Blades, Spills, Zambonis: Ice Skating Season at Bear Mountain

Ice skating season at Bear Mountain State Park

By Alison Rooney

Hundreds of winter sports enthusiasts made the pilgrimage to Bear Mountain State Park over the holiday break to take to the ice at the outdoor rink, which has been attracting skaters for decades. A history of the park, found on

The ski-jumping ended about 20 years ago, but the rink shows no sign of slowing down, as the long lines for admission to each of the hour and a half-long sessions on a very mild New Year’s Day demonstrated.  The Zamboni ice cleaning machines were getting a full workout in between sessions as the warm temperatures and crowds softened the ice.

Some of the youngest skaters appeared to be the most sure-bladed, with a few of the under-10 set whizzing by and impressing with their fancy footwork and snazzy stops.  The majority of the crowd was more wobbly, however, with none-too-steady parents theoretically demonstrating to their young children how to balance and glide on the ice, but actually evidencing more of a co-dependency in turned in ankles and yikes-type facial expressions. To let the expects do the teaching, Learn to Skate sessions are conducted by the coaches of the rink’s Hessian Lake Figure Skating Club at the rink on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.  Group and private lessons are offered.  Find out more about the lessons at

Before or after the skating, or while waiting for a session to begin, there are plenty of trails beckoning and the hills right next to the rink a perfect spot for sledding.

The Bear Mountain Hockey Club also uses the facility, and is happy to provide information on their programs, which include Learn to Skate, Learn to Play, Mite competitions and travel hockey. Visit for details.

The rink is open through March 6, and begins its season at the end of October.  Public skate sessions are held:

Mon/Tue: 10 a.m. –  11:30 a.m. and 12 – 1:30 p.m.
Fri: 8 – 9:30 p.m.
Sat/Sun: Hour and a half sessions starting at two hour intervals beginning at 10 a.m., with the last session beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturdays and at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Special schedules apply during public holidays, Superbowl Sunday and during the President’s Week break. The rink can also be booked for private sessions and for birthday parties. Haldane High School is having a group skating session at Bear Mountain on Friday evening, Jan. 28.

Admission for adults is $4 per person ($5 after 6 p.m.); $3 for children; $2 for seniors and non-skaters; children aged 3 and under are free. Skate rental for children and adults is available for a $4 charge, and inexpensive lockers are available.  There is a parking fee, which applies on weekends and holidays, of $8 per car.

For more information visit or call 845-786-2701.
Photos by Alison Rooney

One thought on “Blades, Spills, Zambonis: Ice Skating Season at Bear Mountain

  1. There’s just one problem with the rink at Bear Mountain. Has been for years (unless it’s changed recently). They never change the direction of skating. Most other rinks I’ve skated on reverse the direction every time they redo the ice. Not Bear Mountain! The one time I mentioned it to the manager he looked at me like I had three heads.

    New ideas were clearly not their strong suit!