Meech Lake on Blades

Meech Lake on Blades

One of our favourite outdoor summer activities is open water swimming in Meech Lake, the jewel of Gatineau Park in Quebec, just north of Ottawa. For the past decade or so, several times a week, early in the morning, we have been swimming in the usually tranquil waters of Meech Lake. We are blessed to have an area like Gatineau Park so close to a large metropolitan area.

Near the end of 2020 we had a new experience. Instead of exercising in the waters of Meech Lake we did our workout on the waters of Meech Lake. Late autumn temperatures dipped low enough to freeze the lakes and river shorelines in the national capital area before any significant snowfall, creating a variety of natural outdoor rinks. In an earlier blog we told you about our incredible day at Mud Lake. The next day was even more magical as we were able to join hundreds of others on the lake. End to end the lake is about 4 kilometres long, but we skated the perimeter and managed to put in almost 14 kilometers on a perfect early winter day.

Things sure looked different from this perspective, six feet above water level, rather than from six inches above through swim goggles.

The quintessentially Canadian outdoor winter activity — pond hockey. On a very large pond.

Marian is dressed for warmth. The skates are laced up and she’s ready to glide.

From the end to end Meech Lake is about 4 kilometres in length. But if you skate the perimeter into all the little bays and inlets, it is more like 14 kilometres.

Tim takes a break along the shoreline near the south end of the lake.

Tim and Marian are decked out in their festive Christmas COVID masks.

Marian’s signature Canadian flag mittens make another appearance.

At the end of the day, the mittens and skates are ready for a rest.

Check out our other skating adventures on Mud Lake and in Oxford Mills.