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Skate FAQs: Where to Skate - Central North America

Where to Skate - Central North America

Last modified: Monday, July 22, 1996

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Date: Unknown

There are cycle paths which go both north and south of the "loop" (the downtown), along Lake Michigan. I have skated up north, starting at Lincoln Park. I have also skated through the downtown both on sidewalks and the streets, although, not during the business day (too many cars). From downtown, a nice skate is up Clark Street north to Wrigley Field. This is an interesting area, with used book/CD stores, etc. You can judge distance based on address numbers: 800/mile. For more information on where to skate (and not too), call the folks at Londo Mondo (sorry, but I can not remember the address). Remember, Chicago does have some really bad neighborhoods. For example, I would not go west of Wells, in the area around Division Street.

From: thomasd@tt726.NoSubdomain.NoDomain (Tom Depke)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 17:21:22 GMT

[...] is there anywhere REALLY cool to skate around Chicago? I've read the FAQ about places to skate in Chicago but didn't see anything really there?

It depends on the type of skating you are looking for. Is it speed, tricks, or scenary? I like the lakefront down by the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium for tricks and further north for scenary. The problem is that it gets too crowded in peak hours and you can not get a good workout in. So for that I go to Busse woods 53 & Golf. There is a smooth bike path which goes for 8 miles and never seems to get too crowded.

From: (Fred Snyder)
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 1994 22:07:28 GMT

Having recently moved to Schaumburg, IL, I have discoverd the Busse Woods bike path, in Rolling Meadows. Best accessible from Higgins just east of 290, it's a 7.8 mile loop through surprisingly scenic terrain with a good surface, not too crowded, frequent water pumps, everything I could ask for except perhaps getting rid of the bicycles. It's no Lake Shore Drive, but now that I've moved to the 'burbs, it will do quite nicely. It still irks me that I have to drive somewhere to skate.

From: (Ana G. Langlois)
Date: 24 Oct 1994 01:40:16 GMT

First of all, Chicago is a huge metro area. So if you mean downtown Chicago I'll tell you that one of the hottest places is along the lake shore. My wife and I were there today. We had a little skate. It was a lot of fun. It was real windy. Good work out. Thousands of people enjoy walking, soccor. rugby, running, bike riding, softball, kite flying, etc., etc., etc.

Park and skate. If you come in from the south, park around the Field Museum or the Shedd Aquarium and skate north along the lake. From the north parking may be easier. There are parks everywhere that have parking. The multi use trail is good, but not perfect.

In the northwest burbs there is a vert park. I forgot the name. I think it's in Hoffman Estates.

Pick up a copy of Windy City Sports (free news magazine) you can get it at any sport shop in the downtown area. On Clark Street, north of the loop, there are a bunch of good stores: City Sweats, Londo Mondo, Rainbo. They can tell you where the inline scene really is. Londo Mondo (not on Clark actually) meets once or twice a week for fun skates, outside. Winter will probably put an end to that though.

I hope that helps a little. The thing is that if you are in the northwest burbs (for example) you may not want to fight traffic to go downtown. So call a shop in the area you plan to be (or are) in and ask them for help. If they don't know anything try Londo Mondo, City Sweats or Rainbo.

From: (W. Viseskosin)
Date: 20 Jul 1995 18:45:12 GMT

I skate at North Branch Trail 4-5 times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun). The trail starts at Whealan Pool Forest Preserve (near the intersection of Devon and Milwaukee) and ends at Chicago Botanic Gardens. The trail distance is 20.1 miles. It's not overcrowded even during the weekends (the park might be crowded, but the trail is not.). I usually park my car at Linns Woods (about 1/2 mile east of Dempster and Waukegan in Morton Grove) because it's near my house. I like to skate from there to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

Please check "Chicagoland Trail Guide by Elleen Kelly" out. It's a great book about Trails in Chicagoland.

From: (Timothy Martin)
Date: 9 Jul 1995 00:19:00 GMT

SCRAP (Skateboards Cycles Rollerblades Action Park)

It is in Hoffman Estates, and is part of the Poplar Creek Sports Center complex.

2350 Hassell Rd. (708)-884-0945

Take I-90 Exit at Barrington Road. Go south briefly, then turn left at Hassell Road. Go only one block to a White Hen Pantry on left. Turn left into a parking lot behind the White Hen that serves the sports complex.

Monday closed.
Tuesday thru Friday : One session 5pm to 9pm.
Saturday: Two sessions 1 to 5pm and 5:30 to 9:30pm.
Sunday: Two sessions 11:30 to 3:30pm and 4 to 8pm.

Entrance fee is $5 per session. Some modest package deal also that I forget about now. To use two of the big half-pipes you need to buy a one year "membership" for $20 in addition to entrance fees.

A general mix of freestyle bikers, bladers, and boarders.


From: (Clueless)
Date: Unknown

The [UIUC] Quad is a good place to do laps and play tag. (a group of us play almost every night starting between 9 and 9:30)

The north quad has some nice stairs and a couple fountains to skate over when the water is turned off. Assembly hall parking lot and most of the other parking garages are good if you're looking for smooth pavement. (The later are also nice if it's raining :) We've been playing hockey in Assembly Hall parking lot, but there are problems with the sewars swallowing the ball. If anyone knows a better place where a lot of people can play (we had 13 tonight) hockey, please tell.

There's a trail out near Windsor Road made for bikes and blades which is a good place to go if you want to skate distance.

From: (Eric Adams)
Date: 26 Apr 1995 03:54:35 GMT

There are several other places to skate around UIUC.

  1. parking garages are always fun
  2. the philo-Windsor trail/sidewalks
  3. the Champaign city bike trails (to get to these, go south to St. Mary's road, go west, across Neil, hop on the Boulware Trail, then at the end, pick up Devonshire road for a ways until you come upon a trail that goes up through a bunch of Condos, this trail then crosses Mattis and continues west along a creek for quite a ways and ends up at a big park.) I haven't gotten around to finding a way around Devonshire (it is a little bumpy in sections).



From: Fred Pfenninger (
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 95 20:20:53 -0700

In Indianapolis there is a skatepark called TA (Travel Alternatives). It is presently located at 25th and Arlington, but in October [1995] it will be moving about a mile from there. They have an 8 foot pipe, two 6's with a spine, a quarter pipe, and a wedge. In Oct. they will be getting a lot more stuff. The cost to skate is $5.00 for the day. Check it out!

From: (Gary Schmitt)
Date: Unknown

Anyone wishing to skate during some bad winter weather is invited to Indianapolis to skate at the RCA Dome. For those not familar with the dome-type skating thing, it's done indoors on the concourse (the circumferential hallway behind the stands). This makes for a smooth, 1/3 mile circuit, with just a few relatively mild expansion joints for excitement.

