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Royal Botanical Gardens Marshlands Ice Trail

Skating on Cootes Paradise

Princess Point provides access to a designated skating area across Cootes Paradise. Ice is measured each Friday (before end of day), and updated at the on-site signage, here, and on our Facebook page. Please note: weather changes quickly, and so upon arrival the ice may not be in the same condition as listed. Please use caution, take time to read the signage, and follow the listed guidelines.

Reminder Cootes Paradise is an environmental protection area with sensitive species – please respect the space of the wildlife and remain within 0.5 km of the ice access point. 

Floodlights have been installed to illuminate skating areas for visitors until 10 p.m.

Safe skating conditions for groups and recreation requires a thickness of about 4 inches (10 cm).

Ice thickness: 8″, SAFE
Last measured: Thursday, January 20, 2022

Weak spots beyond the bay of Princess Point are unknown. Following the major snowstorm on Monday, January 17, ice fractures will have occurred (water level change and snow weight) and are hidden under the snow. Thin ice areas exist, please use caution.





  • Skating at Princess Point
  • Ice thickness sign at Princess Point
  • group skating and playing hockey at princess point -
  • Dock at Princess Point with barely frozen ice, unsafe for skating


If arriving by car: Parking for Princess Point is available in the lot at 335 Longwood Road, Hamilton. Additional parking is available at Coronation Arena, located at 81 Macklin St N.

A $10 parking flat rate applies when the parking lot is staffed and regular metered parking fees ($3 per hour) apply when unstaffed. Meters accept coin and credit card payment. Parking is FREE to RBG members displaying their parking pass.

Staff will be on-site Monday to Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Staff will control parking lot access, monitor capacity and close the lot when it has reached capacity.

If arriving by bicycle: Please note that bike riding is not permitted on RBG’s trails. Each major trailhead has secure bike locking stations so you can leave your bike behind and enjoy a walk in nature.

Safety, Conservation, & Visiting Tips

  • Check the ice status before visiting. Natural Lands staff monitor ice thickness, and post information at the on-site sign at Princess Point (and in the section above) when the ice reaches a safe depth of 10cm/4”. Unless it is marked safe to do so, stay off the ice.
  • Make note of unsafe areas. Locations of water current have thin ice. This includes creek mouths and next to the Fishway. These areas are indicated on the skating map.
  • Stay off the banks. Treated with respect, the marsh is a great place for winter recreation, and a local winter tradition. Treating the area with respect includes staying off the islands and the shoreline banks along the wetland edge. The dry silty banks erode easily, even in winter. Belted Kingfishers and Bank Swallows tunnel into these slopes to nest each summer, but winter visitors can cause the slopes to collapse.
  • Liability. Persons using this area do so at their own risk. The signage is for information purposes only. Royal Botanical Gardens assumes no responsibility for loss of, or damage to property, personal injury or mishap, all activities are at the risk of the participant. Our parking lots are not monitored, please do not leave any valuables in your car.
  • Bring a shovel! This is a natural space, and not maintained for perfect skating conditions. Consider the ice surface may be rough, or snow-covered, and plan accordingly.
  • Restricted Recreation. Iceboats/sailing are prohibited.

Food & Drink

The Collective Arts Container will be operating on-site at Princess Point with a selection of warm drinks and grab-and-go fare available for purchase. 


Monday to Wednesday: 4 to 9 p.m.
Thursday: 2 to 9 p.m.
Friday: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Please note that hours are subject to change.

Support Conservation at RBG

These conservation projects are possible thanks to the generous support of RBG Members and donors. With a donation to Growing up Green, you can ensure an active, vibrant and healthy future for the children of today and tomorrow through our horticultural and conservation projects.

Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is the largest botanical garden in Canada, a National Historic Site, and registered charitable organization with a mandate to bring together people, plants and nature.


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