Where to skate: Beginner to Advanced:


Arizona Canal: Phoenix to Glendale
Recreational or Fitness.
There are plenty of places to enter the canal, but be aware of the places you need to cross at to stay on pavement or you might find yourself walking your skates on dirt. There are some underpasses that have grates on one side that love to catch your skate for that instant stop, so be prepared to use your brake! The canal is great for fitness training of all levels and you can easily put 25 miles in before heading to work.

Cave Creek Park: 25th Ave & Cactus.
Recreational only.
Makes about a ¾ mile loop around. You can hook up to the Arizona Canal by taking the underpass south and continuing through Rose Mofford Sports Complex located at 25th Ave, between Peoria and Dunlap. You will have to cross the bridge over the canal to the south side to stay on pavement and then you can continue to skate either east or west.

Cortez Park: 35th Ave. & Dunlap. Another great fishing hole. To get to the north side of the canal, you will need to go north on 35th Ave. to enter. Some dirt through here right now since they have been repaving the water-canal.

Encanto Park: 15th Ave. & Encanto Blvd.
Recreational only
. Great scenery with fishing, Enchanted Island Amusement park on the north side, pool, tennis, basketball, racquetball, volleyball and playgrounds on the south side. You may want to skate the perimeter of the park to get some good straight-aways.

Granada Park: 20th Street & Maryland. Heading northwest, stay on the south side of the canal until you get to 16th Street and Glendale then cross the bridge to the north side.
Herberger Park: 3d Ave & Dunlap. A little rough through this section, but only a short distance before it's smooth sailing again.

Margaret T. Hance Park: 67 W. Culver & 3d Ave.
Recreational only
. Great for picnics or running over to the city Library. Mostly smooth, but some technical adjustments under the Central Ave. Bridge.

Papago Park:
Along Galvin Pkwy, 64th Street & McDowell to Van Buren.
Intermediate to Advanced. Roving hills on a fairly smooth path. Watch your Speed! Not designed for the night skater.

Paseo Thunderbird Park: 59th Ave & T-Bird. Great place to practice those hills! Novice skaters can walk to the bottom to the large Basketball courts and practice stopping, turning and striding without running into a tree.

PECOS RD.  Advanced Fitness & Speedskaters only (this is street skating in the bike lane). If you already live there, you're lucky. If not, grab your 70 oz. "plus" hydration camelbak and meet the diehard skaters on Sundays at 40th Street & Chandler blvd. Six miles of flat pavenment bordering the Gila Indian Reservation, make this four lane, lightly traffic'd in the early AM, road a serious skater's paradise. Two hills at the west end are just enough to work up a good sweat and build your endurance.
If you like to skate with a crowd, AISA's
" Skating Events" page will provide the details. From Phx. head south on I-10 (past the Superstition Freeway exit) to Chandler Blvd. Take Chandler Blvd. west to 40th St., then south (L.)on 40th St. to Pecos.

Sun Ray Park:
4059 E. Ray Road.
Recreational only. Basketball, Tennis and Playground. Nice little path heading south to Ranch Circle, about ¾ mile long. Great place to meet mom's with tots.

Sun Circle Riding Path: Starting at 24th St. & Bethany Home Rd and following along the canal bank, this wide, smooth asphalt path cuts through the heart of Phoenix and extends all the way out to 75th Ave. (arrowhead mall area) cutting through the Cave Creek Park complex at 25th Ave. & Dunlap on the way. The path crosses or tunnels under many Phoenix and Peoria main streets and can be accessed from many locations.
(Courtesy Alex Nedleman)


Islands Drive Loop: Recreation. This 3.7 mile level loop of wide sidewalk winds its way through the Islands Community offering views of the manmade lakes, a big fountain and numerous ducks. The speed limit on Islands Drive is 30 mph and there's a bike lane, but the sidewalk is more enjoyable and probably safer. Numerous side streets branch off Islands Drive, so you'll need to pay attention to traffic each time you cross. You will also need to negotiate the sloped handicapped ramp down from the sidewalk, go around the decorative paving stones and head back up the ramp to the sidewalk on the other side. If you don't live in the Islands, you can park in the shopping center on the SE corner of Mesa/McQueen and Elliott. Exit the parking lot to the East and skate South on Islands Drive until you reach the fountain. Then turn right to follow the loop counterclockwise. When you return to the shopping center, treat yourself to an ice cream cone at the Water & Ice store or enjoy MexiKenny's happy hour. The owners of both of these locations are skater-friendly!

