‘It’s the Canadian thing to do’: One-of-a-kind skating rink opens near Onanole

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WATCH: A group of friends carved out this unique skating trail on a frozen pond near Octopus Lake and posted their drone video footage on Facebook – Jan 17, 2019

There is a cool new winter attraction near Riding Mountain National Park.

A group of outdoor enthusiasts have carved out a one-of-a-kind skating trail near Onanole, Man. — a maze on ice, of sorts.

Perry Au told 680 CJOB Thursday afternoon that he and some buddies created the rink on a pond just off Octopus Lake.

Au said the project was started by Sean Frey in November. Frey then reached out to his friends, who were happy to help.

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“We thought that skating on trails and paths seemed more interesting than just shoveling out a large rink,” Au said.

READ MORE: Winter adventurers welcome at Manitoba’s Whirlpool Lake, closure lifted

The design of the rink kind of just happened, he said.

“We were just zigging and zagging,” Au said. “There was no clear design in mind. As it turns out, it sort of resembles a bison, lying down.”

As for why they did it, Au said skating outdoors is all about the “fresh air and the wind in your face — cold wind in your face…”

“It’s the Canadian thing to do.”

READ MORE: Iconic Forks skating trail now extends 6.3 km

Though a drone was used to capture video and an overhead view of the meandering trails, the rest of the project, Au said, was more or less accomplished by hand.

“We had a couple of large snowfalls and I brought my snowblower down there at ice level, and just took away [a lot] of the bulk,” Au said. “But you still need to clean it by hand.”
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He said it takes an hour and a half to two hours to clear, but it’s fun — something he and his wife enjoy doing.

READ MORE: From igloo dinners to winter zip lines, 12 ways to embrace winter across Canada

As to whether they will make it a yearly thing, Au said yes, more or less.

“We’re gonna try. Next year we’re gonna plan to maybe put a labyrinth in there, like the one at King’s Park (in Winnipeg).”

Au said he hopes their efforts give people more reason to visit the parkland region.

Octopus Lake is just off Hwy. 10, south of Clear Lake. google Maps

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