A few quick thoughts on the Hennepin canal. It didn't freeze in some spots until after the snow. This is good in a sense, as the bitter cold should help a nice surface of ice start to form, free of snow cover. That said, it takes a while for ice to form to be adequately thick. The inspiration for this site, the Elfstedentocht, requires about 7 nights of - 10 C temperatures (about 14 degrees F) to make a layer 15 cm thick (or about 5.9"), at which they may hold the event. (With an average daily temperature of about 20 deg. F, the "formula" would indicate a fairly high parameter of about 0.65 for the Elfstedentocht, which could be about right as it is often fairly windy, no snow, and the canals there are optimized to freeze--meaning little or no current.) For that race, the ice has to be very solid to support the thousands of participants and spectators. My estimation is that the Hennepin Canal, with the culvert bridges and many locks, doesn't freeze quite as easily as the Friesland canals. No matter what, BE SAFE and practice SAFETY PROCEDURES and if you don't know what these are, don't go out on the ice!
If you have an ice report or are interested in a skate this winter, use the contact tab off the Home page.
Editor - Jim
This blog weighs in on topics such as long-distance skating, the Illinois canals, cycling, and a variety of related (and occasionally not-so-related) topics. I'd like to correspond with others interested in skating the Hennepin and I&M canals.