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Skate FAQs: Where to Skate - Western North America

Where to Skate - Western North America

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Other sections of Where to Skate are:

General Info

The Rails-to-Trails project converts old railroad tracks into nicely paved trails suitable for inline skating, biking, and running. Check your local directory to see if there's one near you.

Or get the Rails-to-Trials guide from our Book Section

From: (George Robbins)
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 17:10:07 GMT

Re: National Parks

The park service has a national policy that give individual park directors the option of allowing only those activities that are "safe and compatible with the goal/character of the park", and most then play it safe by forbidding skating. The best action you can take, aside from sending a nice letter to the park director, is to send some money to the IISA [International In-Line Skating Association] and encourage them to attack this policy at the national level and aim for one that allows skating to be prohibited only when demonstrably unsafe or seriously inappropriate.



From: (Gil Kruschwitz)
Date: Sun, 28 May 1995 13:41:43 -0500

I think anyone coming to Anchorage should be sure to bring their blades. We have miles and miles of bike trails (groomed for diagonal and skate skiing in the winter) including 20 paved miles along Chester Creek and Cook Inlet, connecting the University, Downtown (hotels, etc.) and Kincaid Park). The trail has cracks in some areas and short sight distances in a few places but is generally smooth and in good condition. There are several tunnels and a few bridges but no road crossings and relativley little foot traffic out of the immediate downtown area. There are several hills but they are gentle enough to run with little or no braking, unless the wind is blowing downhill. Skate season is generally late April/early May to the end of October. Much of the trail is through natural areas and it is unusual to not see moose. Eagles and beluga whales are often in the inlet right below a portion of the trail. For the last five years, I've skated the trail from a point a few blocks from my office to Kincaid and back (about 9 miles each way) after work almost every day that weather has allowed and can't imagine getting tired of the terrain and scenery.



From: (Shooshie)
Date: 15 Sep 1994 09:36:22 GMT

I travel a lot in my work as a music director/arranger, and I take my Aeroblades with me wherever I go. I am in the Phoenix area a lot, so when I discovered the trail on Hayden Blvd. in Scottsdale, I was in blade heaven. There are over 20 miles of interconnected trails, and lots more if you consider all the skate-friendly sidewalks and streets. Some of the under-street tunnels flood right after a rain, so you have to be prepared to stop, turn around and go over the streets if the weather has been bad during the past week. I just got back from a two-week stay there while making a video at the Phoenix Symphony Hall. I spent every spare minute on that trail, and discovered some great things I had not even noticed before. For anyone who might be interested, here's the scoop.

There is a recreation center on Indian School and Hayden. It is called the Indian Bend Wash Visitor Center. Large parking lot, big plaza, lots of concrete, stairs of every configuration, walls, jumpable chain fences, concrete-surrounded palm trees at regular intervals for slalom fun, skatable restrooms and water. Up behind it was a big surprise - a small skating rink, about the size of a tennis court, and square. Smooth concrete, with ramped sidewalks all around, stepped edges growing out of an incline from zero to three steps, and a nice view to boot. Skate down from the rink onto the plaza (be careful - the concrete joints radiate outward... you will drop a skate in one now and then) and you will find a trail leading between volleyball courts and baseball diamond, and it leads you to a tunnel under Hayden which connects with the aforementioned trails. The main trail is superb, from rolling to moderately steep hills, but none so terribly long as to be painful. It winds around through parklands, around ponds, next to streams, behind golf courses, and goes under most of the streets. One street crossing is at an arched pedestrian bridge which gives a nice boost going down the other side.

But the best part of the trail is... "the Wedge!" It's about a 15 or 20 minute skate from the visitor center along the trail. At any time of day or night you are liable to find the experienced skaters here showing their stuff, and it's pretty impressive. You hear about it from street skaters who speak of it reverently, although most of them have not been there and seem to register a certain awe or fear of actually finding it. The Wedge is a long (about 60 yards?) concrete dam right next to a huge concrete plaza (with wooden expansion joints - nothing's perfect) underneath a wide street bridge. The bridge provides merciful shade from the desert heat, and the wedge provides the site for some great jumping. At one end of the wedge is a stream which is normally benign, but which briefly floods during the late summer monsoons. That is the Wedge's raison d'etre. But the engineers almost certainly had us in mind when they designed and built it. It's just too perfect. The dam is about five feet high at its highest point, and the entire length of it is wedge shaped such that its sides slope upward at 55-60 degree angles. The top is broad, flat, and smooth; I'd guess 15 feet or more across the top, and as I said earlier, about 60 yards long. A side trail comes down from street level, down the ravine, crosses a short bridge, right to the base of the wedge.

You can reach quickly just about any speed you want going down the trail. Then... you hit the incline in a crouched position, rise, spring and shoot off the top - the sky is the limit. An expert few manage to go clear over and across the top, airborne, (definitely not for the faint of heart or weak of ankle) and come down the slope on the other side. 180's, 360's, obstacles, grinds, you name it... you'll see it all there. An aluminum picnic table provides two levels for grinds, and barrels provide good jumping material. At night, the dark shadows under the bridge bring out a new dimension. One side of the wedge is visible, the other is in darkness... you learn to trust your feet. The chatter around the Wedge is generally about competition, and a number of the regulars travel to compete in meets. Apparently, some of them are doing well, too. Average age appears to be about 18. I made the mistake of using the "when I was your age" line once and offended a guy who, at 20, was pretty much one of the elders of the wedge community. I explained that I was nearly 40, but I don't think he believed me; maybe it was my ponytail. Something about the wedge knocks a few years off your age... a 15 year-old asked me if I was old enough to buy him cigarettes.

