For the Love of the Game
Feb
09
2016

The Town of Wilmington is near and dear to my heart. A place where my adoration for the mountains is able to exponentially grow. A place such as this is what makes the Adirondacks so wonderful. Every town, village, and hamlet intertwines so graciously into the next. The joys of these areas are often abundant once you start to explore. I myself have found, and continue to find, happiness in my every adventure through the Adirondacks. On multiple occasions I have stumbled upon an activity or moment that will forever be a fond memory. 


Small Town Joy


The love for Wilmington stands high on this list of adventures. My husband and I resided in this beautiful town for quite some time. The tranquility of the outdoors and friendly atmosphere there is extremely appealing. We quickly reached out to the locals for suggestions on recreational activities and trails nearby.


We learned about the trails that people would travel daily and several other local hot spots. However our favorite spot quickly became the Wilmington Recreation Park, home to the Town Park and Youth Center. We enjoyed this park thoroughly during the summer months. A quick game of kickball or basketball could be played or even a trip to the park with the family. I should also mention the park is home to a pretty wonderful skate park with ramps and rails. It's a fun place to hang out with friends and family while enjoying a beautiful day. 


Wilmington's Skate Park


 Wilmington Winters


The winter months crept up on us and we were quite concerned about getting outside everyday. The days are shorter and the need for the mountain air seems almost necessary. We started snowshoeing and skiing around the area, but our schedules didn’t always allow for such lengthy journeys. We decided to head over to the Town Park on one of our drives on a winter day. This simple decision became crucial to our enjoyment throughout the winter months. We went to the Town Park and realized there was a large iced-over surface where the baseball diamond lays. We decided to get out of our car and go check out the structure. This moment would change our winter indefinitely. 


Upon further exploration we came to find The Town of Wilmington creates an amazing outdoor ice rink right on top of their baseball field. They lay a tarp over the baseball diamond, which is sand, making sure not to kill any vegetation. Town employees proceed to fabricate a border created from boards. They place these boards around the perimeters to create the raised rink. Next comes the flooding of the rink in order to create a smooth and skate-friendly surface. The rink was made with great precision and also maintained rather well. We came to see the town maintaining it by plowing off the snow and assisting in smoothing the surface. 


A wonderful place for family and friends.


Our love for the winter months in Wilmington transformed from primarily skiing and snowshoeing to skating as well. My husband and I took advantage of the rink frequently, and enjoyed the crisp air with a pristine view of Whiteface Mountain in the distance. The town’s Youth Center is located right near the rink, which is a great place to warm up if needed. The Youth Center does rent skates out when possible. They also provide helmets for all skaters and tubes for sliding down the hill —free of charge. They are open throughout the weekend at various times.


Tubes for a nice winter ride.


Hockey Time


Shortly after our discovery of the rink we decided to take advantage of the hockey goals provided on the rink for those interested. This was all thanks to one of our highly recognized local establishments, The Riverside Thrift Shop. The thrift shop is a hot spot for people near and far. The hours are quite limited so it can often be a super-anticipated event for the week. They are open on Wednesday and Saturday from 9am-2pm. We had found a couple pairs of skates there previously so we could skate at the park. Therefore we decided to search out hockey equipment because it was for recreational use only. We found pucks, a couple of sticks, and even a goalie stick.


Our trusty thrift shop hockey equipment.


We played hockey and skated at this rink almost everyday through the winter. We enjoyed our daily ritual as it brought us together when time was limited. The view and the atmosphere here are incredible. We felt like this was our getaway from reality right in our home town. There were days when we could even turn our skate session into a date night. We would skate around for a few hours then head over to the Little Supermarket.


Bring your own skates or rent from the youth center.


Creating Memories


The Little Supermarket is a hometown favorite - always so welcoming and charming. The supermarket has a great deli to grab breakfast, lunch, dinner, or perhaps a snack. Hopefully you are lucky enough to catch them on a day they are making their wonderful pizza. This only happens a couple nights a week. I’m not sure who is happier to be at The Little Supermarket - the customers or the employees. We always grin ear-to-ear knowing we’ll be nourished and satisfied from great food and service. Our day is perfect thanks to the hot beverages and great food we are about to consume.  


Little Supermarket even possesses welcoming view.


Our joy over the ice rink in Wilmington is constantly conveyed to friends and family. We can play pick up games and enjoy the day outside a few short miles from home. This is a small adventure with fairly minimal costs even when we spoil ourselves at The Little Supermarket. However, these memories are priceless and unforgettable. We always speak about the goals we have scored, games won, times we fell, and many other experiences there. Thankfully we still live close enough that these joyful days of skating have not ceased. We frequent this rink when we can, and have continued to create memories.  


Our beautiful view, in the amazing Town of Wilmington.


I believe that Wilmington and the surrounding region offer great opportunities - no matter the season. The community is tight and the atmosphere welcoming. It’s safe to say that no matter what direction you take with adventure in this area, you’ll have a story to tell. These journeys will lead to inspire the next one, and perhaps inspire your family and friends to join you. We found activities that helped us grow not even more in love with each other, but also with the town. Our journey in the mountains has just begun and the possibilities are endless. Perhaps someday we will be able to settle down in the very town that brought us so much closer. 


 



This week: Fall in love with the ADKs


In sickness and in health (literally)


Love in the bush 


14 outdoor dates that don't suck 


The heart of the ADKs


Signs of love


Peak of endearment


Coasting into romance

Author:
Mary Gallagher

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