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Friday, December 23 2011

Winter Fun---Free Skating Areas & Good Advice

From a Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation press release:

DCR Offers Designated Outdoor Skating Areas and Urges Caution on Frozen Lakes and Ponds.  Users asked to skate only in designated areas.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has designated three areas within the parks system specifically for outdoor pond and lake skating, a popular winter pastime for all ages. Visitors are strongly discouraged from using undesignated areas.

The outdoor, designated season for ice skating in those areas starts January 1 and ends no later than February 28 – please note that both dates are weather permitting. For specific information on programming at the below areas, contact the individual park.

The areas, which will have structured skating programs at various times, and are monitored daily to ensure the ice is safe for skating, are:

·         DAR State Forest in Goshen – open water skating – call 413-268-7098 for updates.

·         Wendell State Forest in Montague – artificial rink – call 413-659-3797 for updates.

·         Mount Tom State Reservation in Holyoke – open water– call 413-534-1186 for updates.

The designated ice use policy does not govern ice fishing activities. Any person looking for information regarding ice fishing regulations or general information should be directed to contact the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife). Additional information can also be found on DCR’s page dedicated to fishing at www.mass.gov/dcr/recreate/fishing.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Edward M. Lambert Jr., the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at mass.parks@state.ma.us.

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