Near the Wedge is another "made for skaters" plaza with all kinds of stairs, walls, and such for various kinds of practice. The whole experience of the trail and its extras is almost too good to be true. If you get to the Phoenix area, go nextdoor to Scottsdale and find the trail along Hayden road. The Wedge is in the southern part of the trail, between Thomas and Roosevelt, beneath the MacDowell Street bridge (I think... I never went up to confirm that). Let the rest of the family go see the Grand Canyon. Go to the Wedge. It's enough to make you want to move to the desert.

Now... if the flood control engineers of Arizona could just find it within their needs to install a 10 foot high, 60 yard-long half-pipe beneath the other side of the bridge...

From: (Renee Ramirez)
Date: 30 Mar 1995 08:35:27 MST

[...] in the N. Scottsdale area is the Scottsdale Airpark. It's a large business park adjacent to the Scottsdale Airport. It's at about 75th Street and Greenway. You'll find a lot of business parks in the Phoenix area, and a lot of them are dead on the weekends. Since the traffic flow on a daily basis through them is light, the pavement is still in good shape.

From: Ronald Williams (
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995 08:04:44 -0700

Pecos Road - It's a straight skate until you'll hit a dead end turn around at 5.8 miles. This route gives you a chance to alternately duck walk up rolling hills and get into the tuck position on the downhill. In total, this route offers approximately 11 miles of skating with no stops, no traffic nor any restrooms. Be prepared and bring your own water.
Getting there - Take I-10 towards Tucson, exit Chandler to 40th ST. (south). 40th St. deadends at Pecos Rd. Park along the road.

Perimeter Center - This route traverses an undevelooped commercial center with very somooth pavement, plenty of right and left turns but, again, no bathrooms. Be prepared and bring your own water. This route offers slight incliness to work on muscle building but keep your eyes open for traffic. Getting There - Go North on Pima Rd. from Frank Lloyd Wright. Turn left on Bell Rd. (approximately 3/4). Look for the Fleischer Museum. Park along the street or cul de sacs, not in the museum parking lot.


From: mcbride@PrimeNet.Com (Budd Turner:N7EOJ)
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 1995 13:46:34 -0700

Rillito Pathway
6 1/2 miles of two lane, multiuse, asphalt pathway along the North bank of the Rillito ("Little River"), connecting several city parks. Surface varies from very smooth to slightly coarse, level to slight inclines. Accessed off River Road with parking lots at each major North/South Intersection, and in the two City Parks midway between N/S intersections. The path underpasses each N/S road bridge. Water fountains are located on one or both sides of each N/S intersection, and in the City Parks. Being multiuse makes it get busy at times, especially mid-summer, when 100+ degree days will concentrate usage to early morning and sundown. The pathway is closed during hours of darkness.

Santa Cruz Pathway
Shorter, less used than the Rillito, 5 miles , two lane, multiuse, asphalt pathway along both banks of the Santa Cruz River connecting several city parks. The path underpasses each E/W road bridge. Surface varies from very smooth to coarse, level to slight inclines. No fountains.

University of Arizona campus
Lots of sidewalks, non-vehicular streets, fountains, stairs, ramps, rails, curbs and skaters.

Pima Community College campus (East, West, Downtown)
Lots of sidewalks, fountains, stairs, ramps, rails, curbs and skaters.

British Columbia


From: (Robert B. Schmunk)
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 1994 14:29:39 -0500

During a recent trip to Seattle, I also had a chance to visit Vancouver, BC. While I didn't have my skates with me that day, I did spot what seemed to be the locals' favorite skate-path. The place I'm referring to is the trail which follows the perimeter of Stanley Park, just NW of downtown. Being right on the waterfront, it doesn't offer much challenging topography, but it did seem smoothly paved and wide enough that bike/ped/skate conflicts shouldn't be too much of a problem. My visit was during a weekday, and during the daytime there were a fair number of teenagers (particularly junior high school age) out and about. In the early evening, I noticed several cars pull into the parking lot and disgorge a young adult or two with a set of blades over his/her shoulders. One potential problem with this path is the high concentration of geese in the area, suggesting that one may have to be careful about cleaning off wheels and bearings after a skate.

From: (Fiona McQuarrie)
Date: 6 Sep 1994 17:07:51 -0400

As a veteran of the Stanley Park Seawall path which Robert correctly identifies as a prime inline skating area, I want to add to his posting:

This path is indeed wide in most parts but in some places it is extremely narrow, and as such users should be careful to follow the clearly marked bike/pedestrian divisions. I'm not sure which side inliners should go on, come to think of it (only having run on the path, which is clearly a pedestrian function :), but I would say look at others and follow what they are doing. Also there are some parts of the path where users on bikes are asked to dismount and walk. This is because the path is too narrow to have bikes bombing through crowds of inliners should be careful too.

From: "Kennith A. Mellquist" (
Date: Sat, 02 Sep 95 07:38:29 -700

As a frequent user of the track in Stanley Park, there are a couple of other matters of interest for visitors to the Vancouver area. First, the trail on the water in Stanley Park is one mostly for recreational or sight seeing. The traffic in the summertime is very busy and rthere are places where you must slow down to a crawl. An alternative is to skate in the morning or to use the road that rings the park. Second, the Seawall at Stanley Park also extends around False Creek (the south side of the downtown area) and the area around False Creek is less travelled , wider and smoother. Third, for those who are into a straight skate, just off of the Sceond Narrows Bridge in North Vancouver is an area called the Seymour Demonstration Forest. I believe this is a provincial park and every weekend in the summer the road in the Park is closed off to vehicle traffic. I believe the road extends for about 10 miles and is very wide and quite smooth.

