Ice Skating at Lake George in St. Cloud, MN is a fun winter activity perfect for all ages! Access to the lake is free as well as the skate rentals! Come skate on a real frozen lake or just take a stroll and enjoy the beauty all around!
Address: 425 East Lake Blvd, St. Cloud, MN 56301
Hours: Seasonally while ice is thick enough to skate on.
Monday – Friday: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday – 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Cost: Free! Access to the Lake is Free! You can bring your own skates or borrow a pair there for free! Access to all sizes are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Bathrooms: The warming house has access to bathrooms available during skating hours. Each bathroom 1 – 2 stalls available. Changing table available in the Women’s bathroom.
Things to Know: The open and end dates for ice skating are contingent on weather and if the ice is thick enough to skate on. When open, the ice is cleared of snow regularly. Check the City of St. Cloud’s Park & Rec Facebook page for updates on openings and closures.
Another thing to note is that when you are finished with your skates, the city asks that you tuck your laces into the skates and give a quick spritz of deodorizer to the skates. This is provided for free by the desk in a large aerosol can.
Have you ever wanted to walk on a real frozen lake? How about ice skate on one? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you should definitely visit St. Clouds only lake, Lake George.
Originally surveyed in 1855, and 5 1/2 times it’s current size, Lake George was home to wild rice, reeds and ducks. Locals enjoyed it for boating, swimming and fishing. Because of it’s large size it was considered Minnesota’s largest ice skating rink.
Despite it’s size, it was a shallow lake. And over the next 15 years the lake began to dry up. Realizing that the cities greatest glory was turning into it’s greatest eye sore, the city realized it needed to do something. Over the next 58 years, the city acquired all the land around the lake, dredged it, filled it and created the much smaller, but deeper 9 acre lake we know today.
By 1928 when the work was completed, the once larger, yet shallower lake, was significantly smaller yet averaged a depth of 35 feet.
I’m not sure about you, but knowing that Lake George averaged 35 feet in depth, kind of freaked me out.
These stats are however from 1928 when the lake that we know today was originally created. Today the deepest part of the lake is 30 feet, with the most shallow areas being 5 feet deep. Surprisingly the center of the lake is only 15 feet deep. The deepest part of Lake George is actually right where you’d least expect it.
The deepest part of Lake George, and probably the best fishing spot is on the opposite corner from St. Mary’s Cathedral and the fountains. If you stand at the fountains and look straight out to the opposite corner, that is where the deepest section is.
This knowledge might cause you to panic. The average depth of water you are skating over is 15 feet deep, with one section 20 feet and others only 5 feet deep. That sounded far more reassuring in my head than it does written out.
Anyway, don’t panic. The city checks the ice regularly for depth and ensures that ALL of the ice is thick enough to skate and walk on. Once any portion of the lake shows signs of being thin, they shut the lake down for the season.
Ice skating is a fun winter activity that has been around since the invention of ice skates. And I suspect even before then people were skating in their shoes on frozen bodies of water.
However Ice Skating at Lake George is a fun experience you should try at least once a year! Even if Ice Skating on Lake George isn’t on your bucket list, walking on a frozen lake should be!
Parking is right next to the warming house and the lake with a short walk to the lake. Then afterwards grab dinner at one of St. Cloud’s many downtown restaurants!
Ice Skating at Lake George makes for a fun family activity or cheap memorable date night! Walk, glide or skate across the ice and make a few new friends in the process!
Don’t forget to bring your own hot chocolate!
CAN I BRING MY OWN ICE SKATES?
Yes you can! Borrowing or “renting” free ice skates is optional. Ice Skating at Lake George is more than just ice skating! If you have your own pair of ice skates, bring them!
However if you don’t have ice skates or have never been and want to try it out, come on by and see if they have a size that will fit you. Generally speaking they have several sizes of each skate. However some of the larger and smaller skates are slim pickings with the possibility of not having those sizes at all.
All skates available have been either donated or purchased by the city. They have done their best so supply all sizes they can for the shelter. However there is always a possibility that they will not have your size. There is an indoor ice skating rink in town that you can rent skates from (to use at their facility) that will have your size.
DO I HAVE TO ICE SKATE?
Nope! We have some children who do not like to skate. My oldest daughter loves to ice skate. However my other two children do not.
Our solution is to let the other kids slide around in their shoes or walk on the lake. Sleds and strollers are also allowed on Lake George.
We’ve also taken friends out to the lake to walk on as they’ve never walked on a frozen lake before. Ice skating is optional. However the goal is to have fun in whatever form that is for you.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TRICKS FOR NOT FALLING ON THE ICE?
Since this is a real lake, there aren’t edges that you can hold on to. This makes ice skating at Lake George tricky. I’ve seen others bring folding chairs to hold on to as they skate as well as walkers with tennis balls to hold onto.
This is your chance to be creative! Or grab a special someone and hold hands as you wobble around the lake!
WHY ISN’T THE ENTIRE LAKE OPEN TO SKATING?
Once upon a time the entire lake was open to ice skating. However those that maintain the park have found it’s easier to keep track of and maintain the safety of a portion of the lake instead of the entire lake.
Because various portions of Lake George freezes at different times, maintaining the safety of skaters on the entire lake was difficult, thus only using and maintaining a portion. Despite only being allowed to skate on less than half the lake, it’s still plenty big for a large crowd of people.
IS ICE FISHING ALLOWED ON LAKE GEORGE?
No it is not. Lake George is designated a skating lake. Because of this, the city does not want holes in the lake that skaters could trip on.
CAN I HOST A BIRTHDAY PARTY HERE?
Yes! Inside the warming shelter there is a large table that can be used for party guests. Seeing as how Ice skating and skates are free, this makes for a fun, FREE birthday party! I’ve also seen other groups do parties and events there too. Please note that the table is on a first come, first serve basis to my knowledge.
The city also provides a few board games (Life & Battleship) that are available at the desk if you wish to hang out with friends and play games after skating.