One of the outdoor ice rinks at Tautphaus Park. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
IDAHO FALLS — Do you have the winter blues, or do you just need to get out of the house? The Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department offers free activities in local parks.
There are outdoor ice rinks, cross-country trails, and sled hills to utilize.
“We have two ponds at Tautphaus Park. They are about 100 feet by 120 feet. The north pond is open and in really great shape,” said Recreation Superintendent Chris Horsley.
Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
Horsley added the north pond has new LED lights, so it’s easier to see when it gets darker.
The rinks are located on the corner of Rollandet Street and Softball Drive. People can bring their own skates, or they can rent skates from the Joe Marmo/Wayne Lehto indoor ice arena.
They can rent skates during public skate times. Check the indoor ice arena schedule here for public skate times.
Horsley encourages people to come and try the outdoor rinks.
“There is nothing more beautiful, even on a cold day, to bring some hot chocolate and chairs, family and friends, and come out to the outdoor ponds and enjoy the outdoor recreation,” he said.
The rinks are open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and are weather dependent. He says they try to clear the rinks of snow seven days a week.
Besides the ice rinks, there are freshly groomed cross-country trails in Tautphaus Park.
Courtesy Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation
“Tautphaus is the only one that has been groomed right now,” Horsley said. “We do cross-country skiing at Freeman Park (too). We have intentions of being able to groom the golf courses this year.”
There are fat bikes and walking trails, also. Click here for more information.
Want to take a ride down a hill instead? There are plenty of sledding opportunities in Idaho Falls. One of those places is Freeman Park. The most popular sledding hill is near the top of the hill at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Community Park offers sledding directly west of the Gazebo near the parking lot and playground.
Sandy Downs Dune area is another place to sled by going to the secondary, smaller entrance at the arena.
Horsley said using outdoor recreational spaces can create lasting memories generation after generation.
“As a rec professional, it’s exciting, and I am elated when I see people out and using our outdoor spaces, especially for winter recreation, because a lot of people get bogged down with the cold, and it gets dark earlier,” he said. “Our mission is to enrich the community.”
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