From: (Flatline)
Date: 29 May 1996 06:30:30 GMT

A while ago, skaters were banned from the seawall except for a certain area of the bikepath designated for skaters... but it was never enforced and skaters skated it still (I know I did it alot) then peds complained, so there were rumors (last summer I think) that they were gonna start enforcing the rule, but instead they enforce the "Rollerbladers on Bike Path" rule... and since they've spent the time and money painting little rollerblade man symbols along the path, I doubt they'll close it now


Glenwood Canyon

From: (Philip A Earnhardt)
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 1995 20:17:09 GMT

About 170 miles west of Denver on I-70 is the town of Glenwood Springs. The last 13 or so miles of this trip run through Glenwood Canyon. As of two years ago, it is a full-blown 4-lane stretch of Interstate highway. It is beautiful: the highway was terraced along the north side of the Colorado River. In this section of highway, there are four rest stops; each is a work of art. Once you view this section of highway, you may have the same reaction I did: you will be proud that this is something your tax dollars helped create!

Along the same stretch highway for 16.3 miles lies the Glenwood Canyon Trail. This is one of the nicest trails I've ever skated. The four rest areas on the path are a welcome relief from the normal lack of facilities. Traveling at slower-than-automobile speeds gives one an opportunity to see the natural and man-made beauty in the Canyon in detail. Over most of the length of the path, the Colorado River is literally a dozen feet away. In short, it's a totally awesome skating trip not to be missed!

The trailhead is immediately east of the Hot Springs Pool and the Vapor Caves in Glenwood Springs. For the first 2.5 miles, the trail uses pre-existing asphalt that is pretty low-grade. At the first rest stop, the No Name Rest Area, you pick up high-grade concrete trail for the remainder of the trip. The No Name rest area is about 150 feet above the river -- you will have both the steepest climb and descent going through No Name.

Once east of No Name, you will be very close to the Colorado for the duration of the path. At No Name, the Colorado has an elevation of 5780 feet; at Mile 10 of the trail -- the lake at the Shoshone Dam -- the elevation is 6100 feet. From there to the Mile 16, there's probably less than another 100 feet of elevation gain. This is not a beginner's trail, but it's not Extreme Games material, either.

The Grizzly Creek rest area comes a bit after Mile 5. The No Name facility is not visible from the trail, but this one is. These are awesome facilities! There is a trailhead that goes north up the Grizzly Creek path. Don't be fooled by the fact that it starts out paved; that peters out after about 1/4 of a mile.

The stretch between Grizzly Creek and the Shoshone Power Plant is a major stretch of some Class III - IV rapids. If you go during the summer, you'll see a fair number of kayakers and raft outfitters through here.

The only features at the Shoshone Power Plant (Mile 7) exit are a big building a parking lot, and a boat launch. The highway interchange is interesting: while you can only exit from I-70 in the Eastbound direction, you can enter the highway only in the Westbound direction. The interchange at the Hanging Lake Rest Area is set up the same way. Lack of space -- and minimization of impact to the Canyon -- forced these restrictions.

You will find no boaters between the Power Plant and the Shoshone Dam (Mile 10): this section of the river has a pair of Class VI (i.e., unpassable) rapids. This section also has the greatest climb -- about 200 feet -- for the whole trip. Immediately before the Dam, you will cross underneath the highway. Note the individual maintenance catwalks underneath the bridge for each lane of traffic.

You are now at the Dam and the Hanging Lake Rest Area. The two-lane road used to go along the lake; I-70 now goes through the Hanging Lake Tunnels. Part of the construction was to completely remove all traces of the old highway before putting in the concrete trail and landscaping. Again, this rest area is a work of art! As with all of the rest stops, watch out for peds wandering on and off and across the trail; they may not realize that they are on a thoroughfare!

From here, the trail is relatively uneventful to its end. When skating the trail over the Memorial Day weekend (5/29/95), my friend and I encountered a large puddle in one of the tunnels under the highway. We wound up "borrowing" several bales of hay that the highway department had left nearby, creating a series of steps over the water hazard.

The eastern end of the trail (Mile 16.3) is a mile or so into Eagle County. There's a small parking facility here.

Despite the proximity of the Interstate highway, the trail is overall fairly quiet: most of the way, the path is about 10 feet lower than the highway. There is also a wall and ledge separating you from the traffic.

The main annoyance is the presence of 50-100 drainage grates periodically spaced along the path. While climbing up the path, they pose no problem -- the spacing is too narrow to catch your wheels. You can play a game of avoiding the gaps in the grating by precisely setting down your skate.

On the trip down, they are a bit more of an annoyance. There are sections of the path when you may be going quite fast and don't want to risk anything getting caught. I recommend using very subtle mini-jumps over the grates. If you time them right, you don't even have to have your wheels off of the ground -- you just need to have your skates unweighted.

Other than the grates, the main issue is your fellow trail users. As noted above, drop your pace while cruising through the rest areas. Many people who are wandering around the area may even recognize that they're crossing a trail. There will be some inexperienced cyclists/skaters/walkers on the path. Be particularly careful between the Dam and the Power Station both when passing and being passed.

Navigation on the trail is quite simple; a map is not necessary. Because of the rest areas, it's unnecessary to carry much water with you. However, you should take some munchies for the trip.

I recommend doing the entire 33-mile round trip. If this is too much, the first place to cut would be to begin and end your journey at the No Name rest stop. This will remove about 6 miles and all of the low-grade pavement out of the trip. A good 10-mile mini-excursion would be to start at Grizzly Creek and skate up to the Shoshone Dam and back. Finally, the mini-mini trip would be a round trip between the Shoshone Power Station and the Dam.

