When the weather warms up, skateboarding becomes a popular past time in Vermont, especially among teenagers. While many towns prohibit skateboarding on streets and sidewalks, communities, along with skateboarding enthusiasts, have come together to build skate parks across the state. From simple but functional parks, to elaborate indoor complexes, there’s a skate park in Vermont for every age and skill level. Here are 9 parks that are worth a visit.
Talent Skatepark and Shop is a huge asset to the Burlington and South Burlington communities. While Talent is geared more towards younger skaters, it is still a great, safe place to ride or skate. The park has a variety of pipes, ledges, and boxes set up around the facility. This is the perfect place to bring a young skater or biker—they offer lessons, and the space can be rented out for birthday parties. The staff at Talent is known for their positive and caring attitude. Skaters will get lose themselves in Talent’s extensive pro shop, and parents and spectators will enjoy taking in the action from their newly added spectator area.
Opened in 2008, Essex Skatepark is a well-maintained facility located within the Maple Street Park. It’s open year-round and free to the public. Bikers, inline skaters, skateboarders, and scooters are all welcome. There’s a lot of variety here—including an array of ledges, quarter pipes, and rails. Bathrooms are available on the Maple Street Park premises. Overhead lights allow riders and skaters to enjoy the park after sunset. This place has a tendency to get crowded during the summer, especially on the weekends, so plan accordingly.
This cool little park in Lyndonville, a small town in northeast Vermont, is simple but functional. The main feature of the park is a concrete bowl. From there it flows into a small street area with a few rails, before ending at a quarter pipe. This park looks as much like an abstract sculpture as it does a skate park. Its sleek contours and slate aesthetic create contrast interestingly with the surrounding green hills and fields. It’s located within the Lyndon Outing Club Park. There are no lights here, so make sure you give yourself some daylight.
Flip Side Skatepark is a diverse, cavernous indoor park built on top of an ice skating rink. The park is open from late May through September. Local skaters were left reeling after Rutland’s other skate park, Zero Gravity, moved to New Hampshire in 2005. The community devised Flip Side to fill the void left Zero Gravity’s departure. The park is a product of expert skate park designer, Chris Hurka, who did all the build-out on site to allow local skaters design input. This network of wooden ramps, rails, and quarter pipes will keep skaters busy all day. Seasonal and daily passes are available here.
The Andy A DOG Williams Skatepark, on Burlington’s waterfront, was designed and constructed by the famed skate park architects at Grindline. The company’s mission is to provide enthusiastic skateboarding youth with durable, safe, and exciting parks. The 22,000 square-foot facility is one of the largest in the Northeast and was funded in part by the Tony Hawk Foundation. The famed skater even showed up for the opening ceremonies last year. The facility is always buzzing with skaters, and the energy is electric. With Lake Champlain shimmering in the background, the location of this park is absolutely gorgeous. Andy A DOG Williams has enough ramps, rails, and pipes to satisfy anyone. No detail was neglected here. This is truly a skater’s skate park.
Smuggler’s Notch Skate Park is located within the Smuggler’s Notch Ski Resort. The park is open from June through September and is a great place for both beginners and more experienced skaters. There is a quarter pipe and mini ramp, and a variety rails, boxes and other structures available. Introductory and intermediate workshops are offered throughout the week at reasonable prices. One workshop even allows students to design their own decks. Helmets are required and pads recommended. Use of the skate park is included with a Smuggler’s Notch pass. Equipment is also available for rent.
While some skate parks have a more manicured look, the Johnson Skatepark has more of an underground, DIY feel. The park sits on what was once a trailer park loop. After the trailer park flooded, the developer donated the land for the skate park. This colorful park is constantly being built up by passionate local skaters, who take great pride in the space. There’s no shortage of space here. The park’s “L” gives a sense of being on a small airstrip. The park, featuring a variety of ramps, poles, and ledges, has something for every skater. Don’t let the graffiti-coated ramps give you the wrong impression; Johnson Skatepark is a substance free zone, inclusive place. There’s a grill and running water for cookouts. While the course itself might be better suited to older skaters, it’s also a place where your family can hang out, watch, and feel welcome.
The Travis Mercy Memorial Skatepark, named for a local teenager who died in a car accident, is a pro-level park situated on a half-acre of land. The park encourages skaters of all levels to the facilities, but be aware that there is no attendant on duty. The community hosts annual cleanups and learn-to-skate events here. The park is free to the public, and includes a halfpipe, two quarter-pipes and a variety of grinding rails.
The Bristol Teen Center and Skatepark, also known as the Bristol Hub, offers youth, ages 19 and under, a safe space to get some exercise, develop their skills, and build community. While the park features a variety of halfpipes, quarter pipes, and ramps, the community aspect of the park might be its biggest asset. The Hub is staffed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and skateboards, scooters, and helmets are available free of charge. On top of that, the helpful staff is more than willing to assist you in capturing that perfectly executed trick on camera. To top it off, there’s an indoor halfpipe available for use when the weather’s not cooperating.