The trends popping up during the COVID-19 pandemic have been unexpected to say the least. Some people are opting to learn new TikTok dances, while others are experimenting with paint pours. However, my favorite new trend is not exactly new. Roller skates have been selling like hot cakes across online retailers, and the trend has definitely found its way to Memphis (and even into my home).
Learning to skate can be challenging, but it is a great way to get outside safely right now. In my quest to learn how to skate, I started compiling my own list on where to roll around Memphis.
So, if you’re like me and you’ve recently acquired your own pair, keep reading to see where you can put those wheels to work.
The Shelby Farms Greenline offers over ten miles of paved trails across the city. Running from Midtown all the way to Cordova, the Greenline gives you plenty of distance to develop your roller skating skills. Since the trail is so long, it is a great place for beginners because you can get comfortable in your skates and learn how to push yourself forward for long distances. Since you’re not competing for space, the Greenline will be a great place to bring a friend along!
Also, if you didn’t know, Shelby Farms is one of the largest parks in the country. With over 4,500 acres, you can only imagine how much room you have to roam about on your roller skates. Those outdoor wheels will come in handy at this location because the park has over 40 miles of both paves and unpaved trails. Before you visit, be sure to check out the park’s webpage on their trails which can give you an idea on where to explore.
This park is open from sun up to sun down, which gives skaters plenty of time to practice and play around. It’s actually where I first tried out my skates. The space is big enough to practice rolling around, and you can experiment with different ramps inside the bowl. It is important to remember to give yourself enough space, because there are many skateboarders using the facility, too. But, if you’re up for exploring, there are trails surrounding the park that are great for beginners.
Tobey has been a long-time favorite of mine. While it is currently closed, this spot is a great, free facility for all skating-skill levels. In the fall, the park is open from 6AM to 6PM, which gives you a full day to practice. The park also boasts plenty of room which includes bowls and ramps. Once you’re mastered rolling on even surfaces, this spot it prime for trying out new tricks.
If you’re looking to explore as you roller skate, Overton Park is a great place to move around. The Rainbow Lake Trail offers plenty of paved space to catch the views at the park. Plus, this location is big enough to find a space that works for you. P.S. Bring some walking shoes and find a safe area before you put your skates on *beware of the twigs*
This mile-long, paved river crossing is open daily from 6AM to 10PM. Like the Greenline, this location allows you to get comfortable with skating in a straight line. However, the best part of this crossing is the view it offers. While you’re rolling across, be sure to look out for those Memphis landmarks such as the Pyramid and the Memphis Bridge! Oh, and if you’re down for a photo-op, this is also a great location to snap some pics of you in your skates.
While you’re downtown trying out the Big River Crossing, be sure to hop over to Tom Lee Park. Like Overton Park, you’ll find plenty of paved space to skate around—just make sure you’re mindful of other park visitors and pedestrians. If you’ve ever been to Beale Street Music Festival, you’ll know that Tom Lee Park offers some incredible views of the Memphis sunset. The park is open from 6AM to 8PM, so grab some friends and watch the sunset while you’re skating Downtown.
P.S. Contact Skateboard Shop, Memphis River Parks, and Society Memphis came together to put a pop-up skate park downtown at Tom Lee Park!
Raleigh Springs Town Center Skatepark
We see y’all out there breaking in this new skate park! With ramps, bowls, rails and more, this spot is perfect to do some smooth rolling. There’s no official website that we can send you to for more information, but that only adds to the adventure you’re about to set out on, right?
While part of the Greenway is under construction, the Wolf River Greenway does have multiple areas that are still available. Each of these open areas has paved trails that allow for roller skating. Additionally, each area offers paved portions that stretch over scenic bridges. Be sure you follow their social media pages for construction updates before you set out.
Al Town is a unique, do-it-yourself skate park located near Downtown Memphis. The park is primarily designed for skateboarders, however, the open, DIY area allows for roller skaters to move around with ease. Smooth pavement is important when you’re first starting out, so be sure to check out this one of a kind park. According to the site’s FAQ, the DIY park is only open on weekends. Similarly with the Houston Skatepark, be mindful of other skateboarders while you’re rolling.