Note: the Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs have been specially engineered to help tired skaters quickly recover from their efforts in the Canyon.

Safety notes: The Colorado sun is intense. Please apply a bunch of waterproof sunscreen before starting. For your face, I recommend the Neutrogena Sunblock Stick. This stuff won't run into your eyes even if you sweat a lot. Helmets are mandatory for this trip. Check your brake pads before you start -- you may want to put a fresh one on before you do the downhills. Watch the weather forecasts: afternoon showers are typical over the summer. You may want to start the skate early in the day and/or have a contingency plan in place in case of an unexpected shower.

There is a 32-page picture booklet, _A Guide to Glenwood Canyon_ (ISBN 0-9634382-1-2), that provides detailed information about the canyon: river elevations, detailed highway and path drawings, plants and animals through the canyon, history, geology, etc. I used it as a reference for preparing this posting. If your local bookstore can't order the book, Denver's Tattered Cover Bookstore (800.833.9327) can.


From: (Phil Earnhardt)
Date: Unknown

This is a fairly old trail; it was even re-surfaced a year or two ago. It's an asphalt trail that runs from Breckenridge, CO to Vail, CO -- somewhere around 25 miles in each direction.

The section from Breckenridge to Frisco is fairly mundane. The section from Frisco to Copper Mountain climbs about 600 feet in 6 miles -- a fairly steep grade. If you are experienced in braking, the descent on this trail is absolutely fabulous. If you're an efficient climber, the climb is pretty fun, too -- you'll be passing a lot of tourists using their Mountain Bikes in a fairly inefficient manor.

The section from Frisco to the top of Vail Pass climbs about 1000 feet in 5 miles. Pretty steep stuff. It's a neat path -- winding switch-backs in a "wilderness" area between the split-apart sections of I-70. There's a rest stop at the top, so you don't have to lug lots of water with you.

The section from the top of Vail Pass to Vail drops about 2000 feet in 7 miles. This is pretty mondo steep. Some sections of the trail are just off the EB side of I-70 and the air is filled with the smell of almost-melting truck brakes. Not fun. Also, you must be a skilled braker to navigate this steep, narrow trail. Dual brakes may be a necessity -- I wouldn't try it with just one. Also, I wore out 6 brakes the last time I did this, and still wasn't in town.

If you're unclear if you qualify as a skilled braker, here's my test: how many brakes have you worn out and replaced? If it's over a dozen, you'll probably be OK on this trail. Less than 3 is a No Pass (literally!).

Fort Collins

From: (Peter J. McKinney)
Date: Unknown

IMHO, The best in-line skating in Ft. Fun is along the Poudre River and Spring Creek trails. They're paved nicely and are shared by bicyclists, inline skaters, and pedestrians. There's at least 10 or 12 miles of trail and you should be able to pick up a map at any Ft. Collins bike store.


From: aites@hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM (Jim Aites)
Date: Unknown

I would like to take this time to submit my nomination for "blade-capital" of the the world. (what do ya' mean you didn't know we were voting?)

The city is Boulder, Colorado.

Last week-end I drove 50 miles (each way) to visit this famed area. It is as good as the rumors have indicated. Every major road around town has a 'greenway' containing a 6 foot wide contrete bikepath on both sides of the road, and even the roads without 'greenways' still have the wide walkways.

The prettiest/best run in town is the Boulder Creek Bikepath. This path starts (at the top) about 2 hundred yards up the mouth of the Boulder Creek Canyon, and windes for about 7 miles along the creek to the far east side of town. It's all contrete, mostly shaded by trees, about 5 bridges over the creek allowing travel on both sides of the creek, and has at least 4 parks along the way.

I didn't take the time to check out all the intersecting paths which lead off to other parts of town. (next time!) I saw a blades hockey game in progress, about 5 beginers (practicing in near by parking lots), almost as many Bladers as bicyclists on the path itself, and even found some other folks who had commuted (from Denver) to check out the turf as I was doing.

From: (Phil Earnhardt)
Date: Unknown

Boulder Creek trail is swell. Between 1st and 30th street is really intermediate terrain, but there are a lot of beginners there. Between 1st and fourmile canyon turnoff is an expert trail: quite steep with no turnouts. From 30th to 60th (or so) is a very mellow, very pretty trail. When you come back to the west, you can see the entire Continental Divide.

There are a lot of other good trails in town.

Both Boulder and Denver have bike maps. The Boulder one shows road/path grades (and direction). The Denver one doesn't, but there are a lot more trails down there. REI sells the Denver map.

From: (M Shafran)
Date: 17 Jan 1995 14:02:33 -0500

Well, there aren't any trails really conducive to speed in Boulder, so most of us tend to do our long skates out on the Diagonal (especially now that both sides are smoothly paved). My speed club, Quicksilver, and the Roller Express USAC club, also do a lot of training around Celestial Seasonings' headquarters - it's smooth and almost a perfect 1K loop. [...] If you have any other questions, just give me a buzz at InLine Retailer at (303) 440-5111, ext. 703.


From: (Phil Earnhardt)
Date: Unknown

Cherry Creek -- from the dam to the South Platte River -- is a pretty neat playground. The trail along the South Platte goes for many miles. Remember the magic rule: go upstream first, so you won't run out of gas on the return trip.

C-470 -- the 1/4 beltway -- has a bike path along about 80% of its distance. Here, substitute "wind" for "stream" in the magic rule.

Check with Grand West Outfitters for info on hockey and more structured activities. They're at Broadway and 6th -- right off of the Cherry Creek Trail.

