by Andrew Collins
You’ll find several public rinks throughout the region, all of them offering skate rentals and even lessons. Here are our favorite spots for skating.
ASHLAND OUTDOOR SKATING
Downtown Ashland is a great spot for a skate date. Open through February 18 and located conveniently across from the playground in Lithia Park, Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink is a short and scenic stroll from dozens of cafes and restaurants as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival theaters. Typically, the rink is reserved for family skating during the afternoon but then opens to everyone Thursday through Sunday evening. Check the online calendar for details. After you’ve enjoyed an hour or two at the rink, amble over to Zoey’s Cafe for hot cocoa, or maybe a scoop or two of house-made ice cream.
photo Bob Palermini
Rotary Centennial Ice Rink is also hosts the fourth annual Southern Oregon Adult Hockey Association (SOAHA) 3 on 3 Hockey Tournament, held over Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend. Come on out and watch teams compete January 13 through 15.
KLAMATH FALLS OUTDOOR SKATING
By the entrance to gorgeous Running Y Ranch Resort and just a 15-minute drive north of downtown Klamath Falls, the Bill Collier Community Ice Arena is a state-of-the-art facility with a partially enclosed pavilion-style roof.
As you skate around this 200-by-80-foot rink, which is open for five months from late fall through early spring, you’re treated to sweeping views of the pine-shaded countryside. The arena is closed Monday but offers open skates most days of the week as well as family skate Sundays, group lessons on Saturday mornings, and evening public skating on Fridays and Saturdays. You can confirm the times here. For après-skate refreshments, pop over to the Ruddy Duck Coffee Bar or family-friendly Ruddy Duck Restaurant at Running Y Ranch Resort, just a 10-minute walk (or a short drive) from the rink.
MEDFORD INDOOR SKATING
At the RRRink, just off of I-5 in southern Medford, you can skate year-round, even on those occasional summer days when the outside temperatures soar into the triple digits.
At this full-service facility with a pro shop (offering rentals as well as skate-sharpening services), public skating is offered most days of the week, and you can also take lessons and watch both hockey and figure skating at various times. You’ll find a monthly schedule link on this page. Close to several hotels as well as the Harry & David Country Village store, the rink is also just across the street from Starbucks.
ICE FISHING AND SKATING ON THE LAKE
Finally, there’s skating on a beautiful alpine lake just a 45-minute drive northwest of Klamath Falls (and an hour’s drive east of Ashland) at rustic Lake of the Woods Resort, a year-round cabin compound nestled in the heart of the Sky Lakes Wilderness Area, in the shadows of snowcapped Mount McLoughlin.
Bring your own skates and glide around the lake, or spend the day ice fishing for rainbow trout, yellow perch, kokanee, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. The resort rents pop-up ice houses that can accommodate two to three anglers as well as ice augurs and snowshoes.