Last modified: Monday, July 22, 1996
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Other sections of Where to Skate are:
George Robbins (firstname.lastname@example.org) posts an "Eastern Roller Skating Rinks List FAQ" to rec.sport.skating.roller whenever the time seems right. E-mail him directly if you need a copy right away. It includes information about many rinks from Delaware to Massachusetts that are inline friendly.
From: email@example.com (Lorre Smith)
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 15:05:39
RollerMagic (was called High Rollers) rink in Waterbury, Ct. on Industry Ave, just off Lakewood.
This rink is tucked in behind what looks like a main suburban commercial strip.
It has a very large snack bar/video game area and a smallish rink. The sound system is very good and a live dj takes requests all night long. We paid $6.00 each admission for a 7:30-11:30 session.
They rent in-line and conventional skates, and the crowd seemed to be about half and half.
The rink surface is wood, but it appears to have been built on top of a very solid surface, which seems like concrete. It is marvelous!! The small size means there is constantly a turn to be made, but it is indeed a real pleasure to keep turning on that great rink surface. The middle seems to be reserved for better skaters who are trying out their trick moves.
I visited on a Saturday night, and there were no "specials" except one ladies only and one men only. The rest of the night was just pure good skating. It seemed to be a teenage crowd, with the occasional adult, but the skill level was fairly good, so there wasn't a lot of thrashing about or falling. The dj took requests and played a lot of rap, r&b and dance music, much to the pleasure of a great group of dancers on the sidelines.
RollerMagic has another rink on South Main Street in Waterbury, but I have only seen the rink, not yet skated on it.
From: Lynna.Stone-Infeld@yale.edu (Lynna Stone-Infeld)
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 15:28:01 +0000
A great place to skate is Chatfield Hollow State Park on Route 80 near the Madison-Killingworth border. A bit of a trek from CCSU, but well worth it. Bring your bathing suit for an after skate swim.
The Nashoba Valley chapter of the In-Line Club of Boston
maintains a Web page of skate sites at the URL:
The trails on the Charles (at least when I left in 1989) could not meet this policy. There are plenty of places where it would be physically impossible for one bicycle to pass another unless there was no opposing traffic. Portions of the trail up near the Allston exit of the Mass Pike immediately come to mind.
I lived in Boston for 10 years. Fortunately, I was able to schedule my work to avoid the crunch time on the trails--in to work after 10AM, leave work after 6PM. The most fun was skating at night along the Charles (yes, O'Leary, with light and helmet). This may have been dangerous, but I rarely, if ever, saw any sinister types along the park at that hour.
There are some pretty decent places to skate in Boston other than the Charles. The linear park along the new Orange Line wasn't bad. I did a lot of my practicing on the linear park from Davis to Alewife on the Red Line. At that time, the nearly-empty Alewife parking lot, with its gentle ramps and not-so- gentle spirals, was an excellent place to learn hills.
Maximus Skate Park has a half-pipe and a quarter-pipe street skating area. 576-4723.
From: spectre@albert (Jeff Schreiber)
Date: 28 Jul 1995 21:56:29 GMT
[Re Maximus Skate Park]
One half pipe... a bunch of quarters against the walls, and a 4 foot half-bowl. Not bad, but all the years I've been there, I've hardly seen anything new, and they're getting holes in the platforms on the vert ramp.. etc... They're now sticking to the $10 for non members also, so there's no getting in for 'five skate bucks' anymore... Eh... it's the only thing around now... but there will be more coming. they are breaking ground for a public town run park with a cement bowl, and more stuff, in Duxbury. Plymouth is also looking to put one in. There is a guy at Scarecrow Skate Shop in Plymouth that is looking for a warehouse to open a private park around Kingston. A friend of mine is also looking for investors to go in with him for a place in Salem, NH. The bad news? The kingston idea would be designed for Skateboarders, and the Duxbury plans are around skateboarders... but that's no big deal. The Salem NH idea would be designed around BMX. Sorry it's so messy... trying to get out of here! :)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael L. Dickens)
FYI: There are 2 Night Skates in Boston that happen on a regular basis:
one is on Tuesday night, meet at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River; leaves around 8:30 pm (or as soon as it's reasonably dark). Your $10 covers 3 glow sticks & some soft drinks. $5 each time thereafter. This is a leisurely skate--no tricks or racing or jumping or stairs, etc... unless you individually want to ;-> This skate is sponsored by John Gilmore, who is somehow related to RollerBlade.
the other is Thursday night, meet at the Trinity Church in Copley Square; leaves around 8:30 pm (or as soon as the leaders arrive & want to go). Free to all, but this one is fast-paced. You can do jumps, stairs, natural ramps, bricks, and any number of these combined. You can also choose to go around & just watch; but you'll have to skate fast to keep up. Frequent stops to let the leaders show off. If you plan to participate, wear full protective padding, including large knee pads, and wrist guards at a minimum. A helmet is recommended (just in case....). The powers that lead give a short lecture on safe, polite, respectful skating at the first stop. This skate is totally unsponsored--skate free at your own risk.
By the Charles River, just get to harvard.
Allston/cambridge exit off Mass Pike.
Memorial drive: nice road... 8 hours open ... 11am to 7pm..
skated on sunday... only open on sundays ...
open for "recreational vehicles" only...
pretty neat... had two sets of cones set up... plus about 2 or 3 miles of 4 lane road to skate... (bikes, skates, foot, unicycles, skateboards..)
asphalt...few cracks..no real hills ... just by the cones.. mostly flat .. by river ... nice....straight away...no loop....
not really crowded... too long to be crowded...short wait for slalom .. one rental van ...
From: email@example.com (Michael L. Dickens)
jns@eriador.Prime.COM (Joe Scianna) wrote:
I recently discovered the Bike path which begins in Bedford and extends to Davis Square in Cambridge. It's perfect for blading. The surface is extremely smooth. It's well marked with mile markers, so there's no quessing distance travelled.
It's a nice alternative to the Esplanade. Although, blading along the Charles River at sunset is tough to beat!
This is the "famed" Minuteman Path--~17 Miles of ~6' wide smooth pavement. They've finally taken out the speed bumps that existed at or near intersections, and replaced them with ground-level slabs of rock. Much easier to get over the slabs.
The path starts in Davis Square between the Au Bon Pain & the Theater, just across from the T-stop. The surface begins as fairly smooth brick, and eventually converts into smooth pavement. You have to cross a few big streets (like Mass. Ave in Arlington) before getting to the longer sections. Once you get to Alewife (right at the T-stop), you're away from the large busy crossings, and can start the speed skating!
ps. The path is slightly inclined, allowing for some great speeds--I've gone a few miles doing 2.5 minutes / mile pace --> 24 MPH continuous on 4 wheels!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark R Stallard)
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 1994 22:55:41 GMT
My favorite place to skate is on the Minuteman Rail Trail, which runs from Davis Square, Somerville all the out to Bedford - 11+ miles long each way. Since this was originally a railroad, the hills are very gentle. The pavement is overall quite good after the first 1-1/2 miles out of Davis Square. There are several places to eat and get refreshements along the way.
To get there, take the T Red Line to the Davis station, and leave at the Meacham Street exit. If you're lucky, you can get away with riding the subway with your skates on. Right at the exit is an Au Bon Pain sandwich and coffee shop, and they never hassle me about serving myself on skates. Please don't try it, though, if you're not sure you can skate with a lunch tray.
