A Brief History of the Siskiyou Ice Rink
From its first spark, the Siskiyou Ice Rink has been a community project. The rink is a testament to the passion of dozens of private individuals, the support of a diverse group of volunteers, the success of community fundraising, and the generosity of many capital grants.
Siskiyou County offers a wealth of winter recreational opportunities, which include downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and outdoor skating. The idea for a seasonal rink was originally conceived as a natural extension of the ice skating season, which begins each fall when Castle Lake (elevation 5,574 ft.) freezes over, and ends when the first winter storms cover the lake with a blanket of snow that lasts until spring. Unfortunately the winter storms often arrive before the lake ice is fully frozen so lake skating opportunities are few and far between.
Inspired individuals conspired to take advantage of Siskiyou County’s long, cold winter season to build a seasonal ice rink in the local community. Largely through a grassroots effort, money was raised by local contributions and fundraisers with large contributions from the McConnell Foundation of Redding and the Ford Foundation of Roseburg, Oregon, among others. A used rink was purchased and shipped to Shastice Park under the ownership and operation of the Mount Shasta Recreation and Parks District, and in 2000 the Siskiyou Ice Rink was born.
Building the rink and surrounding facilities has been a gradual process. The rink originally consisted of a set of boards around the rink, a chilling system and plumbing system to move coolant to the ice surface and a Zamboni to clean the ice. The plumbing consisted of plastic tubes embedded in a sand floor. In 2004 a cement pad was finally poured greatly improving the quality of the ice. Each addition and improvement to the rink was made possible by donations, grants and community fundraising.
From 2000 through 2011 the rink has offered thousands of Siskiyou Country residents and visitors with ice skating opportunities extending from late November through mid-February in most years. The rink is one of the few outdoor rinks on the West Coast and the largest outdoor rink between Portland and Sacramento. It offers a view of Mount Shasta during the day and stars at night. This setting provides a unique outdoor skating experience that few other rinks can match. Programs offered at the rink have included open skating, a full hockey program, learn-to-skate and figure skating classes, competitions and shows.
Unfortunately the rink was forced to close its doors in 2011 due to a combination of factors. It is the belief of Friends of the Rink (FOR) that the Siskiyou Ice Rink represents a major investment of time and money which should not be thrown away. It is our goal to facilitate the completion of the original vision of a thriving winter skating rink and a year-round multi-use community pavilion.