Where to Skate: Skateparks
Information about city-operated public skateparks (run by the Department of Parks and Recreation) can be found at www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/skateparks. All city-operated skateparks are supposed to have an attendant on duty during official hours who will collect the required waiver form from park users; a copy is available on the website. Protective gear is required.
There are also two skateparks in Hudson River Park, which is operated by a public trust on behalf of the city and state.
And of course there's the skateboard-oriented NewYorkCitySkateparks.com.
Working from south to north...
Pearl St. under the Brooklyn Bridge
Iconic spot directly underneath the Brooklyn Bridge that was extremely popular amongst aggressive inline skaters, boarders and BMX bikers. There are some rails here plus a ramp-like area known as the Wall, but also a lot of brick surfaces and broken glass strewn liberally about. Unfortunately, the area has been closed and fenced off since 2010, when DOT started rehabilitation work on the bridge. It was supposed to re-open in 2014, but as of late 2018 it was still closed. There were reports in spring 2017 of people sneaking in to skate the area, but also of cops chasing them out. (Note that the Banks are just a couple blocks form NYPD headquarters.
Lower East Side/Coleman Skatepark
Manhattan Bridge at Monroe St.;
City Parks Dept. facility located directly under the Manhattan Bridge and adjacent to Coleman Playground. The park is reported to have been rebuilt/renovated in 2012. Also known as the Coleman Square Skatepark and as the Chinatown Skatepark.
The park has been very busy when I have checked it out on weekend afternoons, but seemingly every user was a on a skateboard.
Hudson River Park - Tribeca Skatepark
Pier 25 in Hudson River Park, West Side Hwy. at N. Moore St.
This is the one of two skateparks opened by the HRP trust since 2010. Also called the Pier 25 Skatepark, it is a skate "plaza" right alongside the river. Closest access is the N. Moore St. intersection on West St.; it is also about three or four blocks north of Stuyvesant High School and Chambers St. Plenty of concrete ledges and such, but no ramps or pipes.
The park requires a helmet and recommends other padding, but the facility is unsupervised. Admission is free and the park is open 8 a.m. until sunset, year-round.
Hudson River Park - Pier 62 Skatepark
Pier 62 in Hudson River Park, West Side Hwy. at W. 22nd St.
The HRP trust operated a couple of temporary skateparks, first in Tribeca around in Vestry St., and then further north at 30th St. near the heliport. In May 2010 they officially opened a permanent skatepark on Pier 62 at 22nd St. This is the same pier where Chelsea Piers used to operate a skating rink and skatepark, but the new facility is publicly owned.
The facility is concrete and has a variety of skate toys, all designed to fit into an ovular shape with "natural" curves. The website described it as "California-style".
The park requires a helmet and recommends other padding, but the facility is unsupervised. Admission is free and the park is open 8 a.m. until sunset.
Riverside Skate Park
Riverside Park, Riverside Dr. at 108th St.;
212-408-0265 (office of Riverside Park administrator)
The first of the new public skateparks to appear in the mid 1990s. It opened about Labor Day 1996 and for a while was one of only two public parks in the city, along with Mullaly in the Bronx. It was most recently renovated in 2013, but as of summer 2017, designs for completely overhauling the park had been approved and teh city was soliciting bids on the project. Construction should start in 2018 and take 12-18 months.
In terms of the "three-tier" description of Riverside Park, the skatepark is on the lowest tier. It is immediately adjacent to the Henry Hudson Pkwy., but between the highway and the rest of the park rather than alongside the river. Enter the park at the stairs on Riverside Dr. at 108th St. and keep heading downward and toward the river. (Alternatively, enter at the 99th St. steps, then skate north and to the left.) The skate park is in the midst of a strip running from 101st St to 112th St. that includes basketball courts, beach volleyball courts and a softball diamond.
Admission was free at last report. Full armor (helmet, kneepads, elbowpads and wristguards) and signed waiver are required. The park is open from mid April to late October, and perhaps into November if weather permits. Hours vary.
East Harlem Skatepark
Thomas Jefferson Park near East 114th St. and Pleasant Ave.;
Small skatepark that opened in November 2017. The site is tucked away in the northeast corner of Thomas Jefferson Park, in between a couple basketball courts and the FDR, and right outside the south entrance of the MCSM high school.
Hamilton Bridge Skatepark
Highbridge Park, Amsterdam Ave. at 181st St;
A long time in the making, this skatepark opened late 2013 and is said to be the largest park in the city. It's a bit tricky to find because it's under a bridge. Head for the Washington Bridge at Amsterdam and 181st and look for a bikepath on the south side heading down into Highbridge Park. Follow the path and you should find the skatepark underneath the Hamilton Bridge at 179th St.
Canarsie Park, at Seaview Ave. and Paerdegat Ave N.
Small neighborhood park. No enclosing fence or other barrier, so skateable at any hour.
Gold St. and Concord St., under the BQE, Downtown Brooklyn
Skatepark near the Manhattan Bridge that opened November 2016, located at what has been the informal "Fat Kid Spot" park. Obstacles are described as being "street-style".
Van Brunt St. and Hamilton Ave., Red Hook
Plans were announced late September 2017 to replace some or all of this playground with a skatepark.