There are usually a fair number of beginers within the group of rec skaters and there are always speed skaters training as well. The Indy Inliners have club night on Wednesdays, 5-9 p.m., whenever the Dome is open on Wednesdays. This season, most Wednesdays are skate dates, but call (317)824-DOME beforehand. There are also many other skating dates on the schedule, so call to check.



Date: Thu, 25 May 1995 09:24:00 -0500

Iowa State University, Ames, IA
The campus area in Ames is really the only decent place to skate in Ames. Head to the library and Durham center area and you'll probably see a bunch of us hanging out jumping off of the ledges there. During the summer the parking lots of the dorm parking lots are nice also. Towers and Maple- Willow-Larch are mostly empty in the summer. A new skateshop just opened on Lincoln Way in campus town(Skatesport) which is nice to have.

Skate West in Des Moines has Inline Hockey leagues several nights a week.

Iowa City

From: Jason D. Lycke (
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 09:09:18 -0500

For those that are into recreational/distance/excercise skating, check out City Park on the north end of town. It's got a lot of good paths right next to the beautful (sort of) Iowa River. If you're into street/extreme skating, the U of Iowa campus isn't a bad place to go. Check out the IMU (Iowa Memorial Union) and the Pentacrest, and skate through the ped mall once just for fun. Also, I've heard that some people skate in front of Currier Residence Hall, but I've never been there myself.



From: (Dianne Marsh)
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 13:29:31 GMT

It really depends on where you are going in Detroit. I recommend the "metro" parks in the suburbs. If you are staying in the city, the closest metro park will (probably) be Metro Beach, ... nice because the path briefly goes along the water, but flat. One of my favorite metro parks is Stony Creek (trail: 6 miles), which is about 30 miles north of the city near Rochester/Utica. If you are visiting farther to the west, Kensington Metro Park (near Milford/Brighton) has 8 miles of very hilly paved trails. Both Stony and Kensington encircle small lakes.

If you visit one of the metro parks, you can pick up a map (free) which describes all of them. The map describes which parks have paved trails and includes probably the best street map of the metro Detroit area.

I believe that the entry fee is $3 daily or $15 for an annual pass. The pass allows entry to any of the Huron-Clinton Metro Parks. I think that Tuesday is "free" day.

For more information on the Huron-Clinton Metro Parks, call 1-313-227-2757. The phone book also lists 2 toll free numbers, but they are under "Metropark Golf Courses". Try them if you like: 800-234-6534, 800-477-2757.

From: (Larry Sylvain)
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 1996 14:10:33 -0500

I didn't see a mention of Indian Springs metropark in White Lake, MI in any of the "where to go" listings. Indian Springs has an eight mile ashphalt bike trail (approx. 4 feet wide) that runs through the woods in a river headwaters area. It costs $3.00/day or $15.00/year for entry, which includes entry to all other Detroit area metroparks. The surface is smoth to moderate with very few wide cracks and is cleaned regularly. There is an approximate 1/2 mile gradual hill at the course start/end making for a nice, fast start and a good workout on the way back. Be sure to wear sunglasses as the trail goes through the woods and there are bugs! There is ample parking and, as a bonus, a way-cool playground area near the parking area for the kids and a set of nature trails about a half-mile away from the parking area (a nice, romantic walk to cool down after blading). Indian Springs is my personal favorite as a roller blade site.

Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 17:07:23 -0400

There are two indoor rinks for inline skating in the detroit metro area. The first is U.S. Blades located in West Bloomfield (810) 661-4200 which has many times in which you can skate along with being able to play hockey, get instructions on how to skate and your also able to rent the rink for private functions. The second is Joe Dumars field house located in Shelby Township (810) 731-3080. This facility is used for inline hockey along with housing other sports such as basketball and beach volleyball. Your able to rent the rink out for hockey only.



If you want a really great place to rollerblade, Minneapolis opens up the Metrodome to rollerbladers only (I'm not sure about during the summer, but they do this all winter). It's about a half-mile (I think) circle of the smoothest concrete you've ever been on. There are two separate levels, one for serious rollerbladers and one for "the family." A "must-blade" if you're ever in the area.

From: phil dudero (pdudero@ATK.COM)
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 95 00:06:15 -0500

I [...] was shocked to see that the Metrodome was the only mention for skating in Minnesota! This is really only true when the Twins aren't playing baseball (assuming the activity they are engaged in presently can be called that ;-). And as far as that goes it's around $5 dollars for a skate (extra for equipment rental), 1/4-mile of smooth concourse for one circuit (if I remember correctly), with two levels, the upper level for faster skaters. Unless you've got someone to talk to I find it boring after a short while, but what else are you going to do on a cold winter night? Don't answer that!

When the snow isn't on the ground the place to skate in Minneapolis is around the chain of lakes southwest of downtown. During the summer Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake of the Isles are hopping with activity. Walkers/runners have their own trail around these lakes, skaters and bikers share a one-way paved trail. There are several skate rental shops within a couple blocks east of Calhoun on Lake Street.

For a longer skate, one can hop off the trail at the southeast corner of Harriet and take Minnehaha parkway all the way to and around Lake Nokomis and back. The trail is two-way, more varied in quality, and quite scenic, with a couple steep hills, some street crossing, and pedestrians and dogs to watch out for.

Another alternative is the set of trails on either side of the Mississippi, from the U of M down to the Ford Parkway bridge (and beyond, at least on the St. Paul side). I haven't skated these trails, but from biking I remember varied trail conditions (two-way, sometimes combined, sometimes separated) and quite scenic overlooks (especially in fall).


St. Louis

Date: Tue, 27 Sep 1994 01:33:19 GMT

For anyone looking to skate in St. Louis, the bike path in Forest Park is the premier place. Forest Park is the central west end, bounded by Hiway 40 on the south, Kighshighway on the east, Skinker on the west, and Lindell on the north. It's 10km around and consists of a nice mix of hills, curves, and flats. The bike path follows the outside edge of the park.

One warning, though, the city is redoing the asphalt streets all over the park and some roads the bike path crosses may be grooved in preparation for new blacktop. There are also some road crossings where hills empty onto roads. I go early on the weekends to avoid major crowds although this will be less of a problem as the weather cools.

From: (David L. Webb)
Date: 5 Jul 1995 17:24:51 GMT

Forest Park (where the Central West End area of St. Louis, Clayton, and University City meet) has a 10K paved bike path which affords really great skating. The path is plenty wide, and if you skate it clockwise (start out near the main entrance to the Washington University campus, across the highway from the tree-lined drive leading to the main steps of Brookings Hall, then head east along the long straightaway towards the Jefferson Memorial), there are not even any downhills which would cause you problems -- going that direction, all the downhills have adequate visibility and plenty of runout before road crossings. The only hill requiring any caution at all is the one near the zoo -- it's not that steep, but there's a chain link fence on your right, so there's no good place to bail out in the event of oblivious bicyclists, or people pushing baby carriages up the hill three abreast and not looking where they're going, so make sure that oncoming traffic is aware of you before you start down (I've seen some bad wipeouts there, but all preventable). If you go at the right time of day (weekday mornings are best), it's also not very crowded. It's by far the best place I know of in the St. Louis area to skate!