The path starts right outside the restaraunt. The first mile is pretty rough; you'll have to skate over a lot of brick walkways, sandy pavement and the like. You might be confused when approaching the intersection of Mass Ave. and Cameron Street - keep an eye out for the entrace; it's on the other side of Mass Ave near the Buy-Rite liquor store.
You can also elect to start the path at the Alewife T Station.
Once in Arlington, the pavement quality improves substantially. Repaved just last summer. There is one more path hiatus; this is Arlington center. You have to cross both streets in a busy intersection. After that, though, it's smooth skating.
My only complaint is that, like all good things, the path is overused. On pleasant weekend afternoons you can expect a number of people with small children, even baby carriages. A lot of bicyclists, unfortunately, are real jerkoffs, too. They'll ride two abreast and converse with each other, making it difficult for others to pass.
And then, of course, we have the dilletante racers. You know, the guys with the very expensive bikes and bike clothing who are out to set new personal bests. In this setting I would say they are the most dangerous users of the path, because they often have no patience for anyone moving slower than them. These guys should stick to the roadways and not bother with the bike paths.
Anyway, I highly recommend the Minuteman path to all skaters.
From: bnh@active (Brian Hess)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 18:19:44 GMT
Mark R Stallard (email@example.com) wrote:
My favorite place to skate is on the Minuteman Rail Trail,
If you're a novice, or don't want to do more than a couple miles, you might like to know:
The very smoothest pavement, with virtually no sand, only a few expansion joints, and with the fewest road crossings (all of which slow you down to a dead stop unless you are foolish) is:
from Bedford Street (4/225) in Lexington out to South Street (Bedford depot) in Bedford. There are only 4 or 5 road crossings in 2.5 miles, only one of which is really busy (Hartwell Ave.) This makes a 5 mile round trip.
You can take the 62 bus from Alewife (please don't wear your skates!), get off well past Lexington center, at the stop next after the flashing yellow light (ask the driver for the Lexington public works building if you're not sure). If you drive, park at either the northeast corner of the track/road crossing in the public works lot (in front, outside the fence they lock at night!) or behind a little office park on the southwest corner of the track/road crossing. It's 3 minutes east of route 95/128 on 4/225.
From: SCHREIBER@PROCESS.COM (Jeff Schreiber)
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 10:42 -0400
Last night a friend and I decided to try again for a journey into the realms of downtown Boston for a little skate. We had tried once last friday, but we didn't get very far. (We made the mistake of heading to the Green line via Boston College. It took 2 hours once we got past 128 on the Mass Pike). This time we made the trek up to Alewife, and rode in on the red line to Park Street. We did some nice cruising in and around that side of the Common, and then headed out for more congested areas! (for those of you hockey players in the Boston Area, the pool in the Common, by the State House, is drained, and would be cool for hockey!).
Well, we headed down along State street towards Quincy Market, cruised in around there for a bit, but the cobblestones were a little too rough. We headed over to the harbor, spent some time cruising along the wharfs, and hung out at the Aquarium for a while, watching the seals doing stalls and wall rides in their pens (the seals are definitely cool!). Then we decided to head back through Quincy Market, and up to the City hall.....
Absolutely incredible! I can't say how amazing this area was. The brick plaza was a little rough on the legs, but it was worth it. There is a T stop right there, with brick walls, and the brick walls were at about an 80 degree angle, which made for some incredible wall rides. Then we looked back towards the other side. The beauty of a field of stairs! It was a stair bashing heaven! Nice wide steps with small drops that made them skateable for even a first time basher. Like I said, the brick was a little tough to skate on, but bumpy is a relative term for Stair Bashers! there were sets of stairs, about 50-100 long steps, that went in perfect sets! 4 steps, 5 feet platform, 4 steps, platform, 4 steps, platform, 4 steps, platform, 8 steps, 15 feet, 4 steps, 5 feet, 4 steps, 5 feet, then finally a nice cruise of step, 4 feet, step, 4 feet (for about 5 or 6 steps!) A definite must-skate for anyone within an hour or 2 to even a commuter rail!!!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Rhoades)
Date: 20 Apr 1995 14:53:12 GMT
Another great place just south of Boston is Wompatuck State Park
Route 3 south to 228 north, Aprox 2 miles on the right.
In-Line Club of Boston also holds races there about twice a month.
There is a great Large section of pavement for beginning. The camping area with small rolling hills for a mild skate. And the bicycle trails and 1.1 mile race loop for an agressive skater
From: Robert Schmunk (email@example.com)
Date: 2 Jul 1995 20:58:10 -0400
Prior to vacationing on Cape Cod, it was recommended to me that I give the 5-mile loop at Race Point, right on the tip of the cape, a try. I never did make it there, but nevertheless, some Boston skaters have told me that it can be a lot of fun if sand hasn't drifted across the low-lying spots.
What I did skate was a part of the Cape Cod Bike Trail. This is a rails-to-trails path that runs about 25 miles from Dennis to South Wellfleet. The portion which I did was the last 5.5 miles, from S. Wellfleet to Eastham, and then back. The absolute last five miles, from Locust Rd. in Eastham to LeCount Hollow Rd. in S. Wellfleet (look for the parking lot about 150 yds off SR 6), are in superb condition. This part of the trail is not mentioned in the 1995 Fodor's Guide to the cape, so I suspect that the asphalt was only recently laid down. It's almost perfectly straight and just barely hilly. There are cross-roads, but not a lot of them, so opportunities to stop for fluids at a store are slim; carrying your own water bottle is pretty much a necessity on hot days (which because of the cape breezes are probably not frequent). The half mile of the trail that I did south of Locust Rd. was obviously older, as the asphalt while not broken was eroded and made somewhat unpleasant skating. On a pleasant June Saturday afternoon, I encountered a number of bikers (but not too many, and mostly families out for a ride) and just a few skaters. Since the path was 8-10 feet wide, there was no problem with trail hogs.
Further details on the complete Cape Cod Trail, the Race Point Trail, and a number of other trails in the area are provided in the "Cape Cod Bike Book", a blue-covered booklet which you can find at many shops and at the Nat'l Seashore visitor centers. It's not big, but is more than worth the $2.95 price.
I also did a little bit of street skating in Provincetown, but I can't recommend it to visitors since it can get pretty congested with tourists meandering among the shops. Several shops I entered were cool about me skating in ("Oooh, what model are those?") but one wasn't.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Schreiber - Spectre)
Date: 3 Jul 1995 14:41:48 GMT
A couple of other places I've been meaning to tell everyone about, and this is as good a time as any, is at the Cape Cod Canal, and in Falmouth. My wife has been trying to get me down to Falmouth with her to skate the Bike trail there, I not positive [of] it's route, but I believe it starts around Woods Hole, and ends over in Hyannis. Where the Cape Code Bike Trail runs over by the Bay side (and not really close enough to see the water from where I've seen the trail run), the bike trail out of Falmouth runs down the ocean side.
If your looking for a _really_ beautiful skate (I can't believe I'm talking like this, I should be talking about stairs and rails, and vert ramps :). Check out the Cape Cod canal. You can't miss it, it's the thing that you drive over on the Bourne or Sagamore. If your going down in peek travel times, you'll get plenty of time to stop and look at the canal, since all the cars around you will be doing the same, and you won't have much choice (can you tell that it took me 2 hours to drive the 25 minute drive it should take me to get to the bridge?). Well, anyway, they built a path that runs the length of the canal, on both sides I think, but much more apparently on the mainland side. If you follow the road towards Route 6, and the sagamore bridge, you will find a rest stop/scenic overlook at the bottom of the hill (they put some traffic lights there, so you have a prayer of getting back on the road). There is stairs that go down to the path, and the canal, and you can skate the whole length of the canal, watching all the boats, etc...