My recollection is that there are several shops listed under skating equipment listed in the phone book. One of them was adjacent to a park, (the one with the Zoo or Washington park, not sure), which might be the place for public skating. Calling or visiting these shops would be a good source of info.

Wash Park is pretty busy and the trails are not the best.

Both Boulder and Denver have bike maps. The Boulder one shows road/path grades (and direction). The Denver one doesn't, but there are a lot more trails down there. REI sells the Denver map.

I'm going to try the moby long Denver viaduct sometime this summer....



From: teshima@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu
Date: Tue Nov 30 04:05:22 1993

[...] Oahu is not conducive to non-auto traffic. While you see a fair amount of bicycles and mopeds, you are at the mercy of the cars when you're out on the road. Worse, there are painfully few bicycle trails on the island--a lack of land and planning both. Worse, drivers are not friendly toward cyclists and skaters. They will turn right without blinking or looking, assuming that there's no traffic to their right because they're in the right lane--or they will parallel park on the road and the drivers will open their doors right onto the middle lane. I have had some friends of mine French kiss some car door interiors this way--ouch!

The safest and most popular spot to rollerblade on the entire island is Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island. Magic Island is a little area at one end of Ala Moana Beach Park that was filled in many years ago by the Ilikai Hotel when they realized that their customers couldn't see Diamond Head anymore because of all the development. Ala Moana Beach Park itself is outside of Waikiki, across the street from the large Ala Moana Shopping Center. You'll encounter all kinds--kids learning, adults learning, kids whirling around adults learning, adults doing laps around a loop, etc. Basically, these "loops" around Magic Island are wide enough to accommodate joggers and skaters both. Nice view of Diamond Head, too.

The other (and more closer site to Waikiki) would be Kapiolani Park, at the Diamond Head of Waikiki by the Honolulu Zoo. They have a 2.5 mile jogging loop around it that you can use--except at parts it's cracked and not too wide--so that's a caveat.

From: "Earl J. Kim" (
Date: Sun, 03 Sep 95 01:18:00 1000

Here's some info about the do's and don't's for bladers. First the don't's: it is illegal to skate in a business district, i.e., downtown Honolulu. It is also illegal to skate in the Waikiki "special use district," which includes the long straight sidewalk next to the Ala Wai Canal. Though they do not enforce the law consistently, we got cited for skating on that sidewalk ($25 fine) after skating there. We have also been chased out of the Kapiolani community college parking lot in Diamond Head, the University of Hawaii quarry parking lot, the City and County downtown parking lot. Everyone is so paranoid about liability! I see people skating in these areas, so take your chances whether they are enforcing the law on that day.

You can skate on the bikepath on the other side of the Ala Wai Canal; start at the Ala Wai Clubhouse (real bumpy parking area, but the path is nice) at the corner of McCully Street and Kapiolani Boulevard. It meets up with Kapahulu Avenue and goes down towards Waikiki. When you meet the Ala Wai Boulevard, go left and you can head to Kapiolani Park, circle that (narrow sidewalk on the ocean side though) and return the same way. That would be about a 45-60 minute cruise depending on your speed.

As mentioned, the Magic Island section of Ala Moana Park (oceanside of Ala Moana Shopping Center) is nice, but small and crowded with tiny kids who don't care about others. You can now skate the edge of Ala Moana Park (start on the Magic Island side) as they have a new sidewalk that parallels Ala Moana Boulevard though there are a couple of sections that have not been finished yet. At the end of the park, you can skate into the Kewalo Basin Park and go to the end to the concrete finger by the basin harbor opening. Return to Ala Moana Boulevard, continue onwards past the basin for another three blocks. Head oceanside by the Cutter Ford car dealer and you will reach the Kakaako Waterfront Park. This park has some nice hills, a bumpy-tiled oceanfront straight, a small amphitheater for newbies to practice going downhill, and a big parking lot that's sloped--not too many cars, good place to practice stroking and crossovers. Return to Magic Island the same way for another 45-60 minute workout.

The Nimitz highway bikepath is not the most screnic, but is less crowded and longer. Find the Nimitz highway-Puuloa Road intersection (near the airport, ask the locals where the "Kelleys" restaurant is) and park on a sidestreet. The path parallels the highway, a lot of shade because you are under the airport freeway. Mostly good surface, some traffice noise. You continue past the Moanalua Shopping Center and the trail then hits an intersection (Radford Drive?). Head down the hill towards Pearl Harbor (a grade 3-4 hill) and follow the bike path lane (next to the highway) on the ocean side. This will take you to the Arizona Memorial; keeping going and there's a joggers water fountain (thank you Navy). When you hit the boathouse where the asphalt is really rough, you can turn around and return for a 1-1.5 hour skate.

If you hobble over that rough section, you can continue on the bike path along Pearl Harbor, behind the Pearl Kai Shopping Center (by the Pearlridge shopping center), past Blaisdell Park and the electric power plant and end up in Pearl City where the trail ends. This would add about another 4 miles or so

I commute to work (only about a mile one way), and have already been hit by a car as I crossed in a marked crosswalk. I now wear a bright orange vest and carry a bike-style strobe light too. As others of mentioned, the drivers look left for traffic as they make a right turn--they have no regard for pedestrians, bikers, or skaters entering the crosswalk! When in Honolulu traffic, be careful and SKATE SAFE!

From: (Rabbett)
Date: Unknown

Should you come to Oahu, do yourself a favor and skate Kailua town on the windward side... miles and miles of flat and low rise asphalt... most of it in primo condition. Trade winds, blue skies, quiet neighborhoods and a mere couple blocks from the beach. Also, further into Lanikai...about 3.7 miles around, it is an oceanside residential loop with staggering beauty and colorful homes and people.