From: usr2210a@tso.uc.EDU (Stewart Rowe)
Date: Unknown

Two bike/hike trails near Cincinnati are also used by rollerbladers.

The Little Miami trail follows an old railroad bed for 22 miles, from Milford, OH to Morrow OH, largely following the Little Miami National Scenic River. Grades are very mild. There is a 6-8 ft. paved trail and a parallel grass trail for horses. The best access, with parking, plumbing, and skate rental in season, is at Loveland, mile 9. There are similar facilities at Morrow (no rentals). Access at Milford is difficult; one must cross a major US highway at a nasty intersection. The Little Miami Trail is to be extended another 9 miles north to Fort Ancient during the 1994-5 fiscal years, if the budget holds.

Weekend use is very heavy, with walkers, runners, bikers, baby carriages, dogs etc., especially near Loveland. One would be wise to start at Morrow during summer weekend afternoons. Better, pick a cold December morning!

On the west side of the city, the county park district has recently opened an 8-mile paved loop, at Miami Whitewater Park (we have two Miami Rivers, Great and Little). This trail is used by walkers, bicycles and skaters. Though mostly level, it has some grades requiring reasonable skill. The parking area has toilets, food and skate-rental concessions in season. An overlapping inner trail loop is heavily used, but most of the larger loop sees little foot or bike traffic. Some lightly-traveled nearby roads are used by cyclists, but I've never seen skaters on roads in southwest Ohio--I expect any law officer would find some reason to tell them to get off.

From: (Donn Lee)
Date: 24 Feb 1995

Lunken Airport off Hwy 50 on the east side of town is popular with trail and trick skaters alike. The 10k (6.2 mile) paved loop around this municipal airport/golf course has some small inclines and serves cyclists and joggers, in addition to skaters.

The real attraction at Lunken is the 10-foot half-pipe however. The pipe has a smooth, stainless, sheet metal surface supported by a wooden frame. Platforms on each side of the pipe are fairly roomy allowing for breaks and trick discussions. Getting to the platforms at the top is easy via stairs in back of the pipe. A metal coping on the top edge of the pipe is excellent for stalls and handstands. The pipe is also excellent for learning: there is about 13 feet of flat at the bottom of the pipe and the regulars are always willing to help someone new (one only needs to get over the intimidation of the 3-4 feet of vert). The trough itself is approximately 25 feet long. Most folks inline the pipe, but skateboarders and BMX'ers also show up. Guys, gals, adults, kids, they all skate it. Mini-bleachers provide ground-level seating for observers, friends, and medical personnel (haha!). In addition to the half-pipe, there is a mini- skate park with quarter-pipes, obstacles, and ramps. Admission to the pipe and skate park is $2/day. The pipe is open everyday during the summer and on the weekends spring and fall. A helmet is required. Be sure to say hi to regulars Rob (who got 3rd place at Nationals), Bryan, Erica, Donn, and Dan.


The best places to skate in the Dayton area are on the bike paths. Bike, joggers, and skaters (bladers? :) coexist as long as the cardinal rule is followed: bike right: skate/run/walk left.

The River Corridor is approximately 13 miles long, including street connectors (not many). Parts are in dire need of paving, but the run from W. Carrollton to the Carillon Tower is fairly decent, and free of pedestrians for the most part. There is a steel bridge that is best walked across near W. Carrollton. Whitman's Bike Shop (in W. Carrollton) is a good place to meet, get repairs, etc.

The Xenia-Yellow Springs bike path is 6 miles long, gently sloping up to the north. It's an excellent way to build up your endurance by skating hard north, then working on turns, spins, etc. back south. Fairly straight. Note: there have been problems with exhabitionists on this path. Do not skate alone. Young's Dairy is near the Yellow Springs terminus, and is a great way to put on the pounds you just worked off :).

Planned additions to these routes include the Beavercreek connector (connecting the River Corridor and Xenia-Yellow Springs) and the completion of the Xenia-Yellow Springs path south to Morrow, Ohio. The N-S path would then run from Cincinnati to Xenia. The River Corridor will eventually be extended south to Hamilton, near Cincinnati. The bike/skate/run paths would then form a giant H across south-west Ohio, encompassing more than a hundred miles of paved paths! You can help speed up the process by contributing to your local/state "Rails to Trails" organizations.

From: (MVInliner)
Date: 25 Jun 1995 10:22:54 -0400

They have just completed a section of trail between Spring Valley, OH and Corwin, OH . Actually the trail extends about 3 miles north of Spring Valley to Hedges Road and will eventually connect with the Xenia to Yellow Springs trail (9 miles) that already is in use. From Spring Valley, the trail passes under S.R. 42 and winds its way South through the woods and some farm country for about 7 miles to Corwin. The surface is extremely smooth asphalt and has center lines painted the entire length of the path. The biggest downer is the many small rocks that seem to still remain on the trail.

The trail will eventually tie in with the existing trail from Morrow, OH to Milford, OH. The length will be about 60 miles one way. This part of the project is supposed to be finished by the fall. I'll believe it when I see it. I wanted to pass this info on to all you Ohio bladers and anyone else looking for a new trail to explore. By the way, its a very flat trail the entire length. Hope to see some more of you out there.

From: (Yum Ting Lui)
Date: 28 Jun 1995 14:57:44 GMT

I skated the trail this past Sunday from Corwin to Hedges Road and back. It was flat, smooth, with tree lined on both side for most of the trail. There were some pebbles but the biggest problem for me was the two wooden bridges with spiked iron plate, between Spring Valley and Hedges Road.

                         <- wood
                         <- wood
                         <- wood
      o o o o o o o o
     o o o o o o o o     <- iron plate with 1" rounded spikes
      o o o o o o o o
                         <- wood
                         <- wood


From: (Brian D Walrath)
Date: 7 Jul 1995 20:23:05 GMT

Last night I was told by a park ranger at Sharon Woods that skating was not permitted in any of the metro parks and we should go to Antrim Park. I thought that it was rather strange, since I have skated at Highbanks many times and never had a problem. He said that I should have been told that it was not allowed.

I don't have any problems with Antrim Park other than it being crowded and that it has a flooding problem. I just don't understand why the Metro parks let people, pets and bicycles but do not allow skaters.

From: (Robert Schmidt)
Date: 28 May 1995 19:30:13 -0400

You can go 315 to bethel turn right on olentangy river road and then you'll be at antrim park (rollerblade mecca of the area).

Also, Roller hockey leagues can be had at Sportsite (kenny and henderson), Dublin dekhockey (Across from the Chiller), and the chiller (off 33 on post rd.)