>I also did a little bit of street skating in Provincetown
Yes, it's nice down there, but unbelievably crowded (I'm surprised you even tried it with the crowds that there usually are). Definately some interesting sights down that way, and very mixed reactions to _anything_ you do, including wearing skates into stores. Just if you ever decide to skate in Provincetown, be sure to go with an _open_ mind, or you'll end up getting yourself into trouble.
From: email@example.com (Mark Casey)
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 95 13:35 EDT
I saw mention of the Provincetown Race Point loop and thought I would expound. I didn't actually skate it, I biked it. It would defintely be a challenging skate with many ups, downs, and corners (fun speed skate) but the sand is plentiful. If it doesn't take you off your feet, it'll certainly do a job on your bearings. If that's not a problem for you, it's definitely worth the trek.
From: JOE@news2.delphi.com (JOE@DELPHI.COM)
Date: 25 Jun 1996 08:50:50 -0400
One place that I skate often is at the Cape Cod National Seashore. Go to the Visitor's Center in Eastham (on Rt. 6) and park there. There is a great trail that leaves from the back of the parking lot. It is not long (about two miles each way, I'd guess), but it is beautiful. It goes through nice wooded areas, with occasional views of the beach, marsh, and ocean. It ends by going over a bridge across a salt marsh and tidal river, and leading right to Coast Guard Beach. You follow the same path back to the Visitor's Center. When you get to the Visitor's Center, you'll see others heading for the path. Really easy to find, but it is never overcrowded.
Another place not far from there is Nickerson State Park in Orleans/Brewster (on Rt. 6A). This is a large state park with 5 ponds, loads of hiking trails and paved bike trails that you can rollerblade on. It is beautiful, and you can skate all day in here. The only word of caution on this place is that since it is so heavily wooded, there are sometimes lots of pine needles on the paths, that can be tough to skate on.
Both of these places will fit the style of the Cape well for a visitor like yourself. If you want something more hectic, try skating the streets and sidewalks in Provincetown! Lots of people and lots of people-watching!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Casey)
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 95 13:35 EDT
Skating is a great way to see the island, or better yet, a great reason to visit the island. The views and scenary are awesome and the air is cool, even on the hottest summer days. There are plenty of bike trials connecting all of the major points of interest along an 18mi loop connecting Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven including South/Katama Beach. I haven't been out to Gay Head in some time, so I can't provide any insight on skating out there but it would be an aweful long skate (20 mi - take a cab) on the roads to get there. It's only $10 RT from Woods Hole or $22 RT from Hyannis for a great day of skating and there's no extra charge for the skates ;)
From: email@example.com (Joseph Ogulin)
To the Fair Lawn area of Saddle River County Park (SRCP)... this is where the
slalom course is:
GSP North to exit 160. Turn left at the light at the end of the ramp. Follow this road over Route 4. It becomes Paramus Rd. here. Follow Paramus Rd. to the first light, turn left. Pass the signs that say things like "Welcome to Fair Lawn" and "Say No to Drugs." On your right, after passing these signs, you will find a small road which has signs (small ones) that say "Bike Route" and "Parking for Bike Path and Tennis Courts." Turn right here, and park in the lot.
To the Dunkerhook (Paramus) area of SRCP:
Follow the above directions, except go straight at the first light. Pass the cemetery on your right. You'll see a sign on your left that says "Dunkerhook Area, Saddle River County Park." Turn left there and follow any other signs.
To the Ridgewood area of SRCP:
GSP North to exit 163. Follow Route 17 North to the Ridgewood Ave. exit. Head toward Ridgewood (you'll loop back over the highway). After you pass Paramus Rd., look on your right. When you see the duck pond (and signs mentioning that it's the Ridgewood Wild Duck Pond of SRCP), turn right into the area.
I can't recall how to get to the Glen Rock area. Sorry.
To Fair Lawn and Dunkerhook from the north:
If you're coming from the north on GSP South, use exit 163 (Route 17). Exit at Century Rd. and head toward Paramus/Fair Lawn/Glen Rock (or whatever it says). You will not cross over Route 17. Follow Century Rd. to Paramus Rd. There will be a cemetery on your right (this is the intersection mentioned in the Fair Lawn and Dunkerhook). To get to Fair Lawn, go straight. To get to Dunkerhook, turn right. Follow the above directions.
To Ridgewood from the north:
Exit the GSP at the Ridgewood/Oradell exit (I may be wrong, but I believe it is 165) and head toward Ridgewood. You are now on Ridgewood Ave. Just follow Ridgewood Ave. as above after you cross Route 17.
There are approximately 6-7 miles of trails there. Most of them are quite smooth, with a few rough spots along the way. They're about 5' wide, and traffic is mostly walkers, joggers, bladers, and cyclists of various ages from child to senior citizen. Adult cyclists and bladers will generally follow courtesies and warn people in front of them when they are coming up behind you. The whole series of trails winds along side of a brook. Bugs are rampant along parts of the trails during summer months in the evenings. There are a few hills, but most of them are short, or not too steep. There are a few parking lots along the way where many newbie bladers can be seen tripping, stumbling, or moving forward when they have their balance. There are no street lights along the trails, as they all pass through wooded areas. The slalom course, for those interested, is in the Fair Lawn area by the tennis courts. If there is nobody there and you have your own cones (we tend to use cups because they're cheaper), you'll find red dots painted on the ground. The dots are 5' apart (measured MANY times). If someone is there, you won't be discouraged from trying. In fact if you just stand there and watch, you're very likely to be asked to try the cones. Just watch out for the geese and ducks in any of the parking lots around duck ponds (Ridgewood and Glen Rock), unless you like cleaning your bearings and wheels.
I much prefer Saddle River County Park [to Brookdale Park] because it has a 5+ mile trail (one way!) which is great if you're looking for long skating runs. Most of the people there are friendly and follow general courtesies when passing, especially when there's a large group (this is cyclists, skaters, and runners alike!). There is also an area where we do slaloming through cones. People in the group I usually meet there have painted dots on the ground for the cones. They're 5' apart (yeah, we know that competitions use 6' as the distance). Any time anyone has cones set up, people are welcome to "try their luck." We'll never tell anyone that they can't try it. In fact, if you stand there and watch for a long time and you're wearing rollerblades, someone's going to ask you to try it.
How to get to there:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (john)
Date: 18 Jun 1995 14:24:55 GMT
You can always go to Overpeck Park in Leonia/Teaneck. It's a big figure 8 track about 1.5 miles long. There are lots of beginners and should be good for you.
Brookdale Park is ok, but I've found that many of the cyclists there are a bunch of assholes (mostly it's the cycling club members). They might give you 3 inches clearance when they pass you while you're avoiding debris on the side of the road. Next time I go there, I'm going to bring a hockey stick with me (even though I don't play hockey) and swing it back and forth as I go. If the cyclists bother me, WHACK... >:-) Other than that, it's got a 1 mile loop with a rather nasty hill. The paths going through the park other than the main road (which has a car speed limit of 30 MPH, which of course nobody follows) are not that great and could use some repaving.
