it’s so fun to skate with people from all over the metro area as well as from all different age groups. For me, the friendships that I’ve made from pond hockey and all the good memories keep me going. I enjoy it the most that I can,” Foley said. 

Minnesota’s outdoor skating rinks are the surface for winter fun. According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), there has been more interest in the outdoor rinks this season, with indoor activities limited. Minnesota has over 10,000 lakes and several ponds as well; there is guaranteed to be a place near you to skate. Minnesota is the state of hockey, so go outside and skate on your local pond.