From: (Robert Neinast)
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 1995 02:12:49 GMT (Ronnie (well, actually Kathy) Bianco) says:

We have heard about the bicycle path from Johnstown to Newark, but were told that there are several tree roots crossing the path. Any suggestions of where we can go would be greatly appreciated. Please be specific as to directions.

Don't be put off by that description! I skate the T. J. Evans bike path (for that is the official name of the Johnstown-Newark path) quite regularly and absolutely love it. Yes, there are a few locations where tree roots have buckled the asphalt a bit, but they are easily skated over. Actually, the worst part of the trail is crossing Rte 661 in Granville--it goes through a parking lot for a Purina mill, and is full of gravel--take it slow and easy. The rest of the trail is 14.3 miles of pure joy. There are three major parking lots: one in Johnstown (take Jersey St. NE off Rte. 37), one in Newark (take Rte. 16 east past Granville to Cherry Valley Road; the lot is shortly after Cherry Valley Road crosses River Road--this lot has a drinking fountain), and one lot in the middle at Alexandria (take Racoon Valley Road east from Rte. 37 and park where the trail crosses the road; there is another lot just west of there, but it is impossible to find unless you scout it out from the path; also, Racoon Valley Road is not well marked--that corner also has a street sign for a winery; as you head down that road, you should immediately see the Alexandria Police Station). By the way, the Evans bike path has every quarter mile along it marked. One other thing: Licking County does an abysmal job cleaning up after they mow along the path. If you happen to skate it then, call and complain.

Another excellent path goes through Blackhand Gorge. This one is 4.5 miles long and parallels the Licking River. It has absolutely gorgeous sandstone cliffs along it. I've spotted much wildlife along it too (snakes, deer, chipmunks, woodchucks). Warning: when you reach the sign that says, "Caution: possible high water", slow down. You are about to swing around and do a fast downhill, and if you are not real sure about your braking you will bruise your butt (like I did the first time I came across it--of course now, I just zoom through). It goes over a small creek. Note that if you are a canoer, this is also a fine stretch for that. Directions: take Rte. 16 east out of Newark, turn right onto Rte. 146, and then almost immediately make another right turn onto Toboso Road. The parking lot is just off Toboso Road shortly after you cross the Licking River (go past the river, follow the road as it does a sharp right, and turn right into the lot).

Mt. Vernon

Date: Wed, 01 Nov 1995 09:54:44 -0500 (EST)

A great place to skate in Ohio is the Kokosing Gap Trail. This trail is located about one hour northeast of Columbus. Built on an abandoned railroad right of way, it is 14 miles long, paved, 10-foot wide, with water fountains every four miles and benches every one-half mile. The Trail follows the Kokosing River for four miles and 10 miles of rolling farmland. You'll cross two railroad bridges each more than 250 feet long. Absolutely beautiful scenery and a well-maintained trail. Rest rooms are available in Mount Vernon and Gambier, although all water on the Trail is turned off mid-November to mid-April.

If you would like information on the Kokosing Gap Trail, please contact Phil Samuell at or 614.587.6267.



From: "Marc Foster" (
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 12:45:46 -0600 (CST)

I suggest the OU campus. It has become increasingly skater-friendly the past three or four years. Nearly all the upheaved sidewalk seams have been graded flush to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (if we fall over skating on them, chances are it's hard to get a wheelchair over it, too). Not much in the way of slopes, unless you try the parking ramps, or even better, the ramps for the football stadium. Fall can be a problematic season, since the leaves and acorns don't get cleaned up regularly.



From: ax798@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Stan Krogh)
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 1994 12:53:15 GMT

If you are just interested in a flat skate take the ferry across to Center can skate on a wide road without car traffic from one end of the island to the other - about 5 miles one way.

From: (Dan Hogg)
Date: 16 Sep 1994 18:48:22 GMT

I just returned from Toronto yesterday and was able to get in a couple of evening skates while I was there. I stayed downtown at the Sheraton, so only know about that area. First, skating isn't allowed on the street (this is a recent ordinance) except along the side of the street marked for bikes. Not all streets have these. Second, the sidewalks are pretty crummy, with lots of cracks and, of course, each section seems to be set at a difference height, making the ride gnarly.

On the other hand, people on the sidewalk expect the unexpected, so skaters are viewed as part of the scene. I saw about a dozen skaters out each time I was out. Off Bay Street (Avenue ?) are lots of people out just wandering around that you have to watch for. They like to watch you too! There's a big street scene that has all kinds of people out gawking and being gawked.

Queen Street is an artsy area with pretty cool people, but the sidewalks suck and at night, all the businesses put their garbage out on the sidewalk for pickup.

Around City Hall, it says no skating, but I found the cops didn't enforce it. They were watching me jump the park benches and never said a word. The benches, BTW, have no backs, so if you can jump, you'll have no trouble getting over them. I wasn't doing any grinds or rails, so that may be why no hassles.

Oh, one more out for the trolley tracks - they are everywhere when you least want them and several side by side, so I couldn't get over them in a single jump. Have fun!

From: (Jonathan Singer)
Date: 17 Sep 1994 17:09:02 GMT

Greg Franks ( wrote:

My brother recommends Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery has been considered one of the best places to skate. Two more suggestions:

  1. The Beaches. It's a nice area, with a very nice, very long boardwalk running along Kew(?) Beach. You can find it around Queen St, heading to the far east (check a subway may and it should be pretty clear, if you don't have a tour guide).
  2. The Don Valley. Well, there's basically this big, long park system that runs parallel to the Don River and Don Valley Parkway. It extends from North York (Sunnybrook Park) down to the Beaches. I've ridden about 10 km along the park system, and had very few complaints. I will mention one thing though: it's very easy to take a wrong turn and end up in East York. So either travel with a friend, ask directions quite frequently, or E-mail me, and I'll try to give you a more specific route. Keep in mind though that the park system would take about the entire afternoon, and it's largely about scenery more than intense skating. (Last point: if in the parks, go north to south - I've heard that doing it the other way can be quite the workout).

From: bu567@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Eric Gee)
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 1995 03:02:40 GMT

If you are ever in the Toronto, southern Ontario area, here is a list of cool places to skate...

