Amidst cold temperatures and blustering snow, Stouffville town staff reminds residents that utilizing parks and trails are simple ways to enjoy nature and safely participate in recreation experiences that also positively supports physical and mental health.
In addition, the town now has eight outdoor rinks available and two designated toboggan hills.
“We’re happy to offer opportunities for residents to enjoy the outdoors this winter, while keeping in line with public health guidelines,” Mayor Iain Lovatt said. “These activities both online and in the great outdoors are a great way to discover our community while keeping physically and mentally active.”
The town’s outdoor rinks are now open, weather permitting. Residents are encouraged to enjoy this great opportunity for exercise but must remember to physically distance and share the ice with all interested participants.
Residents are being asked to keep skating sessions to a maximum of 45 minutes to allow for everyone to get an opportunity to skate. All rinks currently have a 10-person capacity limit as per provincial regulations. Game play is not allowed on any outdoor rinks except at the Memorial Park Baseball Diamond where stick and puck play is permitted. Helmet use is recommended while on the ice. Residents are being reminded to stay off local stormwater ponds as these bodies of water are not safe despite how frozen they may appear.
Rink locations include Greenwood Park, Gar Lehman Park, Madori Park, Sunnyridge Park, Wheler’s Mill Park, Vandorf Park, Memorial Park Pavilion, and Memorial Park Baseball Diamond. You can find outdoor rink updates and regulations at townofws.ca/outdoorskating.
Residents looking to enjoy nature while they exercise, should check out the many local trails. Grab your skis, snowshoes, or hiking boots and take in the fresh air and beauty of Stouffville and York Regional Forest trails. Trails are not groomed or maintained during winter, but they remain open for use. Did you know that library card holders may borrow and return snowshoes from the Whitchurch-Stouffville Library? Snowshoes can be rented at 2 Park Drive, for a maximum of seven days. Visit wsplibrary.ca for more information, which also includes snowshoeing tips for beginners.
For kids looking for a bit of outdoor fun close to home, they might want to spend an afternoon tobogganing. Keep in mind that the town does not maintain open areas for tobogganing. However, residents frequently use the hills at Memorial Park and Rupert Park for winter fun.
Parents are reminded to keep an eye on their children as using the hills for outdoor recreation is at your own risk. Make sure that the hill isn’t icy, and that there aren’t any hazards such as trees, rocks, fences, or garbage cans.
Also, make sure that there is room at the bottom of the hill to stop safely — away from roads, bodies of water, or other obstructions, including other people. Use proper sliding equipment and wear a helmet — ski helmets are recommended.
Always dress appropriately for winter conditions, and remember to take any trash with you if there is not a garbage can nearby.