How to get to there:
From: email@example.com (timothy mizerak)
Date: 19 Jun 1995 01:47:29 -0400
Lawontaka Park: This features two park sites connected by many miles of pretty trails. We saw a deer on one the other day! It features some nice hills and a babbling brook that you have to manouvre over. Not as much parking lot for practice, but adequate. Located in Morristown, take 287 to South st.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bladeroo)
Date: 11 Jun 1995 15:25:54 -0400
I like Tamaques Park in Westfield, NJ. It's best for fitness/speed skaters because it has an .8mi loop with a downhill and a gradual uphill. It also has a large parking area good for practicing tricks and things. However, they don't allow ramps or cones.
From: email@example.com (timothy mizerak)
Date: 19 Jun 1995 01:47:29 -0400
Bucheleau Park (sp?): Adjacent to Rutgers campus and just opposite St. Peter's hospital. This park isn't great, but it is decent. The big loop is a nice workout but there is too much traffic. There is a nice big hill to get some speed off of, and a smooth covered picnic area.
Deiner Park: Right on Rutgers campus it literally hangs over Rt. 18. I haven't skated there yet, but will be teaching classes at Rutgers there in September, so I'll know soon enough if it is any good.
From: Dennis Black (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My personal favorite is Sandy Hook National Park (NJ). It's on the south side of Staten Island. Check out a NJ map. It's about an hour from NYC, depending upon traffic. There's a ferry from South Street Seaport ($$$$ 25. round trip). It has 20+ miles of roads, and only a minimal amount of people (a few joggers and a few bicycles) after 6:00PM and day. Just a handful of skaters so far. Also one side is the bay and the other side is ocean, so on days like today and tomorrow where it is 90+ inland, on the hook it will only get to the high 70's, low 80's.
From: Rob Smigielski (email@example.com)
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 1995 13:51:33 -0500
People skate on the streets of Avon, Belmar, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Manasquan, and Point Pleasant. The route from Belmar south through Spring Lake is most commonly used since the car traffic is limited and the many of the streets south of Belmar are newly paved. Round trip distance from Belmar south to Spring Lake and back is roughly 8 miles on flat mostly smooth roads. Note that the prevailing winds along the beach run from the south to the north, so most skaters go south down any of the streets two blocks inland from the beach, and later turn north along Ocean Ave along the beach. The push from the winds going north along the beach is a great help on the return trip.
Ocean Avenue, running parallel to the beach, is the street where skaters and bikers go to be seen. The portion of Ocean Ave running through Belmar can be crowded with summer time weekend traffic, but the local police keep things cool. Cars do not have the right of way over others.
Blades Action Sports on Ocean Ave in Belmar rents skates and provides beginners with lessons on skating techniques.
Also, since you're on the Jersey shore already, bring a blanket and some tanning oil and enjoy the beach!
Finally, if you insist on parking on Ocean Ave, beware of your time limit on the parking meters. Just say I warned you! Personally, I park a few blocks away to avoid the hassles.
From: Robert Schmunk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mar 31, 1995
The following is excerpted from the New York City Inline Skating, a
complete and up-to-date copy of which may be accessed via Web browser
at the URL:
For a list of places where aggressive skaters
can grind and bash to their heart's content, check out William Hao's
"Aggressive Skate Site" Web page at the URL:
Depending on how hardcore you are, you can skate outdoors all year in the city, although late March through October seems to be the prime season. When the temperature gets down to about 30 F, light layers covered by a some sort of windproof outer garment seem to do the trick. I've found that a T-shirt, sweater, lightly padded windbreaker, spandex tights, warmup pants, light gloves (under wrist guards), and perhaps a cap (depending on whether you're wearing a helmet) suffice when added to the usual skates, socks, and armor; if it's not windy, you may even be able to remove the windbreaker. When the weather gets over 80 F, be sure to drink some water or Gatorade at frequent intervals and consider carrying a water bottle.
Despite their variable condition, the streets of Manhattan almost seem designed for skating. There certainly seem to be a lot of people in this town who use Rollerblades for basic transportation. You may raise a sweat and suffer bus exhaust, but it saves you the $1.25 for a subway or bus token. Just remember that while Manhattan drivers are surprisingly apt to honor amber street lights (probably in fear of killing jaywalking pedestrians), they're downright terrible at signalling lane changes or even turns. In other boroughs, I understand that drivers are not even that good about slowing for amber lights. Taxis are notoriously unpredictable, and many of their cousins, the gypsy cabs, are uninsured. And then there are the take-out food delivery guys, who generally ride their lightless and apparently brakeless bicycles the wrong way down one-way streets. The moral of the story is: never hit the streets of Manhattan without proper armor, and if you know any eye exercises for improving peripheral vision, practice them.
Okay, let's admit it. When you walk into the Grand Central Station and see that glorious expanse of sa-moooooth marble floor interrupted only by the info kiosk in the middle, your toes start itching to do some rolling. Well, you're not the only one who feels that way, and I've known people to sneak in and skate the station and other famous places, like the World Trade Center concourse. However, at many such publicly-owned locations such activity is illegal (e.g., Grand Central is a Metro North train station, and it's illegal to skate in train and subway stations) and at corporate/privately-owned places, they may consider unauthorized rollerskating to be trespassing. Thus, if you feel like you just have to try skating a famous place, be prepared for adverse legal consequences.
The most popular outdoor skating location in NYC is Central Park on the 9.7-km (approx. 6-mile) loop. Cars are barred from the loop from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and from 7:00 to 10:00 PM on weekdays from January 1 until the Friday before Thanksgiving, and around the clock on weekends and holidays throughout the year. Cars do mistakenly enter the loop road when it's closed, and ambulances and police cars may appear at any time, so always keep your eyes and ears open.
Happily, most of the Central Park loop was resurfaced during 1993 or 1994, so you'll find that it is generally an exceptional skating surface. Always remember to skate counter-clockwise when you're on the loop; many, if not most, of the serious accidents in the park have been caused by people skating or cycling the wrong direction. Also, you'll be sharing the road with bikers, joggers, and pedestrians. There's usually plenty of room for all three purposes when autos are barred from the park, but when cars are allowed in, the recreation lane can get very crowded. You may want to consider not skating when cars are in the park, what with the competition for the recreation lane and the exhaust and grit in the air. When skating after dark, it would probably be very wise to wear a light to alert fast moving bicyclists to your presence.
According to the New York Road Runners Club map of Central Park, distances on the loop are:
71 W to 72 E: 1 mile, 716 yards, 31 inches = 2264.8 m 72 E to 90 E: 1748, 26 = 1599.0 90 E to 103 E: 1351, 11 = 1235.6 103 E to 102 W: 1, 1264, 19 = 2765.6 102 W to 71 W: 1, 246, 22 = 1834.8
This comes to 6 miles, 48 yards, 1 inch (9700 m) for a big loop. The 72nd St. crossover is 542 yards, 3 inches (495.7 m), making the small loop 1 mile, 1258 yards, 34 inches (2761 m). The 102nd St. crossover is 468 yards, 18 inches (428.4 m), making a medium loop 4 miles, 963 yards (7318 m).
The small loop is relatively tame mild rolling hills. The big loop is a good workout which takes even professional speedskaters at least 16 minutes to complete; if you can do it in four-wheel skates in under 30 minutes, you're probably in pretty good shape.
