Have you ever imagined yourself ice skating across the country? Well, in some locations, you can pretty much do just that. There are some unique spots across the globe where fields of smooth ice seem to go on forever. You can skate across vast lakes, down beautiful rivers, as well as frozen canals. Here are some of the best spots where you can get your skate on this winter.


Rideau Canal

Ottawa, Canada

The Rideau Canal, located in downtown Ottawa, freezes over thick every winter. What this annual event means to the city's residents and tourists is a five-mile-long skating track. A trip down the canal, billed as “the world’s largest skating rink,” is a spectacular way to see Ottawa. There are plenty of rest stops along the way, where you can get a hot drink or a bite to eat while you warm your hands and feet for the next leg of the journey.


freezelight, Flickr


Sentier d’hiver River Trail

Winnipeg, Canada

Pull on your long underwear and put on your earmuffs. It’s downright freezing on the Sentier d’hiver Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail (sentier d’hiver meaning “river trail” in French). If you come prepared for low temperatures, you’ll be amply rewarded for braving the elements. This frozen river clocks in with Guinness World Records as the longest naturally frozen skating trail in the world. You won’t be disappointed with more than six miles of icy river to carve your blades into.


Stuey H, Flickr


The Netherlands


Yes, the Netherlands. The whole darn country. The Dutch are famous for their extensive canal networks, and when the canals freeze over, the Royal Netherlands Skating Union takes full advantage of that fact. You can skate from village to village while passing by some truly beautiful and inspiring scenery. This is tour skating at its finest. The canals don’t freeze every year, so check winter weather conditions before planning your trip.


Patrick Goossens, Flickr


Evergreen Lake


Evergreen Lake, just a short distance away from Denver, CO, offers up an outdoor skating paradise. The Evergreen Lake House provides skate rentals, as well as a large common room with a great big fireplace, where you can get nice and toasty in between runs across the ice. Sunset Magazine named this 40-acre lake one of the top 10 skating rinks in the country.


Rob Lee, Flickr


Centennial Lakes Park

Edina, MN

Come winter, skate your heart out on this 10-acre lake, situated in the center of Centennial Lakes Park. The park, located in Edina, MN, is only a short jaunt away from bustling Minneapolis. If you want to enjoy outdoor skating in the Twin Cities region this winter, you can’t go wrong with this frozen lake. It’s surrounded by plenty of warming houses, which provide fireplaces both inside and out, as well as lots of snacks to give you some extra fuel for another spin around the ice.




Lake Mälaren


If you really want to skate across an incredible distance, why not venture on up to Scandinavia, and Sweden’s Lake Mälaren. Every February, a race is held between Uppsala and Stockholm. For those of you who think you’re in good enough shape, you can tackle almost 50 miles of track, and skirt across the ice at top speeds. So much for a relaxing afternoon drawing figure eights with your blades across the local ice rink.


Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi, Flickr