Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!
The next installment of this series is the brand new Salem on Ice!
First the running:
Salem has a ton of races throughout the year, so we recommend checking out our race calendar for all your scheduling needs. Riverfront Park, which is where Salem on Ice is located is home to a ton of smaller races. Here are some of them:
- Salem Paddy Pint (March)
- WillaMutt Strut (June)
- Bridge to Cross 5k (August)
- Rotary River Run (October)
- Salem Run’ucopia 5K/10K/15K (November)
However, given the fact that Salem on Ice is only a seasonal pop-up, your best bet will be to come put in miles on the trails and the three connected parks – Riverfront, Wallace Marine Park, and Minto-Brown Island Park. There is seriously no limit to the amount of miles you could put in. There is a looped trail around Riverfront that is just about a mile (with plenty of Strava routes available), and if you head over the Union Street Bridge into Wallace Marine Park, you can add another 1.5 – 2.5 miles. This is generally the route that most 5k’s in downtown Salem utilize. However, with the addition of the Peter Courtney Bridge (affectionately called the “Taco Bridge”), you can add dozens and dozens of miles on the paved and dirt (now mud) trails in Minto-Brown. The possibilities are endless!
Now to the details to the experience itself:
When I attended Willamette University in downtown Salem from 2004-2007, I rarely ventured outside of the college campus. Sure, it was the capital city, but there wasn’t much downtown worth getting excited about. Fast forward 10 years and Salem has started to drop the “lame” moniker and has really started to embrace new growth. Salem’s first food cart pod was established (there are now two, though I wish were more centralized to downtown), there are now 5 breweries, 2 cideries, and new hip restaurants in the city limits, and Uber and Lyft have come in. Another area that is being revitalized is Riverfront Park – a great downtown park with plans to become even greater.
First, the taco bridge (see above) was built and adjacent park land is being developed into cool urban apartments and living space. Over the next few years, a multi-million dollar upgrade that will be done to the Riverfront amphitheater to attract bigger and better acts. And this winter, Salem on Ice will be debuting in the park. The closest ice skating rink (Sherwood Ice Arena) is still quite the drive from the Mid-Valley and this temporary structure will lay the groundwork for bringing back in additional years.
The rink will be about 8400 square feet underneath a 12,800 square-foot tent. There will be a max of 160 skaters per session (90 minutes each) and run for 65 straight days from November through January. In addition to the ice, there will be picnic tables and bleachers, food and skate rental areas, and lockers to stash your stuff (i.e. pre- or post-skate running gear). There are also options to rent out for private events or birthdays during the season as well. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram.
Come down and experience all that Salem on Ice has to offer this holiday season!
Times: Open Daily (November 18, 2017 – January 21, 2018)
- 10 am & 1130 am (Saturday and Sunday only)
- 1 pm
- 230 pm
- 4 pm
- 530 pm
- 7 pm
- 830 pm
Cost: Purchase tickets here.
- Adults – $15
- Children (age 3-12) – $12
- Family Four Pack (2 adults and 2 children – includes cocoa) – $48 (additional children for $13.50)
- 10-Pack – $120 adult / $90 children
- Season Pass – $250 adult / $150 children