  1. High Park, just west of Toronto. A fairly large sized park in the middle of the city. This Oasis of Toronto has many paved roads and some very challenging hills. The park is used by many cyclists, runners, and in-line skaters. Every Sunday (during the spring and summer), the Toronto In-Line Skating Club practices around what is now known as the Grenadier loop, which is an aprox. 1 km loop in the heart of the park.
  2. The Martin Goodman Trail, if your into endurance skates, this trail is way too short for any serious skating. This trail is listed in the back of one of Rollerblade's skate manuals. In my opinion, the trails are too narrow and usually too crowded for any kind of serious skating. The advantages of this trail is the pavement. It is very, very smoooothhhhh. When the horse- back police patrols and the cyclists and runners have gone home for the day, the trail becomes a speed devils playground.
  3. The newly developed lakefront trail. This trail runs from Burlinton Ontario all the way to Trenton (I think thats around 350 or so km). It incorporates all currently existing trails into one huge network connection. I have cycled parts of the trail and they are still kind of under construction. If you choose to skate the trail watch out for the sections covered in loose gravel and sand.
  4. Toronto Skydome. Home of the skydome fitness club. The club has a winter season training area on the 500 level of the skydome. The track is a gradual circle running along the perimeter of the dome. The pace in there can be devilishly fast. Imagine skating along a glass smooth surface with no headwinds in a tunnel running almost straight, 20 feet wide.

From: (Douglas Champigny)
Date: 27 Jan 95 01:43:42 GMT

If you can make it to Toronto this winter, try the skating at the Skydome. Ready-to-Roll runs open skating every Monday-Thursday night, up on the 500 level. This gives you a large oval around the entire seating area, and is high enough to continue when other events are down below.

From: Unknown
Date: Early 1995

For all you extreme inline skaters..... RAMPAGE INDOOR SKATE PARK

Featuring three monstrous half-pipes, including the Frankenstein! Also several ramps, jumps, grinding bars, and much more!!

4100 Chesswood Drive
North York, M3J 2B9
(416) 633-1334

Weekends 10 am - 6 pm
Tues-Fri 4:30 pm - 10 pm

Call for more information.



The flattest city on earth. If you want hills, your only choice is to sneak into the parking decks downtown at night, This is rather common - just skate upward until the dweeb (they all are) security cop asks you to leave. Skate out.

Street skating is allowed in Houston. Be reasonable. I've heard from reliable sources that street skating is now officially legal, but can't be positive.

Downtown. Very popular with skaters. In the spring through november, Thursday nights are "the" skating nights downtown after the "Party on the Plaza" (weekely free outdoor concerts downtown). There's also a few skaters on weekend afternoons. Some of the big oil and bank building security types don't like skaters on their marble, even if it is a public sidewalk on a city easement.

The "skater-bar" in Houston is the Brewery Tap, on Franklin (one of the northernmost eastwest streets downtown). Its also the major hangout for the Urban Animals, Houston's famous "skater-gang". The Animals organize skates on a semiregular basis - just join them on a Thursday night at the Tap - they're a friendly bunch. In the past, they also met at the old convention center (across from Jones Plaza) on Wednesdays and Sundays for hockey.

Stop by the Montrose Skate Shop (on Stanford between W. Gray and Clay). The owner is a longtime experienced skater who knows a lot about Houston and the national skate scene. Don't let the appearance of the house/shop scare you :) If there's any official skating event or something sponsored by the Animals going on (like the Labor Day pub crawl) he'll adverstise it in his shop.

Memorial Park is very popular on weekends. Its got a smooth 1+ mile loop. On a given weekend day, there will be 50+ skaters, maybe more. Racers and beginners alike skate there. Lots of bike racers too, so give them room. On weekdays the "picnic loop" (where the skater/bikers go) is closed to automobiles, making it even better.

Rice University has a smooth loop (~1 mile) around the campus. Several shops use Rice for lessons, and the loop is popular with beginners. Experienced skaters often stop by for a few laps, and grab a beer at Valhalla (grad student pub, open every day but Saturday 4pm-2am with 50 cent draught beers and 2.50 pitchers).

Houston has lots of bike trails. Some are in terrible shape, others are pretty good. I reccomend the Braeswood Bayou trail only west of Buffalo Speedway. East of there it really start falling into severe disrepair. Its not obvious where you can park to get access to the trail, which is over 10 miles long. Some of the neighborhoods along South Brasewood have roads along the Bayou, park at one. The trail along Buffalo Bayou is OK, but during rainy season (late fall and winter) the off-road portions through the park get washed over with sand. Not fun.

On some weekend afternoons, the city of Houston closes Allen Parkway for about a one mile stretch along the park along Buffalo Bayou. Nice stretch of pavement just for bikers, skaters, baby carriages, etc.

From: Rob Butera (
Date: Unknown

Excerpts from the Houston skating FAQ (Last updated 09/27/1993):

Skating is "street-legal" within the Houston city limits, barring roads that are banned to bicycles (the only example I can think of is a short stretch of Memorial Drive). However, don't be an idiot. Just because you're allowed to skate on a road does not mean its a good idea. A few rules of thumb:

  1. Yield to cars. It keeps street skating legal by not pissing off motorists, and they weigh a lot more anyway.
  2. Stay off the busy roads in the daytime. Be well lit at night (buy a Vista Lite or two at a bike or skate shop).
  3. Houston's lack of zoning is convenient for skaters. It means that many well traveled roads have other less traveled roads running parallel to them through neighborhoods. Some of the "well-paved" roads used a lot by skaters include Dunlavy (good North-South route), Hawthorne (good connection between Montrose and downtown), and the middle "skater lane" (i.e. car turning lane) on W. Alabama - but only use this after daily business hours.
  4. Obey the speed limit. This may sound funny, but cops in West University have nothing better to do, and I know bikers and skaters who have been warned.
  5. The Texas Medical Center is private property and skating is not allowed on its "interior" roads. This has been verified with UT and TMC police. I know of a skater who has been pulled over, by a TMC cop, flashing lights and siren :) :) :)

Where to Skate

Rice University
Good for beginners. The inner loop around campus is about a mile, and a lot of newbies from West U. flock there on Saturday mornings in the Spring and Summer. You can also skate the stadium when it is open for football practice.

West University
A nice quiet community near Rice - most of the east-west roads were paved in the past year. Don't speed - they'll get you. Its easy to get above 15 MPH on their smooth pavement.

Downtown and Vincinity
Downtown is fun. A lot. You can find skaters downtown almost any night of the week, although Thursday and Saturday seem to be the most popular. There are numerous downtown bars that skaters often meet up at (See below). Things to do/see include:

Memorial Park
The "picnic loop" is another popular spot. On weekdays, it is closed off to car traffic. This loop is popular to bikers and skaters alike. When skating on weekdays, stay out of the way of the bikers and skaters "in training" - a lot of racers work out here.

Other Neighborhoods / Hills?
Montrose has some good roads, and some terrible ones. The closest thing to hills that you'll find is around the Heights - i.e. roads like White Oak, Studemont, etc. all near Buffalo Bayou. The biggest "hill" in Houston (to my knowledge) is the the Houston Ave. overpass over I-10.

Hermann Park
I used to tell people it stinks and not to waste your time. However, there are now (relatively) new 6 foot wide cement paths throughout the park that are great for skating, especially beginners. Still not as long or scenic as Memorial, but good for beginners or a lazy skate on a sunny afternoon. Watch out for pedestrians and mothers with baby carriages ... The Miller Amphitheatre offers a sad excuse for a hill ...

