Skating Trail continues strong throughout the lockdown
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Skating Trail has served as a great source of outdoor recreation for the community throughout the lockdown.
Dr. Ruben Hummelen, who first started the trail, said, “It’s much to my surprise as well that we still have a trail. I honestly didn’t expect it to go beyond December for two reasons; it’s been an incredible winter. One, it’s because we of course have not had a lot of snow, and it was quite warm. Second, that nobody has anything else to do other than skating and other outdoor things. The trail will likely never be as successful as this year.”
Hummelen said, “We have had an incredible run already, and any additional day right now is a bonus.” He added that the activities that the trail offers are really important for our mental health, as well as our physical health, for our immune system to be able to exercise. Hummelen hopes to have the trail open until the next, warm, skate-able week. He said, “It would be really insane if it’s still open in March.”
Hummelen said, “The previous editions were always a skinny trial that would just last until the beginning of December, if we were lucky, and it was mainly maintained by hand. But this year it’s a very nice, wide, trail.” He shared a special thanks to Matt Cairns, Al Howie, Stephen Bay and Barry King for helping clear the trail with their vehicles, along with all the muscle power contributed by the community to help shovel and keep the trail in good condition.
Hummelen mentioned that while working, he often has patients recognize him as the doctor that started the Skating Trail. He said, “It’s been very special, having something outside of work that you’re recognized for.” Hummelen shared that the trail has also given birth to many friendships. People have been building quinzees and snow forts together, sledging, and some also doing polar bear dips on Saturdays. He said, “So many new friendships have formed, and also just a lot of people have been able to reconnect as they run into each other while skating.”
So far, community volunteers have solely managed the trail. However, Hummelen shared that for the upcoming season, the Municipality is looking to contribute to the planning and the roll out of the trail. He added that a local business has also shared an interest in supporting the initiative.