WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Young people in D.C. with no school on Thursday found a way to have fun with ice during plunging temperatures.
They did not play on an ordinary hockey or skating rink.
Instead, people went skating inside of a big old ditch: The C & O Canal.
“On real frozen water,” Rasmus Von Pfiel said.
“When the canal freezes over, everybody is out here,” Evan Burke explained.
Young kids raced each other and made snowballs as older children and adults played hockey.
For some people, skating on the canal was a new experience.
“It was my first time skating outside of an artificial environment,” Tania Kaddeche told WUSA9.
However, skating on the waterway for others was an old tradition.
“I see everybody rediscovering something really cool about Washington that’s probably been hidden for a long time,” Duncan MacKeever said.
“You know it's just you barely get to do it. It's a rare occasion. So, when you do get to do it, it's totally so much fun,” Burke explained.
Some people sounded off on Facebook Live.
Many responses said skating on the canal was cool while others said it looked scary.
The National Park Service said people can get on the ice, but the conditions are not monitored.
The water can be anywhere from 6 to 15 feet deep.
Water still flows underneath.
The only part of the canal people are not allowed to go in is between the 12.6 and 13.4-mile markers.
A NPS spokesperson told WUSA 9 that just because there is no law against getting on the ice does not mean it is safe.
However, people were willing to take their chances after several days of freezing temperatures.
The Park Service added it is not guaranteed people will be rescued if they get into trouble on the ice.
If someone falls in the ice, do not go in after them.
Call 9-1-1 first.
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