The warm weather we've been experiencing has put a damper on outdoor skating. 

There are 13 outdoor skating areas around Okotoks, and as of January 3rd, only two are open.

"We are at the mercy of the weather," says the Town of Okotoks Park Manager, Rod March. "And we also have to prioritize keeping our pathways, our 82 kms of pathways, somewhat ice free to the best of our ability and keep people with that transportation going."

March adds that the pathways take the priority, but they are working on flooding rinks this week.

The first two outdoor skating areas opened this year are the Skating Trail at the Lion's campground in Sheep River Park and the rink at Suntree Park.

The town is asking people to stay off of the remaining rinks until they are fully ready to be opened.

"We do have barricades and signage put up when areas are not ready. So, our crews are trying to flood these areas. [It's] Very thin ice and, of course, pebbles and rocks will come through and it just cracks everything up, so it sets us back a bit," explains March. "So, we would ask that people, if they see the barricades and signage, the areas are not ready.

Once they are open for the season, the rinks will be cleared and maintained two days after each snowfall has ended.

Currently, crews are working on the JP II Boarded Outdoor Rink, Kinsmen Rink, Westridge Close Park, and Ardiel Park, with hopes that they will be open by the end of the week.

"It's a bit of a process for sure, but I can tell you that the crews are doing everything they can right now to get them up as quickly as possible," March explains.

The rinks will be open as long into the spring as weather permits.

March reminds people to stay safe and stick to skating on designated rinks.

"Please, please, stay off the storm ponds. They are NOT for skating on. They're very dangerous and there is a bylaw that prohibits that activity," March says.

For more information on where the skating areas are and when they will be open, visit the Town of Okotoks website.