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Ice Skating at Cowans Gap State Park

A section of the Cowans Gap Lake near the beach is available exclusively for ice skating.

Ice thickness is monitored in the beach area.

Be Safe on the Ice

  • Test ice thickness with an auger before recreating. Four inches of solid ice is the minimum recommended thickness for a single person. Seven inches of solid ice is the minimum recommended thickness for small group.
  • Always carry safety equipment and know how to use it.
  • Spread out. Crowds can put too much weight onto one area.
  • Be aware of changes in ice thickness across a body of water. Perimeter ice is weaker due to shifting, expansion and sunlight reflecting off of the bottom.
  • Avoid areas with protruding logs, brush, plants, and docks. These structures absorb heat, weakening the surrounding ice.
  • Avoid areas with multiple or intersecting cracks, and standing water over ice.
  • Venturing out on ice alone is not advisable. Take a friend along for fun and for safety.
  • Wear a PFD (life jacket).
  • Check the weather and plan accordingly. Several days with temperatures above freezing will weaken the ice.

Snow and Ice Conditions

The Winter Report provides ice and snow depth information for state parks.