Val Vista Lakes to Finley Farms Power Line Trail: Recreation or Fitness. This three mile narrow path offers some challenges to skaters such as sharp curves, occasional patches of gravel, dips, low branches, etc. There are also a couple of curbs where you need to stop, step down and cross a road without the benefit of a crosswalk. One of these crossings is preceded by a short slope, so DO NOT attempt this trail unless you can stop with confidence or you could end up falling into oncoming traffic. If you're up to its challenges, this trail rewards skaters with an interesting skate past horses, ostriches & llamas, under tunnels of arching tree branches and past views of the Val Vista lakes. There are also sufficient uninterrupted stretches for fitness skaters to get a good workout. Park in the Fry's plaza on the SE corner of Val Vista Dr. & Baseline. Exit to the sidewalk along Baseline and head East about 1/4 mile, then make a right to head South on the trail. As of Jan 1, 2004 the very last 4' x 4' section of sidewalk was inexplicably missing as you come to Warner Road. Moreover, this hazard was not marked in any way, so skate with your head up and pay attention!


Mesa:  Red Mountain Park: This one is for recreational skaters. Plenty of parking at this neat skating area dotted with lots of covered ramadas to relax in. Several six ft.wide side walks encircle the park, the longest being eight tenths of a mile and partly bordering a fish pond. Put on your "rec" skates and skate away. Also a great place to picnic.
Mesa: Hohokum Park:
Brown Rd. & Center St. All new Pavement for one "flat" mile east to Mesa Dr. along the canal. Mesa Parks & Rec. are striving for better places for skaters to flock to safely. Don't for get to check out their new agro-skate park located at Reed Park.
Mesa: 8th Street/Adobe: If you are into long distance skating, this is for you. Park your car in the lot on the south side of 8th St., (just East of Center St.) and skate East for better than 10 miles on decent pavement with wide bike lanes. 8th Street becomes Adobe at Gilbert Rd. There are a intersections, of course, but most are four way stops and the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour. Heading East the route is slightly uphill, which makes coming back a breeze.


Scottsdale "Greenbelt"
Recreation or Fitness
.Located on 2311 N. Miller Rd. Path runs along 77th Street, south of Miller, between McDowell and Thomas. Lots of Parks to enter this wonderland of green grass, trees, fishing ponds and more! Another great place to put those 25 miles in for fun. A reminder to those novice skaters to beware of the hills and people on the path. Most cyclists don't know they're supposed to yield to skaters and everyone yields to the runners/walkers. Announce "On your Left", when skating by someone. Just in case you're looking, it's a great place to meet singles.

Chaparral Park:
5401 N. Hayden Rd. & Chaparral. Need a quick detour to shop. Head west on Camelback to Scottsdale Rd. where the Fashion Square is located.

Mountain View Park:
8625 E. Mountain View Rd. Between 90th St. & Pima. Looks small, but hooks right up to the path.


Tempe Town Lake:
Runs between Rural Rd. & Priest.
Recreational or Fitness. Best place to park for Free, go east on Rio Solado Parkway from Priest Rd. till it comes to the sharp curve, (15pmh), turns into Ash Rd. See the parking lot on the left. This is the newest, hottest place to skate, where you can unwind from the excitement of Mill Ave.

Kyrene Canal Trail
Beginners & Recreational Skaters
This wide, level trail is an ideal first trail for beginners to explore after graduating from their first set of lessons. Park in the Warner Professional Plaza (on the North side of Warner, just East of Kyrene.) Carefully exit the parking lot and skate (or walk, carrying your skates) East on Warner a short distance to the trail. Heading North, the trail has no obstacles other than the small cracks between segments of pavement and even these grow further apart after about 1/3 of a mile. There is a "spur" on the left which has some short hills for those who want to practice controlling their speed on slopes. Otherwise the trail is completely flat for one mile. At that point there is a relatively easily negotiated crosswalk across Elliott and then it continues right next to the canal before curving Eastward alongside a golf course. Here you'll find the most unique aspect of this trail as you glide through two attractive wire mesh "tunnels" that protect trail users from errant golf shots! Just after the second tunnel there is a bridge over the canal and then the pavement suddenly ends. So if you have trouble controlling your speed on hills, stop and turn around before the bridge. Your round trip will be about 3 3/4 miles long. Once you've tried it in daylight, grab a buddy & your blinkie lights and try your first night skate, as the whole trail is lit.

Skating do's and don'ts:

 1.  Always use common sense when skating. Be aware of your surroundings. Plan your route before you go.
Don't put yourself in a position you can't get out of, i.e. hills, roadways.  Brake before it's too late.
 3.  Always check your gear/skates for problems.
Lose axles can cause accidents.
Never assume the car, cyclist or other person sees you, be the defensive driver at all times.
 5.  Music is great, but
headphones tune-out the emergencies!
 6.  Be the ambassador, polite, courteous skaters get more respect.
Don't be afraid to take a lesson, you'll be surprised what you can learn at any level.
 8.  Wear the Gear!
Your head is irreplaceable! Set the example for the little guys to look up to.
 9.  Skate with a buddy and always carry water.

Information above provided courtesy of SK8right Skate School - Penny Wright

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