Braeswood Bayou Bike Trail
Park on Lookout Court, which is off of S. Braeswood just west of Buffalo Speedway. You can take the bike trail from Buffalo Speedway west to Chimney Rock (about 3.5 miles). The trail actually goes west as far as Fondren and east as far as U of H, but the pavement quality is much worse west of Chimney Rock or east of Buffalo Speedway. Take note: if you want to head west past Chimney Rock, the trail looks like it ends. It doesn't - you have to cross the bridge (i.e. skate on Chimney Rock Rd.) over the Bayou, where the trail continues on the other side of the bayou. I find this to be a nice "6 PM workout" before heading home, and you can skate into the sunset :)

Buffalo Bayou Trail
Good for mountain bikes. Bad for skaters. It COULD be the best outdoor skating trail in Houston (lots of slight hills and curves), but whenever it rains significant portions of the trail get washed over with sand. The bike path between the parking lots along Allen Parkway and downtown (via Tranquility Park) are in great shape, however.

If you actually have a reason to go way out there, the trails are pretty fun, and there are lots of them. Beware of sharp curves with bikers coming around them from the other direction ...

Skater Friendly Establishments
Surprisingly, most restaurants and bars are skater-friendly, especially in the downtown and Montrose areas. One big demand is for late night food downtown. Two options are Pat's & Pete's Blues Burgers (on Market Square) and Mai's (Vietnamese, on Milam). Both are skater-friendly and open till 4 AM on Fri. and Sat. nights. Other known skater-friendly bars/restaurants/clubs/coffee-houses in Houston include: Warren's, Birraporetti's, Toads, Power Tools, Brewery Tap, Fuzzy's, Cecil's, Emo's, Bitterman's, W. Alabama Ice House, 321 Alabama, Blue Iguana, Brazil, Cafe Artiste, Grif's, Catal Huyuk, House of Pies, McDonald's, Gingerman, Volcano (though I think the crowd was annoyed by our presence), Valhalla, ..... I'm sure there's many I'm forgetting ...

From: (Dwayne Jacques Fontenot)
Date: Unknown

These are the standard answers and my thoughts on them:

Rice University
To hear people talk and to read articles in the local newspapers one would think that Rice University is some great place to skate. Well, I know a thing or two about the Rice campus, and I simply do not understand this. Rice possible places to skate:

The "inner loop": Sure, this is a smooth asphalt loop, but it is a road. It is for cars. The speed limit is 15mph, but some drivers regularly travel at up to 60mph. Traffic is not as heavy as say, Main Street, but it is heavy enough. I guess if you don't mind the cars, and don't get easily bored with the loop, and like to skate into Valhalla for a beer, then this is for you, but it's not for me.

The sidewalks: No way. Rice sidewalks are "pebbled paths". That is, really smooth, bumpy pebbles held in place by concrete. This stuff is so slippery, that it is difficult to ride a bike on it (though technically one is not allowed to bike on it, so one probably cannot skate on it either).

The Rice Stadium lot: Please wait while I stop laughing. This lot is like an exploded mine field. One must be very careful when driving a car over this surface. There are gigantic holes everywhere, and the surface is not smooth at all.

The Rice Bike Track: Not an option. This is a bike track. It is for bicycles. It is not for skaters. Skaters should not skate on it. Bikers use the bike track to train on. It is extremely difficult to ride around the track at training speeds while there are skaters on it. Experts will tell you the worst accidents happen when there is the greatest disparity in speed of the vehicles. That is the case with bikes and skates. Imagine what a biker thinks when he comes up behind a skater who is stroking his legs out to the left and right. It is only a matter of time (IMHO) before skating becomes illegal on the bike track, if it is not already.

The Rice stadium: This is a slight possibility. There are several concrete ramps which could be fun, but they are quite steep. If one could get in, it might be a fun place to skate, but once again, it is probably not allowed.

hmmmmm. We asked one person where to skate downtown, and they said, "anywhere is fine". Yeah, rite. Anywhere is fine as long as it is on the sidewalks. And the sidewalks don't excite me. There are several cool plazas which are the property of large corporations. However, the security guards will not let you skate there. I guess they don't want to be sued, and I don't blame them.

So, where do people skate downtown which is not on the streets (lots of cars)?

Memorial Park
I have no information. Anyone out there know good places to skate in Memorial Park?

Hermann Park
This is the best place I have found so far, but that is only relatively. There are lots of people with baby carriages. Most of the time people on the sidewalks will hear you coming and move aside, but usually the sidewalks are filled with clumps of people every 20 feet. At least there are no cars. My current fun thing to do is to skate around the manmade lake, including over the wooden humpback bridge :-) but, inlines are so "new" there that everybody stares. Admittedly, things are better on weekdays, but most people work on weekdays :-(

From: Robert Schmunk (
Date: Jan 1994

The Rice stadium lot has been referred to as a minefield, but this is no longer entirely true. Part of it was repaved in late 1993, but unfortunately it is also the part that is closest to the music building. Consequently, any skater who ventures into this temptingly smooth area is going to have to learn how to play dodge with cars pulling into or out of parking spaces. The drivers of these cars only check to see if there are large vehicles which might crash into them, not 150-lbs skaters. This area might be more skateable on weekends, but then you'll have to put with teen-agers getting driving lessons from mom and dad.

From: (John Guynn)
Date: Unknown

One of my favorite places to skate is Cullen Park. It's down I-10 toward San Antonio. If you can get directions to the Velodrome (sp?) it's close to there. There's a 5km bike trail that makes for a great skate.

If you're closer to the Pasadena area go by Strawberry Park. There's a 1 mile path around the park. You're not supposed to skate on it but the park "closes" at 10pm and the park officials have told me they don't care if you skate on it after then.

From: (JNLuciano)
Date: 29 Jun 1995 22:23:02 -0400

If you are on the south east side there is a nice park to skate at called Frankie Carter park in Friendswood. This is south on I-45 and off of hwy 2351 heading into Friendswood. Both are visible on local maps.

Another place I haven't been to but would like to try is the Alek Velodrome. It charges a couple of bucks, but I hear it is a banked oval track with nice smooth surface. It is on the north west side of town.


From: (BobW)
Date: 26 Apr 1995 19:09:33 GMT

Best outdoor place is the Veloway. 3.1 mile paved loop. A couple of modest declines, one steep incline and a couple modest inclines. Take Mo-Pac (1) south past Slaugter about 1/4 mile and turn left.

I've also heard you can skate at austin high on the weekends, but I haven't tried this.

Don't try to skate on UT property; the campus cops will be mad at you, I know :-).

Outdoor covered rink at Skate Across Texas, Ben White about 1/2 mile east of I-35. They have roller hockey leagues you can join, too.