Skate Patrol Stopping Clinic:
At both 72nd St. entrances to Central Park, on weekend afternoons during the prime skate season (mid-April to November 1), the Central Park Skate Patrol is available to give beginning inline skaters some much-needed instruction on how to stop.
The Cones (NYRSA Slalom Course):
On the west side of the Central Park loop at 67th St., between Tavern on the Green and the Sheep Meadow, is the slalom course. (If you're trying to skate laps, this is also the locus of the biggest traffic jam on the loop.) Virtually any weekend in which there is no rain, snow or foot/skate/bike race, a line of 27 orange cones is set up in the recreation lane, usually from noon until about sundown.
Variously known as the Dead Road or Skater's Way, this is a road between the carousel and Olmsted Way that was blocked off and turned into some volleyball courts and a skating area. This is the place for dancers, both inline and quad, to congregate. Typically there are several activities happening, depending on the time of day you may encounter small classes and private instruction, skaters dancing to the music of their headphones, an improvised roller rink, etc.
Just east and slightly uphill of the Dead Road is the bandshell. With a slightly smoother and flatter surface than that of the Dead Road, it's a bit more like an ice skating rink, with some people skating in circles, some trying figure skating tricks, etc. This area can be very crowded on weekend afternoons but is fairly wide open on weekdays, making it a decent place for practicing new maneuvers.
The stairway which leads from the bandshell to the Bethesda Fountain (passing beneath Olmsted Way and the Bethesda Terrace) occasionally sees some radical stair bashing.
Riverbank State Park, between Riverside Drive and the Hudson River, is not a bad place to skate, and the view of the river is pleasant. However, the park is built over a waste treatment facility, so it's possible that you may not care for the air, although I didn't particularly notice any objectionable odors the one time I skated there.
Many of Riverbank State Park's walkways are paved with brick, but the park is new enough that the bricks have not worn enough to be terribly troublesome to skaters. Additionally, there are some extremely smooth handball and basketball courts at the south end of the park which newbies might like to skate on when they're not otherwise in use. Near the north end of the park, there is an ice skating rink which I hope is converted to roller use during the summer. Entrances to the park are on Riverside Drive at 138th and 145th Sts.
Upper East Side and East Harlem:
Carl Schurz Park, between East End Ave. and the East River at 86th St., has some very skateable paths and some very unskateable paths. There is one large open asphalt area where a lot of the local kids play rollerhockey. Dog-walking is a major activity here, so keep your eyes open. Also watch out for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; he has a pair of skates and Gracie Mansion is at the north end of the park.
Lying between FDR Drive and the East River is the John Finley Walk, aka the East River Esplanade. It is primarily paved with hexagonal bricks and is very skateable. Major exceptions to this are the portion right next to Carl Schurz Park, where the bricks are pretty worn and bumpy, and the broken asphalt slope right next to Gracie Mansion.. I've skated the Walk from 81st St. all the way up to the Triborough Bridge (125th St.). It's supposed to extend south to about 57th St., but there's a massive stairway at about 81st St. which I can't see many skaters willing to navigate. Because FDR Drive separates much of the Walk from nearby businesses or residences, it can be a very secluded skate. I would caution against skating it after dark.
Sticking right out into the East River is the East 110th St. Recreation Pier, an open but covered pavilion. Like much of the John Finley Walk from which it projects, it is very skateable, but there are some rough spots to be navigated.
Upper West Side and Morningside Heights:
The avenues of the Upper West Side are a mixed bag. Columbus Ave. is, of course, almost unskateable for much of its length due to the current reconstruction project. Both Amsterdam and Broadway have also seen some light road work which has reduced their skateability north of 100th St.; Amsterdam can be especially nasty north of 100th St. and Broadway is touch-and-go in several places in the 80s and 90s. West End Ave. seems to be in better condition, and Central Park West is fine up to 92nd St. or so. Riverside Drive is currently in pretty good shape and quite skateable except for one area around 114th St. and another just north of Grant's Tomb. If you're feeling ambitious you can follow Riverside all the way up to the George Washington Bridge and cross over to Fort Lee, New Jersey, and from there skate to Hoboken and take the PATH train back to the city.
Riverside Park can be skated from 72nd St. up to about 116th St., but there are areas where you have to be very cautious. In particular, the paths between 74th and 80th Sts. are in terrible condition. Also of some concern is that many of the paths north of 96th St. lie below trees and consequently are strewn with twigs at all times. When crossing 96th St. it is probably better to take the Riverside Dr. overpass rather than follow park paths directly to the street and try to wait for a lull in the traffic. Always keep your eyes peeled for dogs, because the park gets a lot of activity from nearby residents exercising their pets.
Midtown (14th St. to 59th St.):
The avenues of midtown make generally good skating for those travelling north-south because of the bicycle/skating lanes which many sport on the left side of the street. However, this is also a high auto traffic area and the bike lanes usually disappear for a block where the avenues cross Broadway, so be careful.
Just across 42nd St. from the United Nations is Robert Moses Playground, a smooth asphalt area which has been painted for hockey. One presumes that there might be rollerhockey here during the day (weekends?). The only deficiencies are that the playground has a slope (the south end is low) and that it's often cluttered with twigs. Although most or all of the gates to the park are locked at night, the gate at the southwest corner has been wide open the last couple times I've been there.
Union Square can be a fun place to skate after dark or on Sunday, when the greenmarket crowds are gone. On the south side, along 14th St., there are a lot of shallow steps that are great for practicing stair bashes and curb grinds. The north side of the square, along 17th St., is a large, wide-open paved area where you'll often see skaters practicing dancing moves or maybe playing a pickup game of rollerhockey. Just be sure to stay out of the way of the medieval fight re-enactors if you skate here on a Tuesday night so that we can maintain good relations with our fellow park users.
Greenwich Village and Alphabet City (Houston St. to 14th St.):
The pavement in Washington Square Park is in generally poor shape. This plus a usually high density of pedestrian traffic makes this a poor place to go skating.
The paths in Tompkins Square Park (bordered by Avenues A and B and East 7th and 10th Sts.) are in terrific shape, suggesting that new asphalt was put down within the last year or so. So, if you can find a time when pedestrian traffic is minimal, this would be a great place for newbies to do some learning. (Note: As part of the clean-up effort to return this park to neighborhood use, there is a midnight curfew.) On the north (10th St.) side of the park there are stickball and basketball courts. The former has an incredibly smooth surface, useful for even advanced skaters to practice their stuff, and the latter is used by a roller basketball league during summer weekend mornings.
Downtown (Below Houston St.):
A great place to skate is a smooth bike/skate/ped path which extends northward from Stuyvesant High School (Chambers St. at West St.), along the (Hudson) riverfront side of West St. It continues up to just below 14th St., terminating at the Gansevoort St. intersection. Most of the path is in excellent condition, the exception being a multi-block stretch in front of Pier 40. At some entrances to the path, there may also be large concrete barriers to slow down cyclists and skaters who come bombing along.
