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Destination Recreation: Lake Morey Skate Trail - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Destination Recreation: Lake Morey Skate Trail

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FAIRLEE, Vt. -

"It gives us a great sense of community that we can encourage people to get outside and have fun because for us, this is what family time is being outside and having a good time," says Lisa Avery with Lake Morey Resort.

Lisa and Mark Avery are raising their two boys just as Mark was raised -- having the run of this family business on the banks of Lake Morey in Fairlee.

"They've been on the lake since 1972," she says.

That's when Mark's grandfather bought the Lake Morey Inn. He is following in his grandfather's and father's footsteps running this 130-room inn that was built in 1905.

Six years ago, Lake Morey Inn partnered with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance to help maintain this four and a half mile skate trail on the lake. It's the longest maintained skate trail in the nation.

"We have a full ice crew. We retrofit all our golf course equipment. So they come out almost every day and clean off the track," Lisa says.

"We constantly check it. As soon as we think we can get on it, we drill it and measure it and we don't go on the ice until there's at least four inches, says ice crew member Barry Larson.

Barry Larson says right now, there's at least five inches of ice everywhere on the trail. He spends his summers maintaining the golf course at the Lake Morey Resort. Now, when the greens are covered in snow, you'll find him out on the ice.

"It is an amazing gift to the community to have this," says visitor Katie Kitchel

Katie and Davis Kitchel have been skating here for about five years now.

"He figured out how to stand up on skates in his stroller," she says.

3-year-old Sebastian loves it too!

"It's fun to come out here during the summertime and have just a completely different feel because you spend all your time sort of around the lake, but in the wintertime you can be on the lake," she says.

The Kitchels are from Norwich. Lisa says, this is a destination for people near and far.

"We get a lot of people from Boston, Burlington, Quebec that come down just to skate," Lisa says.

Some folks who come out here use nordic skates. Lisa says they handle the bumps a little easier. Other skaters just lace up with figure or hockey skates. There are benches right along the trail, just down from the Lake Morey Resort parking lot, which is open to anyone.

"You have a little slice of heaven here, we really do! You can't get much better than this!" she says.

They've got all kinds of events at the lake this winter, including the Vermont Pond Hockey championships in February. That includes 72 hockey teams and 15-17 rinks plowed into the ice for the weekend-long event.

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