Walking on Water – Ice Safety

It’s a bucket list thing. Walking across a frozen lake on a moonlit night under a billion stars. Then back to the cozy cottage with the wood stove and a mug of hot chocolate and a soft blanket to wrap up in. The stuff romance movies are made of.

However, before you head to your waterfront cottage, do bear in mind that you can’t just walk on any ice-covered lake unless you know it’s safe. There may be thin patches covered in snow and areas of ice covering moving water which can be dangerous.

There’s lots of information telling you how to gauge if ice is thick enough to walk on, but unless you have the knowledge to do this safely…leave it to the experts.

Many Ontario lakes have Facebook groups where locals keep everyone informed as to ice conditions. Check them out by searching for the lake name on Groups.

If the lake you are at has a snowmobile trail crossing it, the local association will post markers when the ice is thick enough to support the machines.

Just remember there is no such thing as 100% safe ice. Keep safe by following these rules:

  • Watch for markers showing ice has been checked and is safe to walk on
  • Never walk or drive on cloudy ice
  • Only go on clear, thick ice
  • Spring ice is NEVER safe
  • Ice thickness is never consistent – it may be flat on top, but is not on the bottom
  • Snow on ice acts as an insulator – it makes ice warmer and weaker
  • Extreme cold snaps will weaken the ice
  • Ice formed over running water (rivers & streams) is more dangerous than ice formed over standing water (lakes & ponds)
  • Don’t go out alone on the ice and always let someone know where you are….make sure your phone is charged!

We cannot guarantee that any ice is safe to walk on, at any time. Do so at your own risk.

CottageLINK Rental Management
Email: info@clrm.ca
Toll Free: 1-866 323 6698

Our Hours:
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Sat-Sun 9-5

Business Address:
PO Box 39036
Columbia PO, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2T 0A7

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