New ice trail becomes cool feature at U.S. National Whitewater Center

New ice skating rink now open at U.S. National Whitewater Center

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Ice skating has officially begun at the U.S. National Whitewater Center - just in time for chilly weather and Christmas music.

The skating rink, located in the Whitewater Center’s upper pond, features 17,000 square feet of ice with three different program areas. The anticipation has been building since the center announced the ice skating rink in September.

Visitors can also skate up to an Airstream and enjoy a hot or cold beverage.

For those who prefer to keep their walking shoes on and stroll through Whitewater Center’s wooded trail, Charlotte artist Meredith Connelly is lighting the way with an immersive display featuring honeycomb and vine crystal lights.

It’s officially November, which means Lights will be opening at @usnwc this month! Let the installation begin. #clt #cltarts #lights #usnwc

Posted by Art by Meredith Connelly on Friday, November 1, 2019

“Lights” will lead walkers on a half-mile wooded trail with illuminating visuals. “The works are site-specific to the Whitewater Center, and I can’t wait to start installing,” Connelly said in September.

Lights created by a Charlotte artist will lead walkers on a trail at the Whitewater Center this fall.
Lights created by a Charlotte artist will lead walkers on a trail at the Whitewater Center this fall. (Source: U.S. National Whitewater Center)

The Whitewater Center is popular during the warmer months - with outdoor water activities, zip-lining, biking, rock climbing, listening to music, and hanging out in the beer garden.

The man-made river is usually drained after summer’s end and isn’t refilled until March, when the water is dyed green for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, the “Green River Revival." The main gate and trails remain open 365 days a year.

Fall may have seemed to be “off-season” at the Whitewater Center, but that changed Tuesday.

Introducing Ice Skating and Lights, two new experiences coming to the Whitewater Center this Fall. Ice Skating features...

Posted by U.S. National Whitewater Center on Monday, September 30, 2019

“OMG! We are crazy excited for this,” Chris Goodson posted.

“This is awesome WWC!!!!! Cannot wait!!!” Viviana Zapata commented.

“Lights” and ice skating will be available with the annual pass, day pass or single-activity pass. Skates will be included with the $20 pass purchase, but center officials say “socks are required.”

The ice skating rink will be open through February, including on Thanksgiving Day.

Several people commented on the Whitewater Center’s post, asking if ice hockey would be available. Whitewater Center officials responded, “stay tuned for additional programming announcements.”

The center is located on Whitewater Center Parkway off of Hawfield Road.

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