From: (Michael Peter)
Date: 26 Apr 1995 20:35:30 GMT

For Austin skating, try the Veloway (down Mopac past Slaughter). It's a 3 mile course for bikes and skates. Bowie High School is also good (on Slaughter). Don't go down Congress Ave. or down the Drag. Skating's been banned there, for no good reason.

Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington

From: (Shooshie)
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 1995 02:49:05 -0600

Fair Park - (Parry Avenue @ Exposition)
Street skating can be hard to find in Dallas, but it's there; you just have to know where to look. You might find some skaters out on the SMU (Southern Methodist University) campus, but lots of people go to Fair Park, near Deep Ellum, southeast of downtown Dallas, where the Texas Star ferris wheel is visible for miles. It's where the State Fair of Texas is held every October, so nix on that month, but the rest of the year it is slow-paced and quite nice. There are probably square miles of concrete, with fountains, stairs, handrails (which the authorities don't really approve of grinding, so be stealthy...).

In the Starplex Concert arena parking lot, at the southeast end of Fair Park, there is a HUGE hill - maybe the best hill in Dallas. When there is no concert you can have some fun on that sloping parking lot which is several blocks long.

The stairs in Fair Park go from beginner (in front of the Tower building) to expert (the gates to the Cotton Bowl stadium), with little in-between. Ditto the rails. Go in the early evening after the museums close and you'll experience less pedestrian traffic and fewer glowering stares from the patrols. You might even catch a hockey game out front of the Texas Hall of State between the Railroad Museum and The Old Mill Inn. These two places, by the way, are both good parking areas with immediate access to the concrete. This is a great place to practice skating technique in broad, open expanses of concrete with a little landscaping so that it's not like skating in a parking lot.

You'll find skaters out there most days and evenings, but rarely anyone at night. In fact, all of Dallas can be quite dangerous at night - skate at your own risk.

Downtown Dallas (via Deep Ellum from Fair Park)
Fair Park is generally the embarkation point for downtown skating. There are parking areas and Fair Park makes a good warm-up area. People often meet at a bar on Parry Avenue, directly across from Fair Park's main pedestrian entrance at Parry and Exposition Avenue. The bar of choice at this writing is called "Bar of Soap" and has a laundramat in the back. (there are much more attractive bars further into Deep Ellum) Typical dress is cutoff jeans and t-shirts, pierced bodies, tatoos... you know the picture. Just skate into the bar between 6:30 and 7:30, order a beer and wait... if you're lucky a group might gather. Very few people skate downtown alone for reasons you can probably imagine. Weekend evenings seem the most popular times. This is an expert crowd, but you won't find much grinding and really aggro stuff. They just skate hard. I recommend you know Dallas pretty well before trying it or go with someone who does. The environment can be hostile - crowded streets, drunk drivers after dark especially, and not much right-of-way for skaters.

The route follows Exposition Ave. up to Commerce, Elm, or Main streets (or others) which form the general core of the district known as Deep Ellum. This is the hangout where you will find all the clubs, galleries, tattoo shops, and many restaurants (some of them pretty good). As it was not really planned to become what it is, the traffic there can be pretty horrendous - both automobile and pedestrian. Nevertheless, the street skating here is not bad if you know the area.

This is all on the east side of Dallas, so to get to other skatable places like City Hall you have many blocks further west to go. During the day, you can skate through the Farmer's Market area before reaching City Hall. The so-called tourist areas of Dallas - Dealey Plaza (where President Kennedy was shot), and the touristy "West End" with traps like "Planet Hollywood" are clear across downtown from Deep Ellum. Many skaters have found parking garages and stuff to skate in the downtown area, but be forewarned that with the building of Dallas's light rail and subway system, much of downtown is torn up and will present some formidable obstacles at this time (Summer, 95).

From: (Shooshie)
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 05:54:22 -0600

Skating Trails around Dallas
There is a map available at most sporting goods stores in Dallas called "Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex Hike, Bike & Blade Trail Map." It lists about 34 trails and uses little hike, bike and blade icons to show what each trail is good for. All but one are supposedly suitable for inline skating. *Don't believe it.* Most are OK, but...

What could be the greatest trail around - the White Rock Lake trail which winds 10.2 miles around the circumference of the old east Dallas lake - is a mostly asphalt trail that is so badly pitted and broken with sand and gravel traps, not to mention its being narrow, frequented by high-speed bicylists (at least one gets killed there every year), and a menagerie of joggers, walkers, baby carriages, lovers, drunks, sunbathers, and so forth so that it is truly *NOT SKATABLE*. Often it parallels a road known for drunks driving around before or after boating, partying and picnicking at the various parks around the lake. In fact, police have taken to asking bladers to leave. Many newcomers to Dallas feel the let-down of discovering the false promise of this trail, but there are plenty of good trails, so no sad faces for this one.

White Rock Creek Trail
Not to be confused with the White Rock Lake trail is the White Rock Creek Trail, which is one of the finest broad, smooth-concrete trails in the area. This trail splits off from the White Rock Lake trail at the north end of the lake at Lawther and Mockingbird, and traveling north from there, past Northwest Highway, it continues 7.3 miles up to Valley View Lane and Hillcrest with only one major intersection and stoplight at the approximate half-way point. If you don't mind an extra intersection or two, you can stretch the trail into a 15 mile round-trip.

The southern half of the trail begins near the creek's inflow to the lake and is in a boggy area, humid, dank, and densely wooded, like a marsh. Winding under a railroad trestle and through a broad clearing in woods, the smooth concrete trail begins its flat and mostly straight trek (with broad curves) to higher ground along the floodbottoms of its namesake creek. It is scenic in that you would forget that you are in a city except for the occasional underpasses beneath street and highway bridges. The northern half of the trail is hilly with more interesting and varied scenery. Beware of the wooden bridges which often get a busted board after a park vehicle sneaks over them. Also, scissor your skates to avoid a faceplant when the boards warp in the hot sun.

Convenient entry points include a hardly-visible gravel parking area on a curve of Lawther just north of Northwest Highway, a city tennis facility at Abrams and Merriman, and Harry S. Moss Park at Greenville and Royal - which is the half-way point, by the way. From there to the parking lot at Hillcrest and Valley View Lane, the only other convenient entry points are along Park Central Drive, accessible from IH 635. There is also a parking lot at the north end of the trail at Hillcrest and Valley View Lane.

I rate White Rock Creek Trail highly because it allows for good speed, long straight stretches, and the people who frequent it are accustomed to skaters of all speeds. The bikers generally announce when passing, and the trails are mostly wide enough to accommodate the traffic. It is good for advanced beginner to expert skaters. Outside of a pretty good sized hill or two in the northern half, no special skills are required for this trail. The disadvantages are in the heavy traffic, but weekday mornings and late evenings the traffic is very sparse.

