We May Have to Wait Until January 2022 to Ice Skate on New Hampshire Ponds
50 degree days in December?
Looks like we'll have to wait a bit to practice those figure eights and hockey stops on some of our wonderful ice skating ponds that fill our outdoor winter activity list along the Seacoast and throughout New Hampshire.
The picturesque Nestlenook Farm's 3-acre Emerald Lake in Jackson, The Ice Skating Rink in Eliot, Maine, Dorr's Pond in Manchester, White Park Pond in Concord, and Occum Pond in Hanover are all waiting to prep so they can announce they're open for skating.
New Hampshire winters have been so cold we've been skating on naturally frozen ponds as early as December, or mild enough that we had to wait until well into January before we could finally lace up our skates.
So far we're on par for January opening dates.
Interestingly, the website, NHLakes.org says our New Hampshire and Seacoast lakes and ponds have been slowly in the process of freezing. This is because the cooling process starts after our waters hit their warmest temps of the season in August.
Still, the waiting game we must play since Mother Nature is definitely a bit sporadic closing out 2021.
So what do we need to ice skate on these lakes and ponds?
According to Popular Science, in order for our various recreation departments and resorts to open up thanks to Mother Nature's doing, we need the water to be a minimum of 4 inches thick.
A White Park Pond official told me they prefer at least 5-6 inches for extra safety. This means we need consistently cold days near or below freezing, and according to the Pond Guy, that's at least 3 weeks.
Wow! We haven't even come close to that yet, but you can bet it will happen before we know it because this is New England.
If you absolutely must skate now, the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Duck Pond in Portsmouth goes the mechanical freezing route, and is open right now.