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Laurentian Valley to unveil new outdoor skating trail

By Celina Ip

LAURENTIAN VALLEY – This new year, Laurentian Valley residents and visitors will be skating through the township’s own winter wonderland.


Capitalizing on the township’s spectacular trails that reflect natural beauty throughout all four seasons, a picturesque 1.5 kilometre outdoor skating trail has been crafted right in the heart of the township.

Located alongside the Alice and Fraser Recreation Centre and the Timberline Snowmobile Club, the tree-lined skating path is like something straight out of a fairy tale as it travels through a scenic 85-acre wooded area of the property.

“This is such a unique opportunity for both residents and visitors to experience. Just imagine taking a leisurely skate on a wandering trail through a scenic forested area,” said Allan Wren, Laurentian Valley councillor and council liaison for Alice & Fraser Recreation.

“Staff have been working hard ensuring the trail base is ready and flooding has already begun,” noted Mark Behm, the township’s public works manager.

With the coolers temperatures expected in the upcoming weeks, it is hoped that a portion of the trail will be open towards the end December and the remainder will be ready early in the New Year.

Fittingly, the grand opening of the trail will coincide with the kickoff to the 2018 Alice in Winterland Carnival.

Carnival-goers will then be invited to lace up their skates and hit the ice as they take in the enchanting sights of Laurentian Valley’s own winter wonderland.

Later that night, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., Christmas trees near the opening of the path will be illuminated with lights and the carnival will host a unique outdoor skating party, accompanied by glow sticks.

“Our new skating trail is a wonderful idea and I think it's going to bring people outdoors and it's going to bring people together,” said Mayor Steve Bennett. “In the end it's going to be a wonderful experience for families to enjoy together

If the trail is as much of a success as anticipated, there are plans to expand in 2018. And while the focus for 2017 has been the Skating Trail, there are also plans to turn the trail into a year round recreation area. The base of the trail will see the placement of recycled asphalt to make it an ideal location to walk or bike. The flat terrain and hardened surface also allows the trail to be accessible for all persons. 

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