Another fun place to skate is along the southwest edge of Manhattan. You again start at Stuyvesant High, but skate west into the Hudson River Park, and then follow the paths along the river south to the World Financial Center, then into Battery Park City, and finally to Battery Park. It's also great because almost the entire route is along the water, offering views of New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty. However, this route also gets a lot of pedestrian traffic (lots of romantic couples on the Esplanade in Battery Park City, and families with children in Hudson River Park) and it would be pretty foolish for you do any speed skating here. Also, the Esplanade is divided by trees and bushes into two parallel paths, and skating, cycling, etc., are barred from the upper, inland path. The only two areas here which are pretty wide open in this area are the plaza between the North Cove and the Winter Garden, and the fenced-off road (Little West St.) between Battery Park City and Battery Park. The latter is a particularly excellent place to practice skating maneuvers and tricks on a weekend afternoon.
The stairs at the north end of Hudson River Park make some good bashing, but while skaters (especially teenagers from the school) can often be seen there, it's a no-no. There're usually some park security folks wandering around in little white trucks, and whenever they get to the steps, they chase away anybody they catch skating on them.
The plaza at the base of the World Trade Center is very skateable, but the security guards are waiting to chase you off.
Over along the East River, directly underneath the Brooklyn Bridge between Pearl and Madison Sts., there is a sort of semi-halfpipe known as The Wall which seems to be fairly popular, despite the brick surface and the broken glass strewn liberally about. Police headquarters is not all that far away, but I would not recommend skating here alone, especially after dark.
A friend of mine has reported that the East River Park, which lies along the river from about Gouverneur St. to just below 14th St. is skateable, but only marginally so. He did not recommend going there after dark.
There are numerous good places to do grind and rail slides in the downtown area.
One of the finest places to skate in New York is the Brooklyn Bridge. It's not because it's so smooth, as the wooden boards which make up the pedestrian/cyclist path over the bridge are pretty hard on the feet and calves, but because the view from the bridge's midpoint is unbeatable, particularly at night. The Manhattan access to the bridge is just east of city hall and just south of 1 Centre St.; the Brooklyn end of the walkway is at the intersection of Tillary St. and Adams St.
Once over the bridge into Brooklyn, you'll find that the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is not far away, about six blocks directly west. However, while you can skate along there for another terrific view of the Manhattan skyline, the pavement is in poor shape and the pedestrians can be extremely slow, hard of hearing and erratic. So, it's worth it to pop in and take a look, but not to hang around.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn is similiar to Central Park, but not as crowded. It's also a lot smaller loop.
The Shore Parkway bike path from Bay Parkway to Bay Ridge Avenue is a haunt of many skaters. The terrain is nice and flat, offering wonderful views of New York Bay and Staten Island.
The Little Neck Bay bike path has recently been repaved and is flat, making it extremely skateable. It runs along Little Neck Bay from Ft. Totten (Bell Blvd.) down to Northern Blvd. for a total distance of about 2.5 miles. A possibly major disadvantage is that it parallels the Cross Island Pkwy., so depending on traffic conditions it can be noisy and exhaust fumes can be a problem.
In Forest Park, Park Lane South is closed on weekends for recreational use only between Woodhaven Blvd. and Metropolitan Ave. The terrain there is rolling hills, shared with joggers and cyclists. It's supposed to be quite a pretty place, containing some of Queens' only virgin forest.
A block or two north of Yankee Stadium is Mullaly Park, which contains a number of ramps and quarter pipes, plus a half pipe or two, for use by skateboarders and vert inliners. This is a public park, so you won't have to pay to get in, but that also means that the condition of the facilities may be lacking.
The North Bronx Bikeway along Pelham Parkway (from the last stop on the #6 to the Pelham Parkway stop on the #2) looks to be skateworthy, as well as the Bronx River trail (parallel to Bronx Park East and the Bronx River Parkway) from East 233rd Street south to Pelham Parkway Both are fairly flat, with pleasant scenery and pavement in decent condition.
Neal Mason maintains a Web page of Long Island skate sites at the URL:
From: David Madeo (email@example.com)
[...], there's a trail on Long Island a lot of skaters use. It's a five mile trail along the Wantagh parkway from Cedar Shore park in Wantagh, to Jones Beach. The cement path goes from Long Island over several smaller islands and bridges to Jones Island fronting the Atlantic Ocean. It's flat and there isn't much in between the two ends. Bikes and joggers also use the trail. It's much easier to park at Cedar Shore than Jones Beach during the summer.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gary B. Berns)
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 1995 21:11:35 -0400
[Cedar Creek Park] in Wantagh. Has a nice smooth rink where learners, practicers(?) and roller hockey players co-exist without friction.
Tried the path towards Jones Beach, The combination of being a new skater, the 90+ temperature and the sea breeze coming down the parkway from the ocean made us turn back fairly quickly. The surface seems fine and the path flat. I think it was resurfaced within the past year. This is, however, based only on the first 1/4-1/2 mile.
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 07:35:04 -0400
Bethpage bike path runs approximately six and one-half miles from Sunrise Highway to Bethpage State Park. The trail begins (northbound) immediately east of the Long Island Rail Road Massapequa train station. (Park in the east end of the train station parking lot on weekends). The first two miles are relatively flat and OK for beginners with one street and two short wooden planked bridges. The path followings a lake and a stream for a good distance. After the second street (Linden St.) their are several steep hills that should only be tackled by intermediate or better skaters. The paving is good although the width varies from place to place and their is considerable use of the path by cyclists, walkers, etc. At the northern terminus of the path their are bathrooms and water from May through September or October.
From: email@example.com (JRGanson)
Date: 24 Aug 1994 22:53:04 -0400
Take the Grand Central Pkwy to the Northern State to the Wantagh Pkwy. Proceed south on the Wantagh to Merrick Road East. Exit to Merrick road, turn right proceed approx two lites the turn right into Cedar Creek park. This is the staging area for skating on the bike path along the pkwy doen to Jones Beach (about 4 mi). Also lots of skaters in the park esp Wed, Fri, Sun when LIRTSA (Long Island Road and Track Skating Assoc. meets for informal skating at 6:30 PM (See you there!)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Torok)
Date: 3 Aug 1994 03:20:06 GMT
Joseph P. Cernada (email@example.com) sez:
There's a fair amount of skaters at the Kensico Damn park/plaza in Westchester County. I thinks it's in Valhalla (or maybe North White Plains). Decent paved path, just under a mile around. Large concrete area in the middle to practice moves. Good selection of stairs and things to jump over. Cones set up for slaloming.
I also skate at the dam much of the time. It can get crowded, and between Memorial Day and Labor Day they charge $1.25 parking, but if you go in the late afternoon it's free. Good place for beginners. Seems to be a decent social scene & good for people-watching. I'm a beginning-intermediate so I can't comment on the center area or cone area other than being an impressed spectator.
From: Mike Kahn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon, 08 Apr 1996 11:08:24 -0400
I haven't seen this path mentioned anywhere yet. There's a relatively new multi-use path in Northern Westchester County, NY. My wife and I had the opportunity to skate a very short portion of it this past weekend (since we were with walkers we couldn't go very far). It starts in Yorktown and goes into Mahopac - I'm told. It's a pretty nice trail although some of the road crossings are quite gravely and at one point it goes past a sewage treatment facility. We enjoyed the scenery and FINALLY have a place to skate when we are visiting family.
From: email@example.com (Heather)
When I want a good workout, I head down to a nice path that runs between the Hudson River and I-787. It's called the Corning Fitness Trail, and it heads from Watervliet down to Downtown Albany. It's about 5 miles in length. Although it's designed more for bikers and runners and has a few bumps in the pavement, it's a good place to skate.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Weintraub)
Date: 18 Sep 1994 23:31:50 GMT
The campus is decent but nothing special, IMO. You can find some really nice skating around the capitol buildings though. Skating is permitted there so the cops won't give you any problem and it's all marble. I don't know what kind of skating you're into but if you're into street, you'll find some really nice stairs, jumps, grinds, etc, there. And if you're not into that stuff, it's just really smooth and fun.
