LAKE PLACID - This was the first winter an ice track was plowed around Mirror Lake, but it won't be the last.
North Elba Parks District manager Butch Martin said there is a plan in the works to continue to plow the lake again next winter if weather conditions permit it. He hopes to better prepare for the endeavor by purchasing new equipment, small utility vehicles with snowplows attached.
The ice track was snowed in last Wednesday during a snowstorm that dumped close to 2 feet of snow on the lake, leaving the track unmanageable for the rest of the winter.
Locals and visitors skate and walk on the Mirror Lake skating track — including one man skating while walking his dog — on Feb 17, Presidents Day.
(Photo for the Enterprise — Andy Flynn)
"Two feet of snow was just too much," Martin said. "But I know people got a lot of use out of it."
The track was created near the end of January by the North Elba Parks District and the CAN/AM pond hockey staff. The CAN/AM crew thought it would be fun to skate around the lake, and they began the process of plowing a track. They used small electric-utility vehicles with plows and brushes attached, the equipment they were using to maintain the 23 ice rinks during the pond hockey tournament.
Then the Parks District continued to plow the track with trucks throughout February and March. Many locals and vacationers skated the track during that time.
Skating the lake
The National Sports Academy hockey team made good use out of the lake this winter, using it as a training ground. Keegan Fitzpatrick from Haverhill, Mass., was one of those players.
"It was cool for me as a hockey player," Fitzpatrick said. "I could skate for endurance around the lake. It's like running.
"A few guys (on the team) would go here and there, but we all pretty much did it."
Trevor Zakrajsek, an offenseman on the team from Carnation, Wash. said skating the lake was beautiful.
"It was a lot of fun," he said. "There were a couple holes out there that would catch you by surprise."
Jenn Holderied, the owner of Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, which sits on the lake, was a big fan of the new track.
"Sometimes I would just go out and skate for exercise," she said. "There was probably more people using the lake this winter than ever before. I saw tons of skaters."