The weekend is expected to warm up, and it is the perfect time to get outside after being cooped up indoors during the recent cold snap.

If you want to lace up those skates and play some pond hockey, both Kinsmen Lake in Strathmore and Chestermere Lake are good places to go for some winter fun.

According to the Strathmore operations team, Kinsmen Lake ice was checked for thickness in three different locations yesterday (Jan 18) and measured 14”.

Chestermere Lake was also checked in multiple locations, ranging from 12” to 16” thick, and is suitable for both skating and off-highway vehicles.

“Ice should be a minimum of 8” (20cm) for groups of skaters and 6” (15 cm) for walking or skating alone,” said Deana Connington, Parks Supervisor with the Town of Strathmore.

There is no such thing as 100% safe ice, and it is suggested to always use caution while skating on lakes or open bodies of water.

“The color of the ice is a good indicator of its strength. Clear blue-to-black ice is the strongest. White ice (snow ice) could be filled with air bubbles or snow, making it weaker, and should be avoided. Brown or gray ice indicates the presence of water; this is dangerous, and it should be avoided,” Connington said.

If ice looks discolored, cracked, or has water pooling on the surface, avoid it.

It is always recommended to go skating with someone or a group. Connington offers some advice that everyone should be aware of before heading out to the frozen lakes.

“While skating, watch and listen for any signs that the ice may not be safe. Retractable ice picks are lightweight and inexpensive and could help pull you out of the water in the event of an accident. And know what to do if you or someone falls through,” Connington said.

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