From: (Mike Muronaka)
Date: 11 Nov 1994 12:55:08 -0800

I haven't skated much there, but the following areas have potential:

General cruising - Residential Kailua/Lanikai is mostly flat and has little traffic. There's supposedly something resembling a waterfront outside of downtown Honolulu, but I never got there. Remember that skating isn't allowed in Waikiki (who'd want to go there anyway?) If anyone tells you Magic Island is a good place, they're either lying or not very skilled skaters (nice scenery, too small).

Downhills - Since Oahu is mostly a giant mountain range, it's easy to find a spot to test how well your brake works. Go to Tantalus for curves. There's this one hill (sorry, can't remember specifically where) where I had to throw my car in first going down and still rode the brakes : ). Keep your eyes peeled.

Street - Schools. The University has loads of terrain toys. There's a large concrete bowl (skate park?) in Honolulu, but everytime I've gone by there, it's chained off. There's a quarter pipe at the Kailua Intermediate playground. I've actually seen skateboarders on it, but again, it's mostly chained off.

Be aware that Hawaii drivers for the most part don't understand the concept of bicycles on the road, so inlining should be no exception. Stay on the sidewalk in high traffic areas. I've been told that inlining is also getting more popular (i.e. seen on people above the age of 5 who aren't tourists), so you might not get as many stares as I did : ).


From: (George Robbins)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 16:03:40 GMT

The general layout of the islands is that there is one main road that runs around the fairly level shore plateau area, with a few cross cuts. Most of the secondary roads cut inward to farm or residences and are often unpaved and/or private. The trend of the main road is flat, but since you are on the skirts of a volcanic mountain, there will frequent spots where the road drops down into a ravine to cross a bridge, then back up again. Since there's only one road, traffic can be heavy during the going back and forth parts of the day. If you like distance skating you should be ok, but it'll probably always be there-and-back along the same road. You need to plan your trips to insure that you've got adequate water and that there are places where you can stop, eat and chill out in the shade, it can be a long way between convenience stores or gas stations!

This is based mainly on Kaaui, the most rustic of the islands, but time spent in the Waikaki area suggests the basic idea holds for all of the islands, as soon as you get out of the "city".

One final warning is that while the people are generally friendly, there are quite a few folks trying to live in paradise without visible means of support, which can engender a gypsy like attitude towards visitors and their possesions. Hawaii (the big island) has also had problems with more organized car burglary/assaults at scenic spots, but this may be ancient history.


The In-Line Idaho Web page, which includes information about Boise and Idaho Falls, is located at the URL:

Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls

From: (Andy Hill)
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 1994 18:10:48 GMT

The Centennial Bike Trail is a long, wide asphalt trail that extends between Riverside State Park (NW of Spokane) and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

I was coming from the Idaho side, so I first started on the eastern end of the trail (near the Coeur d'Alene resort). Only went a couple of miles before turning around - lots of busy street crossings, a railroad crossing (at the bottom of a steep embankment) that had to be walked, and then devolution into a dirty, marked-off "bike lane" at the eastern side of Post Falls. Blech!

After retracing my route, I drove to the western side of Post Falls (I believe it is Post Falls Park). I skated up a short hill to the east, and got back on the trail, heading west toward the state line (a bit over 4 miles away). This was a much nicer section - very wide and smooth, pretty clean, and hardly used (I was skating about 10AM on a Saturday; probably saw a dozen people at most for the entire trip). There were a few rural street crossings that could be rolled through, and one nasty crossing (lot of road debris and traffic) at the Post Falls Outlet Mall, approx. 1 mile from the state line. Probably the worst feature of the trail is that it parallels I-90 for much of its length, so there's a lot of traffic noise (too bad they couldn't have put the trail along the Spokane River - that would be a real pretty pathway). Once past the Outlet Mall, there were no more street crossings. The bridge over the Spokane River at the state line was pretty neat. After crossing the river, there is a sharp turn to the right, and a somewhat steep downhill before crossing under I-90. After this, I only went a couple of more miles before turning around. Mostly gentle hills, with a couple of slightly steeper spots - nothing that an experienced skater couldn't handle.

In summary, this is an excellent skating trail, if you get on at the right place. I'd probably recommend parking at the Outlet Mall, and heading west from there, although my route starting at Post Falls Park wasn't particularly bad. Next time I'm up that direction, I'll try to check out other sections of the trail - if I remember correctly, it's about 40 miles end-to-end.


Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 22:53:31 -0400

Best long skate:
The Boise River Greenbelt from Municipal Park east to Lucky Peak Reservoir. Round trip: about 18 miles. Description: Mostly flat, three fun little hills, lovely scenery along the Boise River Valley. Notes: This stretch of the Greenbelt is mostly used by serious bikers and skaters. Best time of day: early morning before the crowds mount and the temps rise. Not much shade, no water till you get to the park at the dam so bring plenty. Crowded on weekends, deserted during the week.

Best recreational skate:
The campus of Boise State University. Lots of stairs, ramps, obstacles, stadium parking lots, and slick sidewalks. This is a weekend-only skate not to be attempted during classes. Campus police will gladly bust your ass. The Greenbelt is accessible from the campus but this stretch is super crowded with geeks and newbies: No fun for the experienced skater.

Best aggro experience:
Eluding the cops downtown. On any evening the streets are nearly deserted. Plenty of night spots with blade-friendly attitudes. Coffee shops, newsstands, bars, etc. Most of the industrial and corporate buildings have security guards that will gladly try to have you busted. Don't try to skate around the state capitol building.

