Ice skating and winter swimming on Lake Memphremagog

in Newport/News/Outdoors by

NEWPORT — The ice is getting thick on Lake Memphremagog and the crew at Kingdom Games are hard at it gearing up for ice skating and winter swimming events to take place in February and March.

As in previous years, as weather and ice conditions permit, they will be clearing and maintaining a skating rink, a 1 km ice skating oval, and a skating trail north into Derby Bay and all the way to the border.

These lanes will be free and open to the public through the month of February. Daily ice reports are posted at the Memphremagog Ice Skating Club’s Facebook page.

Then on February 18, 19, and 20, Kingdom Games is hosting the Fourth Annual Memphremagog Ice Skating Festival.

It starts with 1 km and 5 km races that are free, open to the public, and great for kids and newcomers to the sport. Jaimie Hess of will be providing free Nordic skates for anyone who wants to try them out during the festival.

Saturday afternoon, they will host a 21 km speedskating race, and Sunday will see a 42 km speedskating race on the oval.

On Monday, Kingdom Games will be hosting an expedition-adventure skate on a cleared skating trail as far north as weather and ice conditions permit. The fee is $35 for each day or $90 for all three.

Speedskaters are already signing up from New York, Boston, Quebec City, and Ottawa.

This year organizers say they are looking to encourage youth and newcomers to try out the 1 km and 5 km races on Saturday morning, just for the fun of it.

On March 4 and 5, 2017, watch for the Third Annual Memphremagog Winter Swim Fest, when a 25 meter, two-lane swimming pool will be cut into the ice. Water temperatures are expected to be about 30 degrees.

Dozens of winter swimmers have already signed up from California, Washington State, Illinois, Ontario, Quebec, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.

Online registration for all events is open at

For more information, contact Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games at