Pond hockey, Nordic skating, and every other kind of ice skating are favorite Vermont winter past times. And, with more than 800 lakes and ponds in Vermont, ice skaters will find plenty of wild places to play. In winter, when the ice is frozen locals break out shovels and clear the ice for skating, local leagues, and more. Five Burlington parks host outdoor rinks in the winter: Lakeside, Battery, Callahan, Roosevelt, and Starr Farm. You can also find public ice time and rent skates at Cairns Arena in South Burlington. Several small towns throughout Vermont have pop-up skate rinks on the town green. Some are even lit for nighttime fun. Shelburne Pond freezes early-season. It’s a popular place to find a pickup game of ice hockey. If Lake Champlain freezes, the fit and fearless who are also experienced and well-equipped sometimes skating to New York. But check conditions before you put this on your bucket list. The Lake doesn’t freeze every year.
Both Stowe Resort and Smuggler’s Notch Resort have outdoor ice rinks open to the public, with skate rentals, crackling fireplaces, and warm drinks nearby. Venture southeast and you can glide around the longest ice skating loop in the United States on Lake Morey. Lake Morey Resort maintains the loop and 16 additional smaller rinks. North of Burlington in the Champlain Islands, the town of North Hero maintains a permanent ice rink all winter on the bay it borders in Lake Champlain. North Hero’s February Great Ice Festival not only has hockey games and family skate times, but lighted rinks, a snow building competition, dog sled rides, and fireworks. Waitsfield’s natural ice Skatium Rink has divided ice for skate-only and stick-and-puck, with heated changing rooms, rentals, and an all-are-welcome vibe for new and experienced skaters.