Ice Parks and Trails - if you are making a skating park and plan to have pathways throughout your property, the liner and boards method is not a consideration.

Construction of the old fashion rink (see that section) but in a trail format would be your only option. Remember that there are no real tools to the best of our knowledge for building these trails so a certain amount of ingenuity will be required on your part for these trails to come to fruition  eg. An all terrain vehicle/snow mobile with attachments to flatten snow and sprinkle water in correct amounts in order to build these extensive pathways. Below are your considerations for such a project. 

Here they are:

  1. Shorter grass along pathways.
  2. Packing of snow on extensive pathways.
  3. Control of water so melting does not occur as you build your base along these extensive pathways.
  4. The flattening of your snow laden with water so when freezing occurs, you have a good base start.
  5. Consistent temperatures that are conducive to building your ice layers without melting.
  6. Control of water along pathways that are extensive in length as you build your base and as flooding your ice/base occurs.
  7. Removal of snow that falls during your ice making efforts.
  8. Removal of snow after your ice has been laid.

We highly recommend experimentation on a small section close to your out buildings or the actual area where you propose to have these pathways so as you may get it right before commencing. Try to simulate the conditions of the path on the rest of the property. In other words if you are building your pathways on areas where long grass is prevalent then experiment in an area similar to this. Give yourself plenty of time. There is usually a snow or two in the early part of your season. This is a perfect time to practice but do not build for the season due to the possible melting that may occur after the work you have put in.

The Pond Rink - There isn't much to be said here except that Mother Nature handles all the preparation. Your job tends to be isolated to maintenance and that could be a problem when it comes to flooding. Absolutely the best way is by hose and on to a clean surface, however this may not work for you because ponds tend to be a distance from your back door and the faucet.

If this is your scenario then filling a very large barrel or garbage can, and using a toboggan to move it to your pond will work. Dump it over the cleaned surface (use a steel shovel) and let it flood the area. Repeat as necessary.

The only other way requires a hole cut through the ice and a sump pump type of situation where you pump water in regular flooding amounts up to the surface from your pond water and allow it to spread across your rink surface. This is not the ideal solution and the answers as to why it is dangerous is discovered in our e book.

Keep in mind that ponds often develop cracks and with constant use and minimal flooding, these cracks turn into ruts and pose a hazard to the skaters. Please see the section titled "Safety and Common Sense" no.5.


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