Best vert experience:
Rhoades Skate Park, 15th and Grove streets, downtown. Named after the man who built the place single-handed, there's a hockey rink, a couple of quarter pipes, and some rails. (Hey, this is Boise!)

Best rink:
Twenty minute drive to Nampa, Idaho, and the Rollerdrome. Old wooden floor, curved benches. The rink in Boise, Skateworld, is a pit.

Sun Valley

From: (Andy Hill)
Date: Unknown

Just got back from a work/play boondoggle in Sun Valley, Idaho. If you ever have a chance to come through this area in the spring/summer/fall, check out the Wood River & Sun Valley trails.

The Wood River trail is a very recent rails-to-trails conversion. It's 21 miles long (42 round trip), extremely smooth, and not much climb. It's a cross-country ski trail in the winter (there was still quite a bit of snow on either side of the trail this week).

The Sun Valley trail is about a 20 mile loop around Dollar mountain. Not quite as smooth, and has some road intersections that are a bit gravelly. Quite a bit more climb than the Wood River trail (with some screaming downhill sections). Bring a spare brake!


Custer Battlefield

From: (Amy Ryan)
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 09:29:49 -0500

Little Big Horn in Montana has a small walking trail, to tell you about the battles that occurred and the fall of custer. The trail is at the far end of the 5 mile drive. This is along the road that connects Eastern Montana to Cheyenne Wyoming. It provides for a scenic break during a long drive and is a historic site as well. It's completely free. Warning: there is a very steep hill, major T-stops or brakes required.


Las Vegas

From: (Paul Phillabaum)
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 17:01:20 -0800

Although it might seem a little strange, a great place to skate in Las Vegas is UNLV. The campus use grass and trees instead of 'desert landscaping' which is popular here, giving it a nice comfortable backyard feeling. Lots of wide, smooth concrete sidewalks, with emergency turnouts (grass 8-) ) liberally spread all over campus. The campus is pretty empty during the evenings, and weekends. On an average weekend, you'll probably see 3 or 4 groups of skaters, and campus police seem to be skater-friendly. Best of all, during the Africa hot summers, the campus seems 10 degrees cooler because of all the grass. It's comfortable to skate around 6:30 pm, and you can get a few hours a skating in relative comfort.

From: (Wayne)
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 18:19:15 GMT

I found the back streets easy to skate. They parallel the strip and the traffic is not to bad. I stayed at Circus Circus and the security guard caught me skating on C.C. property and told me it was not allowed. I had to walk to the street carrying my skates and put them on at the side walk. The water slide (Wet & Wild) parking lot is large, smooth and if not to full can be used also. The day I was there it was closed. The whole time in Vegas I only saw two other skaters on the street.


Park City

From: (Klaus B. Biggers)
Date: Unknown

My favorite skate is Royal Street in Park City, UT. It's a road that goes about half to two-thirds of the way up Deer Valley Ski Resort. Lots of turns and lots of new pavement. It's probably about 500 meters (~1600 ft.) vertical and an absolute blast. There is little traffic and the police are very mellow about the whole thing (the town does depend on tourism you know). You can either bomb down it risking the tarmac (sp?) tickle or get thousands of turns (literally). Its really great in the summer since the temperature is rarely over 78 degrees F or so. Also, in the winter, a bus runs up to the top on a regular schedule and doesn't cost a dime. I kind of like the grunt up. It is kind of strange though watching a blader skate by a "Watch for Ice" hazard sign..



From: (Frank Hansche)
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 1995 22:56:02 GMT

There's a book called "Rolling Around Seattle" which tells of all the good places to skate here. The author has personally skated every one of the places in his book. You can find it at ski/skate shops and probably at REI.

From: Robert Schmunk (
Date: 30 Jun 1995

A recent article in InLine magazine stated that skating on the streets of downtown Seattle was illegal under the usual "playing in the streets" law, but was okay elsewhere. Supposedly the police are pretty cool about not enforcing it, but don't go out of your way to test their tolerance.

From: (Robert B. Schmunk)
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 1994 14:22:13 -0500

Seattle is not really a skating town. The problem is likely due to the fact that the hills of Seattle make it somewhat difficult to skate from point A to point B unless you have strong calf muscles. Additionally, many of the streets are paved in a somewhat rough tarmac that tends to give your feet the old washboard massage and wears brakes down pretty quickly. Thus, during a 10-day stay in Seattle I saw only one skater other than myself who was on the streets of the city.

Nevertheless, there are places in Seattle to skate, as the city government has been kind enough to provide lots of bike/ped paths that are physically separate from the streets. The three paths I sampled all had very gentle terrain as they were located on/near the shores of one of the bodies of water in/around Seattle. A side benefit of being near the water is that some of these paths have truly splendid scenery to look at while you're rolling along.