From: email@example.com (Lorre Smith)
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 1994 20:54:22
The interesting thing about Albany for skaters is that the city gets really empty after about 6pm and you can skate just about anywhere (except Lark Street) unhindered by car traffic. There is a big hill right in the middle of the city, though - you could scream your way right into the Hudson River. There are a couple of college campuses in the city, but not decent skating on them. The University (west of downtown on Washington or Western Avenues) has decent but not great parking lots - the podium here is interesting there if you're into long colonades. If you have a car, well, you got a different story. Guptil's skating arena and Rollerama are the rinks - they're in the phone book if you want to call them for directions. There are 11 miles of bike trails along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, and there are lots of people who say that the park in Saratoga Springs (24-mile drive straight north on Highway 87-exit 13 north) is awesome. There's an interesting outdoor track on the north end of Troy (103rd Street in Lansingburg) straight up route 4 and then about four blocks east on 103rd Street.
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 1994 20:51:00 GMT
The Amherst Bike Path is long, uncrowded, boring and windy. Cross the border. Park at Niagra-on-the-Lake and skate south on the bike path along the Niagra Scenic Pkwy. I've skated in Philadelphia, in parks in New Jersey, in Manhattan, in Rhode Island and in Boston and Cambridge and this is the prettiest stretch of road I've been on.
If you skate far enough you can get a good view of the Lewiston-Porter bridge and the rapids. After you finish the skate there is an ice cream store on the river side of the main st in N-o-t-L that sells rhubarb frozen yogurt (it's set back from the road; next to a photo-shop).
If you have Web access, the Philly skating FAQ is available at the URL:
From: mckay@VFL.Paramax.COM (Donald P McKay)
I've skated at two places west of Philadelphia I recommend to anyone.
Philadelphia-Valley Forge Bike Trail
The Philadelphia-Valley Forge Bike Trail is a (mostly) marked bicycle route from the Art Museum in Philadelphia to Valley Forge National Park. Some of the bike route runs along an old rail bed and has been paved.
There are two paved sections I've skated. One is at the Valley Forge end of the trail and the other is about mid-way.
The Valley Forge section runs from a little used section of the national park located on the north side of the Schuykill River (exit off of Rte 422 at the Trooper Rd exit; the park is to the left). The section from Valley Forge park to Norristown is approximately 4 miles, paved, flat and level. The only bothersome part is that you share the trail with bicyclists, walkers and joggers. This part of the trail is decently wide and recently paved in 1992.
The Conshohoken section runs from the Spring Mill SEPTA station in Conshohoken for 3 miles east toward Philedelphia. Except for the water treatment plant you have to skate by, this is an enjoyable area of the Schuykill River area.
Ridley Creek State Park
Located approximately 15 miles west of Philadelphia.
Warning--This is hilly and you must be able to brake and otherwise control yourself on rolling hills, 1 mile climbs and steep descents. Skating here is a good workout.
In the state park, there is a paved circular path ostensibly for biking, blading and walking. Total distance is a little over 4 miles for one lap. There is a 1 mile section along Ridley Creek which is rolling, no steep grades up or down. The trail (no matter which way you happen to go) ascends from the creek bed to the main part of the park which is on the top of some hills. I would guess a few hundred feet elevation change although I've never checked a topo map. The steepest grade is approximately .4 miles (up or down depending). The trail is about 1 mile along the creek, 1 mile of gradual (compared to the other) grade, 1.6 miles rolling over the main part of the park, and the .4 mile steep grade--there are a few level parts of the run to help slow you down, but none at the bottom where it rejoins the creek.
There are a few residences in the park proper so there can be an occasional motor vehicle.
The fastest I've ever been on roller blades was going down the .4 mile grade.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (JohnnyDull)
Date: 18 Apr 1995 17:54:06 -0400
Abington Junior/Senior High School campus. Hills, flats, dips, it's all there, and miles of it! East of Route 611, off of Susquehanna Road, about 1/2 mile. The driveway is on the left. (This is the entrance that I use, but there are others)
(It's actually the Abington/Glenside area, north of Philly)
From: email@example.com (Crazy)
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 10:23:20 -0500
I go to Drexel University on market and 34th. There are tons of places around me. The art museum is cool if you like steps and all that stuff. If you just like to skate for exersize, you can skate around fairmont park, there's a 10 mile section of paved sidewalk that goes around the river. It's real smooth and there's a lot of other skaters there. You can skate around center city, there's a lot of cool stuff there, city hall and all that.
From: Steve Arsenault (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 13 Nov 95 14:23:57 (-0500)
There's very good skating in the Chesterbrook area of Wayne --- about 1/2 hour outside of the city. Take 76 West to 202 South and exit at Chesterbrook Blvd. You can park at any of the corporate office centers or by the pools in Chesterbrook. If you go to the shopping center, (right on Chesterbrook Blvd) Chesterbrook realty will even give you a trail map. If you park across Chesterbrook Blvd from the Doubletree Suite Hotel there's an entrance to the trails --- look for a wooden exercise station. The corporate parks have miles of paved surfaces --- I have skated and played hockey there and never been hassled. There ars some stairs and curbs -- but not too much in the way of exciting obstacles. One of the buildings on the same side as the hotel (accessible from the hotel parking lot) was unoccupied the last time I was there -- so the lot is usable even during business hours.
But the real reason to go there is the trails. There are several miles of paved trails going through the woods --- most are in very good condition. There are a number of hills, but none are too big. There are a few wooden bridges that are treacherous (bumpy and the guardrails are more imaginary than real). The trails are not very crowded. Some pedestrian traffic and some bikes, but everybody is good about getting out of the way of skaters. In summer the trails are shaded, so are quite comfortable. In the fall there can be a lot of wet leaves and the trails can be useless for skating for days on end (impossible to get any edge). In several places the trails come out into residential areas and it takes a little bit of exploring to find where the trail continues. Most of the people in Chesterbrook are unfriendly to inline skaters and skateboarders --- especially in the condo section. You will not be hassled on the trails, but don't expect a hero's welcome when you enter the residentail areas. The trails are public property and anyway, the place is so big that no one has any idea who is really a resident.
The trails allegedly connect into Valley Forge Park. I have found one connection passable by mountain bike, but no paved connections.
There's a very limited stretch of trails near the corporate parks that is lit.
There are rumors of another path also opening soon -- somehow connected to the on-going construction of Route 202. Rumor has it that it will connect into Philly.
Date: 11 Apr 1995 11:00:56 -0400
Anybody who lives around the Bethlehem/Allentown area in PA should definitely check out Lehigh University. There's "tracs" a campus bus system that takes you from the bottom of the "hill" by the library to the top of Goodman campus. I would guess the vertical rise to be at least 700 feet. From the top, there are so many options. Every thing from gentle hills to steep stuff where you have to take jump turns (unless you brake all the way down). There are stair cases all over campus that you can ride or clear and a skate park (Cheap Skates) about a 30 minute drive away that has three half pipes (different sizes) a pool and a street skating area. There's a bunch of us who skate here all the time so if you need someone to skate with, write me! Don't worry if you are just starting out. A lot of my friends have been skating for less than a year but I guess the hills around here forced all of them to be better cause' they all rip it up pretty hard now. :)
From: bryant+@N3.SP.CS.CMU.EDU (Randy Bryant)
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 13:59:01 GMT
There IS good inlining in Pittsburgh, but the combination of hills, traffic, and potholes makes it hard to choose good routes. Here are a few recommendations:
From: email@example.com (Paul Yatrou)
There are several bike paths in the city. Try the Lachine canal bike path. Go to the old port in Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal) and skate Westwards along the river until you get to the Lachine canal path entrance (ask anyone with blades on for directions). The path is around 8 km long one way.