Duck Creek Park Trail (Garland, NE Dallas)
Want a fast 4 mile trail with a little challenge to it? (I said "little" challenge... there are no mountains in Dallas.) Duck Creek Park trail in Garland is as good as they come around here. It winds around through a virtual canopy of dense woods and if you like to burn concrete, this one is like a roller-coaster; you'll love putting your crossovers to good use, and it's rarely flat for long so you're pumping up hills and slaloming down (or else you'll be really flying). The concrete is six to eight feet wide and pretty smooth, but about half the trail is jointed every 18 inches which makes for a wavy, snappy rhythm under your feet. Also, you have to deal with sticks, leaves, acorns, and an occasional fallen bough. Here the pedestrians and bicylists just don't have a clue; it's up to you to avoid them and they *will* put you to the test. If you are not an expert at various means of stopping, I urge you to use your heel-brake and control your speed on the hills - many of the hills are blind or have unexpected turns on the way down. Four miles not enough? Do it over and over - I often go 16.4 miles on it. Or... Finish the trail and go back the other way. It's a different skate counter-clockwise. On a good day I just love this trail. It's quick, action filled, and has a few chilling moments if you push it. As it is near marshy ground, skate with your mouth closed unless you include a handful of tiny, hovering bugs in your regular diet. (Ever notice how most trails ARE in areas that flood? oh well... thank goodness for floods or we wouldn't HAVE useless land that they have to turn into parks to avoid being public nuisances.)

This trail is for experienced skaters. Not that a beginner couldn't muddle through it, but if you are just leaving the rink for the first time, I really suggest practicing somewhere else first. You'll need slalom speed control on hills (or ride your brake), crossovers, parallel turns, and quick stops. You need to be comfortable improvising on the unexpected, jumping over limbs, dodging and stopping for toddlers on tiny bikes, and yet skating fast enough to roll on over sticks and rocks which would trip a slow skater. You run the risk of sliding in mud after a big rain, so give it a day or two to dry.

Duck Creek Trail is located at Oates and O'Banion, less than a mile northeast of IH-635 in Garland. Oates is landmarked by a large Nissan dealership (Trophy) and a Burger King. From Oates, go northeast to O'Banion and turn right (east) into the parking lot for Garland's well-known public "Wave Pool." You can skate while the rest of your family swims! *Or* you can continue on Oates to Duck Creek Drive, turn north (left) and find one of the parking lots along that street.

From: (Shooshie)
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 06:13:56 -0600

It's odd that one of the better-equipped indoor skate parks in the country is here in Dallas, and yet so few people in this area actually know about it. Of course, if they did it would probably be even more crowded than it already is... If you visit Dallas next week or anytime, you should make it a point to stop by Rapid Revolutions. It ain't pretty, but the skating is great. There are some people there who, rumor has it, spend more time in the air than on the ground. Ummm... of course, this is Texas. Seriously, I've seen some pretty unbelievable skating there, which is an old tradition already at this park. Here's something I prepared for the FAQ:

Skate Park - Rapid Revolutions
At Stemmons Expressway (IH 35 East) and Northwest Highway, a long way north of Downtown Dallas, there is a great restaurant called Pappadeaux's, quite visible from the highway. If you can get near their parking lot (and manage not to stop and eat!), you are almost to Rapid Revolutions Skate Park, formerly Jeff Phillips, and best known as the place where Arlo practiced vert for a year or so, and very likely to be known in the near future as the home of other champions-to-be.

Take Northwest Highway (Spur 348) west from IH 35 (or east from Loop 12), and turn north on Lombardy. Just keep on going around a curve on Lombardy, past Pappadeaux's, under a highway, and look for a large warehouse with "Skate Park" on a giant plastic or canvas sign stretched over one of the doors. The access from the freeway is a little tricky, so if you don't succeed at first, keep trying.

If I'm not mistaken, there will be scenes in the next Hoax video (or Mad Beef or whatever it will be) which were taken in this place. It is quite a nice indoor skate park with half-pipes ranging from about four feet to twelve feet, a bowl, and all sorts of ramps, quarterpipes, copings, and such. You can pick up your copies of Daily Bread, Inline, and get your aggressive wheels (Senate, Hyper, Cozmo, etc.), Pro Designed pads, and grind plates here. You'll find skateboarders sometimes hogging the ramps, the majority of whom spend most of their time chasing down the board which zinged past your ear at 90 mph. But it's a great place for vert. Go on a weekend afternoon and you'll be humbled by 10 year old vert virtuosos who have no need for the word "humility," and they know it. No... best to go late at night; it's open till 3:00 am Thurs-Sat. In the late hours some of the better skaters are there, sometimes looking more like trapeze artists than vert-skaters. Most of the people are pretty friendly. It's hot in the summer - a couple of giant fans wring some of the sweat from the air as it floats through the huge building like a fog. You can smell a different kind of seriousness here - sweat, determination and pain... and occasionally the smell of burning rubber as a pad once again vents a little smoke while saving an elbow or a knee from a third-degree ramp-rash.

From: (Carlos Javier Vergara)
Date: 4 May 1995 08:15:35 GMT

I go to school at SMU and its great if your looking for rails, stairs and such...but almost all of it is pretty flat. For some good hills though you might want to head out to Irving, around Texas Stadium and The Univ. of Dallas. We used to pull some great speed runs out there and on campus has some descent obstacles as well...

From: Joseph M. Izen (
Date: Unknown

I skate in Plano on the Chisholm Trail, sometimes on the Bluebonnet trail. You can pick up both near their intersection just south of Jack Carter Park by the soccer fields. The Chisholm Trail also passes by the Plano Public Library on Parker.

From: (Marc Foster)
Date: Unknown

I also suggest a good place in Arlington - River Legacy Park. Take Airport Freeway west towards Fort Worth, get off in Euless on FM 157, head south through the Trinity Valley, and turn right at the first light after crossing the river (Green Oaks Blvd). It about a mile down Green Oaks, and on the right.

From: (Judy T.texas)
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 1994 00:23:16 GMT

River Legacy Park in Arlington is very nice. Lot of paths along the Trinity River as well as an inner circular run. Trinity River park in Ft. Worth looks challenging. It has narrow asphalt paths but lot of bladers and bikes.

There is also an off-the-beaten path a lot of people don't know about on the west side of Arlington on Green Oaks Blvd. This path parallels the Interlochen area. Has some good surprising slopes. Challenges your "fear factor". Loved it...

South Grand Prairie (on your map) Nancy Dillard Lyon Rec. Trail is just what it says...Recreational but pleasant.

Also, lot of the speed skaters go to Joe Pool Lake across the dam. Some rough spots but dam is smooth.

The only problem I find in roller blading on these trails are the people who step out in front of you. I invested in pads just for "defensive" blading against those individuals who are oblivious to their surroundings.

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