  1. Green Lake: A couple people suggested to me that the 2.9-mile trail around this lake NW of the Univ. of Washington might be the place to skate in Seattle, but they're sadly disillusioned. The basic problem is that this trail gets a lot of pedestrian traffic, and the lane for bikes/skaters is never more than 3 ft wide. Thus, for beginners this is not a good place because of the possibility of colliding with a pedestrian, and the more advanced skaters will be frustrated by the slow skaters/pedestrians blocking the trail ahead.
  2. Elliot Bay Trail: This trail starts just slightly north of Pier 70 and follows the shore of Puget Sound to just beyond the grain terminal at Pier 86. After that it takes a big swerve inland to go around the auto off-loading facility at Terminal 91, and then comes back out to the Sound and terminates at Smith Cove. Besides Pier 70, you can access the trail from a couple of streets just north of Terminal 91. Between Piers 70 and 86, the pedestrian and wheel (bike/skater) portions of the path are physically separated, and peds will growl if you take the wrong path. This separateness does make the trail somewhat more interesting to advanced skaters looking for a place to work out, and the flat topography is balanced by the wonderful view.
  3. Waterfront: This may actually count as a southern extension of the Elliot Bay trail, but a large gap between them suggests that it might be otherwise. Anyway, the various tourist piers along the shore immediately downhill from downtown are located along Alaskan Way. On the city side of the road is a trolley track for the tourists, and immediately adjacent to it is a bike/ped path that stretches from about a half mile south of Pier 70 down to a point about even with the Kingdome.
  4. Burke-Gilman Trail: Of the places I skated in Seattle, this was by far the best. I'm not quite sure where the western end of the trail is located, but the easiest place to find it is where it crosses Fremont Ave. right on the north side of the Fremont Bridge over the Washington Canal. (At this point it's only a bike lane marked on the road.) From here it heads eastward along the canal, along the north side of Lake Union, and past Husky Stadium on the UW campus. Beyond there it begins to wend its way a little inland, but breaks back out to follow the NW edge of Lake Washington just beyond Magnuson Park. This was about as far as I followed the trail, but it is supposed to continue further north along the lake, and then turn eastward to go through Bothell, and eventually terminate after something like 30 miles near the Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville. This trail has many good views, a little bit of topography, and what I considered a surprisingly low level of traffic. It was also the only place in Seattle that I ever saw a blader on five-wheel racing skates. The only real problem with this trail is that although it crosses residential streets somewhat frequently, it doesn't often get near a 7-11 where I could grab a Gatorade.
    BTW, if you're in the downtown area, it's easy to get to the BG trail by just following Dexter Ave. north. This road has bike lanes on both sides and the slope of the hill provides a good but not murderous workout.
  5. UW campus: Although there aren't any official skating routes (that I noticed) on campus, this is a pleasant place. There's lots of topography, some flats (Red Square!) and streets which all seemed to have been recently paved.
  6. Other trails: There are several other official bike/ped paths in Seattle, and skaters would be well-advised to purchase a street map which has them marked. One trail I plan to try the next time I'm in town runs along the west side of Lake Washington south of Lake Union. It looks to be pretty long, and also offers access to a bike/skating lane on the floating bridge to Mercer Island.

Summation: On a scale of 1 to 5, skating Seattle was about a 3.

From: (Mathew Hendrickson WAS Seattle)
Date: 10 Oct 1994 22:52:07 GMT

Three places that I know of:

  1. Burke-Gilman trail: It starts at Gasworks park (north end of Lake Union), goes northeast through the south and east side of the UW campus, then heads north to the north end of Lake Washington (Log Boom park, about 12 miles from Gasworks park), where it connects with:
  2. Sammamish Slough trail: It starts at Marymore park and heads north along the Sammamish Slough trail to the north end of Lake Washington, where it connects with the Burke-Gilman trail. From Marymore park to Gasworks park is about 25 miles.
  3. Greenlake: This is not a place to get a workout; there are too many people walking on the trail during daylight hours. It is only for easy blading unless you plan to go at 3 am (some people do).

There are also various parking lots (the NOAA parking lot at Sand Point is a good one).

From: (Frank Hansche)
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 1994 14:28:23 GMT

Jann E VanOver ( wrote:

[...] there's a couple good trails in the South End, near the South Center Shopping Mall. Just east of S. Center, along the west side of the Green River, there's a nice trail. It has rather a lot of walkers at lunch time (being near many office complexes) but is nearly empty in the afternoon. Smooth pavement, relatively scenic.

And, about 1/4 mile west of there, under a powerline, is the Interurban trail. Many many miles of nearly unused trail.

The Green River Trail starts in Tukwila, runs south to Kent and ends at the Riverbend Golf Course. It's a good trail but parts of it are on little used roads. So, you may have to share it with cars.

The Interurban Trail runs south through the Kent Valley to Pacific. I have not yet skated it, but have seen many skaters on it. It is very underused and looks to be a great place to skate.

The Soos Creek Trail is east of Kent and is great if you like hills. I have biked this trail but not skated it. Go east up Smith to 256th and continue east until 148th. Turn left until you see a small county park. You can access the trail from there.

From: Amy Ryan (
Date: Mar 22 1995

In Seattle Washington, there is a small extreme park that is pretty much indoors.. The park is covered, but has fenced sides. It does stay dry during rain though. The park is called Bellevue Skate Park and it on 40th and Bellevue-Redmond in Bellevue. The park has a variety of quarter pipes and grind boxes and is being remodelled to incorporate a half pipe. The club is on the very bottom of the big log-cabinish health club. It's next door to the YMCA. If you can't find the club, try calling Gravity Sports in Renton for directions..


See Coeur d'Alene, ID for information about the Centennial Bike Trail which extends east from Riverside State Park.



From: (Amy Ryan)
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 09:29:49 -0500

Wyoming is not a hotbed of skating activity. As a matter of fact when I skated in Cheyenne, i got some pretty strange looks as if they hadn't seen inlines before. In Cheyenne there is a park with a trail across from the airport. I forget its name, but its the one with the buffalo and antelope zoo.. ask anyone in town and they can most likely point you to it.

Downtown Cheyenne has some nice sidewalks and small stairs near the capital building.. just don't skate on the sidewalks by the new library, they don't like that too much. Indoors there is a roller rink next door to the pizza hut and bingo hall. I can't remember the name of it, but from the airport, take dell range road to the mcdonalds and turn right. go down that street for 3-7 blocks and it will be on the right hand side.

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