Back in the day, the local “skateboard park” was an empty parking lot. School property after class was dismissed. Bank parking lots on a Sunday. Basically any place that had a skatable surface where you could set up a makeshift ramp. These were the options. And they weren’t great options for lots of reasons.
Besides not being entirely free of traffic, skateboarding in parking lots and on residential streets were designed for function – and not fun. Luckily times have changed and many communities are adapting to the need for designated places that accommodate safe skateboarding, in-line skating and even BMX biking.
Pennsylvania is leading the way with some of the newest and most innovative skate parks in the country. Here are just a few of the best places to skate in the state!
Free Fall Action Sports
Quakertown was home to the popular Main Street Skatepark. Once a wonderful location for skating and recreation, the park fell into neglect and disrepair. Rather than tear it down, the borough and some dedicated community members decided to save the park. Ten years ago, these community members began to reclaim the park through a series of outreach efforts such as fundraising cookouts and skating competitions.
Through their efforts the park regained its popularity. Seeing the positive impact the park had on the community, the local Borough Council decided that the best course of action was to expand the park. Fundraising efforts began and within a year, the community had enough money to begin planning and constructing a modern, state-of-the-art skatepark.
Now that new skatepark is a reality! In June 2021, the Free Fall Action Park opened. Now Bucks County residents and PA skaters and action sports enthusiasts can enjoy this cutting-edge park’s many perks including a large flow bowl, a pool, a traditional street section, and even lights for nighttime fun. Fans can also enjoy classic skatepark standards like rails and ramps, too!
This is not just a great skatepark – it also has one of the coolest backdrops! Much like the transformation of Quakertown’s Main Street Skatepark, this park is the product of the hard work and fundraising efforts of committed community members.
Totally free to the public, the Bethlehem Skateplaza provides skateboarders, skaters and bikers with the classic elements of an old school, ad-hoc skatepark in a safe and welcoming environment. Action sports enthusiasts can apply their magnificent skills and tricks of their trades on the various rails, stairs and benches.
Open from dawn until dusk all year long (weather permitting, of course), the Bethlehem Skateplaza also hosts classes, local competitions and national skateboarding and BMX bike events. Easily accessible by major roadways, the Skateplaza is part of the area’s “Rails-To-Trails” program that transformed three miles of decommissioned railroad tracks into an open space for recreational activities.
Gettysburg Alternative Sports Park
Don’t know how to skateboard or skate but always wanted to learn? Then the Gettysburg Alternative Sports Park is the place for you! This popular spot draws many enthusiasts to its various ramps and obstacles. It also caters to beginners and skaters of varying levels with its cool tutorials, courses and community events. Open every day from dawn until dusk, this park does require a small entrance fee (but if you’re a PA resident you can enjoy a significant discount!).
If you’re ready to break out your skateboard, lace up your inline skates, or take your BMX Bike for a spin, you can’t go wrong with these three fantastic PA skateparks. Be sure to check these and other great skateparks in the state this year!