There is another path that ventures West towards Montreal West along deMaisoneuve Boulevard (beginning at Greene Ave.), one that heads East towards the Olympic Stadium (can't remember what street), and along the North shore of Mtl (along Gouin Boulevard) --- all in all plenty of klicks of skating available.
Of course, you can street skate along Ste-Catherine, St. Laurent, St. Dennis streets (among the most interesting in the city).
Date: Sat, 08 Jul 95 22:11:15 PDT
I was just in Montreal for the Jazz festival and found a good route besides the ones you mentioned was from a bike map called Pedaler Le Quebec. Start at Rue Rachel by Mont Royal, go through Maisonneuve Parc, follow path to St-Zotique and stay on until you get to Rue Boyer, then go Left (south) and follow path back to Rue Rachel. It took me about 50 minutes, it was great, especially through the Parc.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tim59)
Date: 22 Sep 1994 14:41:03 -0400
As requested, directions to Rhode Island 14 mile bike path.
"The path is approx. 14.5 miles long extending from Independence Park In Bristol to India Point Park in Providence. Constructed along an inactive rail line, the path offers some of the State's most scenic views of coastline, estuaries and woodlands. The bikeway has a 10 foot wide asphalt paved path with grass shoulders..."(1.)
The path crosses four towns and eight State parks. The surface is very smooth and mostly flat with some very gradual hills. There are eating places, shops and resting areas along the path within these 8 towns. I feel it is best to start in scenic Bristol ...plenty of parking and the path starts right on the Bristol harbor. The path follows the water and through nice neighborhoods, past boat yards and state parks. Most days, you face the wind on the way out and have a tail wind back to the start in Bristol. It does cross 3 very busy streets so be careful.
Bristol, R.I. The start is located on Route 114 on the Bristol harbor. Take Route 95 N or S to Providence. Take Route 195 East to Fall River/ Cape Cod Take Exit 7 off 195 East. Follow 114South for approx. 13 miles to Bristol Harbor.
Ask for Jane at Bristol Chamber of Commerce (401) 245-0750. She said she would send BayPath maps out to anyone interested.
ref. (1.) Bristol County Chamber East Bay Bike Path Map
From: Walter Clark (email@example.com)
Date: 27 Jun 1995 18:29:14 GMT
The part we have experienced runs from Bristol harbor north, roughly parallel Rt 114 through Warren, Barrington and into E. Providence. In doing so it passes by the harbor waterfront in Bristol and Warren, a strech of Narangansett Bay, a pond, Colt State Park in Bristol, crosses over inlets with wooden bridges twice, crosses 114 twice, and by several places to stop for refreshment, rest or food. I think it is about 12 miles long end to end. We havent probed North beyond Barrington.
We park either at the Ames on 114 in Barrington and skate south to the end or we park in a small water front park and boat launch at the south end of the trail in Briston on 114. We were told by the folks in the first paragraph that Colt State Park was a good place to park and set out from but, this weekend we found out they have banned inline skating from that park.
The trail itself is pretty smooth, though not as smooth as either the re-paved trail on the east side of the Cape Cod Canal or the Minuteman trail from Bedford to Boston. The asphalt itself is a bit coarser than either of the above, but it is not too rough, just not as fast. The only rough spots in the trail are where the trail crosses 114 in Warren, and the two wood bridges in Warren/Barrington. The bridges are easy enough to skate onto going North but the Northmost bridge has a 1" or so lip going onto it when heading south that might not be obvious until you are sliding along on your knee and wrist pads over the wood timbers. In a few pastoral sections, surrounded by trees keep an eye on the pavement for roots pushing up. There are a few nearly invisible bumps from this that can through you off your stride or on your nose if you are just enjoying the scenery.
We have stopped for refreshments at the TJ Cinnamon's in Barrington and the Dell's in Warren. Both alongside the trail and both skater friendly (though the Dell's has wooden steps up the front). There seem to be other skater friendly places along the way too.
One unusual thing to notice and be aware of. The trail markings suggest that pedestrians walk on the left and bikes on the right. I found that walkers and joggers may be right, left or both.
If you are in Southern NE, I recommend the trail. Nice scenery. Too bad about Colt State Park.
From: "stern" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 17 Jul 96 09:13:59 -0400
I had been warned that Newport is not a skate-friendly community but perhaps their recent (6/96) hosting of the X Games lead to a change in standards. I did not try to skate in most shops or restaurants, but I skated through both private property and parks without being admonished and without seeing a single no skating sign. It beat Manhattan in that regard.
I suggest four areas for skating in Newport, though the town is so small that any active skater will find all these in a day or two in any case.
The Harbor and Thames Street
These are the gentrified, areas along the western side of Newport, crowded with restaurants, bars and souvenir shops and filled with tourists during the summer. During the height of the season, the streets are too filled with (admittedly slow moving) cars for any kind of spirited workout. The sidewalks are simply out of the question. I did see some local youths out for aggressive skating, though I couldn't figure out where they found any patch of concrete sufficient free of people to allow for tricks, unless they went into the empty lots along the water (see below).
In some confused twist of city planning, there are some parking lots on the waterfront. The underpaid teenagers administering the lots didn't mind my skating in them, and I was able to get some good practice in along the edge of the water there without worrying about pedestrians.
Memorial Drive and Easton's Beach
The best beach in Newport proper lies along the southern shore and can be reached by a short skate (~4 miles) with one hill along Memorial Blvd. Experienced skaters will not find the route challenging, though the beach is lovely. I was warned that the town has a problem with drunk drivers and that Memorial Blvd. may be dangerous at night for this reason.
The best bet for those trying to get in real workouts. This road twists along the coast around the promontory to the southwest of the island. The views are without match, but wear a helmet. This route is not for the inexperienced or the faint of heart.
Bellevue Ave. and the Mansions
100 years ago, the wealthiest of America's industrial and banking families built their summer mansions in Newport. Many of these buildings still stand and are open to the public. During the day, during the tourist season, the roads in these neighborhoods are clogged with cars. However, even shortly after hours, these areas make for great skating. The area around Bellevue Ave. and Ochre Point Road is particularly nice. The estates are enormous, only a few per mile, and some are unoccupied, so there=B9s effectively no traffic at all. The pavement is pristine, and the environs are lovely, especially in the cul-de-sacs that end on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. Some hills, but nothing bothersome.
From: "Susan M. Kennedy" (Smk1@dartmouth.edu)
Date: 12 Jul 1995 16:48:12 GMT
Stowe, VT has a great bike path through an incredibly beautiful valley. Also the Stowe Ski Resort has a smallish skate park in their parking lot, which has some ramps, an open area, a hockey rink, a track and even a little tow to take you up a short slope for slalom. Its fun! It also cost $10 bucks for the day, but the bike trail is free.
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