99 North 10th St., Williamsburg
Skateboard shop that has an 8-ft halfpipe indoors at the shop.
Millennium Skatepark at Owl's Head
Shore Pkwy. at 68th St., Bay Ridge
A mostly concrete outdoor skatepark that opened in summer 2001. This is a public park, and admission is free. The schedule seems to differentiate between skateboard and BMX times, so we're guessing that inliners get in when the boarders do. (The last time we skated past here on a weekend afternoon in late 2017, it was split about half and half between skateboarders and scooter riders.)
The skatepark is on the north side of Owl's Head Park. Easiest access is to head to the corner of Colonial Rd. and Wakeman Place, then follow the bikepath into the park about a hundred yards. Alternatively, head for the corner of 68th St. and Shore Road and take the bikepath north past the dog run.
St. Mary's Playground
Smith St. at Luquer St., Carroll Gardens/Gowanus
Neighborhood park that underwent reconstruction after being closed for many years to facilitate subway work. When it re-opened in May 2018, it included a small skatepark.
Bronx Park, Bronx Park East at Britton St., Allerton
Public skate park that opened in summer 2008 alongside a new soccer field. Area is about 6000 square feet. It is located about a block north of Allerton Ave., and there is a loop off the Bronx Park East bikepath that passes alongside.
Bruckner Playground, Brinsmade Ave. at Cross Bronx Service Rd., Schuylerville
Small city Parks Dept. skatepark tucked away behind MS 101 in the far eastern Bronx.
164th St. and River Ave., Concourse
This park just across 164th St. from new Yankee Stadium was in the early 1990s the only place in the city that could be called a skate park. On chilly autumn mornings, you could find kids sneaking in and wiping the dew off the decrepit mini-ramp so that they could get a few runs in before the gates were opened and a line formed.
The park has been renovated at least twice since then, including early 1998 and late 2003. Neither renovation has catered to inline skaters, and a visit in late 2016 suggests that the park users are almost entirely BMX type bikers. So aggressive bladers will have their gripes about the orientation of the park features. Nevertheless, the park seems to be in good condition and running smoothly.
Kelly St. at Avenue St. John, Longwood
New skatepark opened September 2018 after the neighborhood park underwent reconstruction.
River Avenue Park
157th St. and River Ave., Concourse
Opened in 2010 and located across the street and south of the old Yankee Stadium site — and four or five blocks south of Mullaly Park. Mostly open air, with just a small part under the elevated subway tracks. The site is all concrete, so there are ledges and such, but no ramps or pipes.
Forest Park Skate Park
Forest Park, Woodhaven Blvd. at Myrtle Ave.
Public skatepark that opened summer 2003. Located at the Greenhouse basketball courts. Photo ID and waiver required.
Rockaway Skate Park
Shore Front Parkway at Beach 91st St., Rockaway
An outdoor public skatepark that opened in September 2004. Local skaters and boarders were able to contribute suggestions during the design process, so we expect it turned out to be pretty skateable. There are ten ramps and several rails. Armor and waiver required. Open mid April to mid October.
354 Front St., Stapleton
Reputedly the only indoor skatepark in the city, located about a mile south of the Staten Island Ferry landing at Richmond. Privately owned facility of about 8000 square feet that opened in 2012. The owners decided to open the spot after the city messed up Ben Soto Skatepark.
Ben Soto Skatepark
Midland Beach Playground, Father Capodanno Blvs. at Graham Blvd.
Public skate park that opened in April 2005. Included a quarter pipe, jump box and various rails. However, although the city Parks Dept. website still lists this skatepark, they are reported to have removed and thrown out all the equipment in April 2011 saying it was no longer in acceptable condition. The only thing there now is a few rails and ledges.
Faber Park, 2175 Richmond Terr., Port Richmond
Public skate park that opened in 2015 adjacent to Faber Pool and close to the Bayonne Bridge.
Skateparks on Long Island used to come and go practically with the seasons. Things seemed to stabilize for a while with the opening of a number of publicly owned park, but one of the few remaining privately owned parks closed in 2017.
Baldwin Park, Baldwin, Hempstead;
Publicly owned outdoor park that opened 2002. About 11k square feet, open to boards and inlines but no bikes. ID and protective gear required. Website also says proof of residence required, without indicating whether non-residents can use the park at all. Located about 2 miles south of the Baldwin station on the LIRR.
Greenport Skate Park
Moores Lane, Greenport;
Free public outdoor skate park almost all the way to the east end of Long Island. Located on Moores Lane about a block north of Front St. and about 3/4 of a mile from the Greenport train station.
Greenlawn Park, Broadway and Cuba Hill Road, Huntington
(631) 351-3089 (office of Parks Dept director)
Publicly owned park that opened May 2004. About 9k square feet.
Entry fee and season pass pricing varies depending on whether you are a local resident.
Inline 1 Sports Center
Hallock Ave. / Route 25A off Crystal Brookhollow Rd., Mount Sinai;
Outdoor park. Over 14k square feet. Open seven days a week weather permitting, and open after dark. Located about a mile east of the Port Jefferson Station on the Long Island Rail Road.
Drop In Skate Park
#143 Route 59 East, Hillburn Industrial Park, Hillburn, NY
Formerly located in New Jersey but now moved just barely across the border into Rockland County, close to I-87.