January 9, 2017
Silver Bay has only officially been a city since 1954, but its settlers wasted no time getting things set up. Built to house workers at the mine, it is now populated with all the amenities that go with a well-established community of families making their lives in this valley in the wilderness. It has all that is needed for survival and recreation. There are schools, shops, churches, restaurants, a bowling alley, baseball diamonds, and two places to go ice skating.
Sort of like Minneapolis and St. Paul, we could call these the “Twin Rinks,” being next door neighbors with similarities and differences. One rink is inside the Rukavina Arena and the other is just outside. The inside one is used for hockey most of the time, which you can watch. In the winter, ice skating is available two days a week.
“We have open skating Sundays and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:00 PM,” said Mike Guzzo at Rukavina Arena. “Each session for open skating is 3 dollars. We rent skates for 2 dollars a pair.”
The outdoor rink is a lot more available. It might be outdoors, but you don’t have to worry about being left out in the cold.
“There is a warming house for the outdoor rink,” said Mike. “The outdoor rink is pretty much 8 to 8 everyday. It is a free outside skating rink. You enter on the side of the building by the rink.”
The rink in the arena has a full-size sheet and a good viewing area upstairs, to watch the hockey or skating.
“This is a first-class facility,” said Mike. “It has a beautiful sheet of ice and a beautiful viewing area.”
Having the outdoor rink right outside the area makes it easier to keep the ice in good shape. While a lot of rinks across the Northland are just sprayed with hoses periodically, the outdoor rink in Silver Bay is kept smoother than most.
“The outdoor rink is also absolutely beautiful because it gets resurfaced by the Zamboni out there,” said Mike.
This is a good feature since rinks with lots of bumps give ice a bad name and ruin its reputation as something that has low friction.
“Our rink is nice, probably nicer than most places,” said Mike.
If you are staying at Grand Superior Lodge, the arena is only about a 20-minute drive away, located in Silver Bay. While there, you can also grab a pizza or do some shopping.
This might also be a good time to go up to the Northshore Scenic Overlook. From there, in the winter, you can look down at the snow-covered town. You can see the town and the houses and the mine that made the town possible. People are coming and going from work or play or just living there lives. They might be getting some exercise, walking or going ice skating. Maybe you’ll even see them at the rink.