Skating and more at Mitford Pond
His blistering speed reminded me of Connor McDavid. His super-sonic shot of Alexander Ovechkin. His daring dekes of Sydney Crosby. Yes, indeed, when we sped up the video 10x it was quite the show. Even in real time it was, well, entertaining. Yes, Nick’s first foray into the world of ice hockey was certainly memorable! He loved it. And Mitford Pond in Cochrane will forever be etched in his mind as the place where it all went down.
A Hidden Gem in Cochrane
Situated on the western edge of town along the banks of the Bow River in Mitford Park, Mitford Pond is a little gem for outdoor enthusiasts. In winter, the pond (it’s about the size of two hockey rinks) features beautifully-maintained ice, regulation hockey nets, plenty of benches for viewing and lacing up skates, a fire pit, and a number of picnic tables for your post-skate feast. Throw in the beautiful mountain views, the towering trees that provide shelter, and the excellent quality of the ice and you’ve got one of the best places for a game of shinny (or just some pleasure skating!) in Alberta.
Fishing in the Summer
While ice skating at Mitford is definitely a must-do in winter, the pond – and, for that matter, the entire 43-hectare Mitford Park – is the place to be in summer as well. Thanks to a partnership with Trout Unlimited, the pond is stocked with hungry trout for summer fishing. (Children under 14 can keep what they catch and everyone else must catch and release.)
Year round activities
Mitford Park also has cycling paths, hiking trails along the river, ball diamonds, a soccer field, a skateboard park, and a spacious washroom building. There is also an outdoor stage where, during Canada Day festivities, hundreds of people gather for music and festivities.
However, on the pristine winter day that Nick and I laced them up for a maiden voyage around the rink, there was nobody else around. We had the ice surface to ourselves. And this was a good thing. After all, anyone watching would have been dizzied by the dazzling deke moves and blinded by the blistering speed.
Guest Journalist and Photography by Andrew Penner