The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department will open ground ice rinks at Bever Park, 2700 Bever Ave. SE, and Arthur School, 2630 B Ave. NE, on Thursday, January 4. The rinks are open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and are lighted from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The rink at Arthur School is 80 x 160 feet, and the rink at Bever Park is 80 x 116 feet. They are open for all recreational use, free and not scheduled or supervised.
Warmer weather conditions the past four years have prohibited the rinks from being able to be built. The rinks require four inches of frost followed by a minimum of three nights with below zero temperatures to freeze 8 to 12 inches of water. Daytime temperatures must stay below 32 degrees over this 72-hour time span to keep the ice frozen. Recent cold weather has allowed the rinks to be built and frozen this week. The rinks will remain open as long as weather conditions allow.
Weather conditions over past years has also been unreliable in producing ice thickness that is required for City equipment to maintain an ice rink on local lakes or the river. The public can use local ice at park lakes as an at your own risk activity for ice fishing and skating.
Other winter sports opportunities include cross country ski trails at Cherry Hill Park, Seminole Valley Park, Ellis Golf Course, Jones Golf Course, Twin Pines Golf Course and the Sac and Fox Trail. The trails are open and marked but not groomed. The sledding hills at Bowman, Jones and Shawnee Parks are also open during park hours when enough snow accumulates to completely cover them. Call 286-5700 for updated winter sports closings based on weather conditions.