New skating paths on the horizon for Soldotna

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Saturday, April 5, 2014 10:04pm
  • News

This upcoming winter season the City of Soldotna is moving forward with it’s plans to turn areas of Soldotna Creek Park walking trails into skating paths.

The city is currently in a period of nailing down logistics, Soldotna parks and recreation director Andrew Carmichael said. Some measurements are needed before any developments next winter, he said.

“We want to get people to thrive in winter, as opposed to hunker down and bare it,” said Carmichael.

No date for construction is currently set, Carmichael said. Weather will be the determining factor. When it is cold enough to naturally refrigerate the ice, then construction will begin, he said.

The amount of trail area the ice will cover is yet to be determined, Carmichael said. Since the paths are lit after dark, people will still want to use them for walking.

The 5-acre park has picnic areas, playground equipment, benches, and has over 500 feet of elevated boardwalk with river-access stair units that wind along the edge of the Kenai River.

A layer of visqueen plastic will be laid on the ground and a sheet of ice will be formed and polished over it, Carmichael said. The foundational plastic will cost between $600 and $700, he said. The city council approved funding for supplies as part of the Parks and Recreation budget.

“We don’t take financial expenditures lightly,” Carmichael said. Besides materials, the only additional costs will be labor for the trial run this year, which will be assigned internally.

He said, response so far has been positive, people’s eyes light up when they hear the plan.

Carmichael said he has had the idea in the back of his head for some time. He said he is channeling a “Norman-Rockwellian,” picturesque theme for the outdoor recreation. The development is also conducive to the city’s plans to improve the trail systems throughout Soldotna.

Depending on how this first year goes, the city will decide how to expand or revise in the future. The city will monitor how many people use the paths, and check the ice itself to see how much wear it’s getting, he said.

If the ice does not receive much use and it is expensive to maintain then the city will scrap it, Carmichael said. If successful, he hopes to permanently house an older Zamboni from the Soldotna Sports Complex in the park.


Kelly Sullivan can be reached at


More in News

From right, Soldotna City Council members Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings, Dan Nelson and Jordan Chilson listen to testimony during a council meeting on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Council to mull limits on use of Soldotna ADUs as short-term rentals

Accessory dwelling units refer to subordinate, detached units

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Wildlife Troopers and CES rescue hunter missing for 12 hours

State troopers were notified around 6 p.m. Wednesday that the hunter hadn’t returned

The Alaska State Capitol awaits a legislators forming new majority coalitions and the return of Gov. Mike Dunleavy after the winners of the general election were announced Wednesday. The Senate will have a 17-member bipartisan ruling coalition, while the House arrangement remains uncertain due to at least one likely recount and questions about partisan alignments. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Bipartisan majority formed for new state Senate

Eight Republicans join nine Democrats after many years of Republican rule

Dr. Michael Reyes manipulates ROSA during a demonstration at Central Peninsula Hospital on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Knee surgeries get assist from robot arms

Robotic Surgical Assistant, called ROSA, is a new addition to CPH and the first in Alaska

During a hearing at the Juneau Courthouse, 34-year-old Anthony Michael Migliaccio pleaded not guilty after he was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of a 55-year-old Juneau woman. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Man arrested in Juneau killing pleads not guilty

News follows a two-month investigation.

Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank presents during a budget work session on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai tries again to fill city manager position

After 1st round of negotiations fall through, Kenai to pursue Eubank for role

Soldotna Montessori Charter School kindergartners parade with balloons around the school playground on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Balloons on parade

Montessori kids put spin on traditional Macy’s parade

Most Read