New skating trail opens on the north side

A new skating trail has opened on the north side of Fredericton, N.B., next to Picaroon's Brewing Company. (Submitted: Laura Rea)

New Brunswickers often think of slush and bitter temperatures when they reflect on harsh winters. But now skating and beers can be added to the list with the new skating trail on the north side next to Picaroons Brewing Company.

Laura Rea, a fourth-year student at St. Thomas University, said she was driving around the city when she noticed the trail. She immediately went home and grabbed her skates for a date with her boyfriend.

“It was a beautiful, sunny day, so [the light] was all reflecting off the ice and it was pretty warm,” she said. “We were probably there for an hour and didn’t get cold.”

Frozen trails like the Ottawa canal and the Arrowhead Ice Skating trail in Ontario are popular tourist destinations in Canada.

The first New Brunswick skating trail made during the pandemic was a 400-metre trail in Moncton’s Centennial Park. The trail was well-received among visitors.

Now the fun has come to Fredericton.

Isabella Baralt, a second-year STU student from Venezuela, went to the trail to learn how to skate with her boyfriend. She said the scenery was romantic.

“There’s a lot of trees and the trails are really clean,” she said. “You could see the sun reflecting in the ice … it had the perfect winter wonderland.”

The trail snakes through a park and follows alongside the Wolastoq (Saint John) River, revealing classic views of the south side. (Submitted: Laura Rea)

The trail snakes through a park and follows alongside the Wolastoq, revealing classic views of the south side.

“You could just see the river and the walking bridge behind like the brick of Picaroons, and it’s just really gorgeous,”  said Rea.

She recommends the trail to those dealing with burnout or stress.

Rea thinks it’s important for student’s mental health to take a study break. Going outside also gives the eyes a break from long hours of screen time.

“It’s just a change of pace,” she said.

Rea suggests other people take advantage of the trail, maybe for a Valentine’s Day outing with friends or a significant other.

“I think it’ll be a really fun place to go with friends as well,” said Rea. “Skating is something that’s such a fun activity in Fredericton, especially in the winter.”