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Your Guide to Skateparks in the Hudson Valley

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Photo by Beny Huckaby

Looking for a place to skate? The Hudson Valley is home to numerous skateparks for the novice and the expert skater alike.

At its inception, skateboarding was a crude and makeshift sport. Californian surfers needed something to do when the waves were too calm—in fact, the first skaters were often dubbed “asphalt surfers.” Early skateboards, which date back to the 1950s, were simple in design: a plain wooden plank with trucks and wheels appropriated from old roller skates.

Now, skateboarding is a booming industry and, in 2020, the sport was included in the summer Olympics for the first time. Skateboarding has continued to grow in popularity in part because of its stature in pop culture—movies like Jonah Hill’s Mid90s define skateboarding as an aesthetic dogma as much as a physical activity—but also because of its accessibility. Unlike some team sports, which require expensive equipment and league memberships, skateboarding is cheap; a new skater can purchase all the gear they need for under $100.

There are three primary ways of riding a skateboard: street, vert, and park. Street skating involves riding your board in public environments such as stairwells, curbs, and ledges. If you have ever watched the X Games, you probably have witnessed vert skating—daring riders like Tony Hawk speed up and down wooden halfpipes, soaring high above the coping. However, park skating is the best way to get accustomed to your board.

While street skating is a blast, it is a difficult place to start for new riders, as public surfaces and structures are not always conducive to skateboarding—not to mention that it can be disruptive to pedestrians. Skateparks are carefully designed for skateboarding, making them (relatively) safe and controlled environments. Additionally, the skateboarding community is characteristically helpful to new skaters, and making friends with experienced riders is a great way to learn.

If you’re interested in trying your hand—or really, your feet—at skateboarding, you’re in luck: the Hudson Valley is home to a number of parks where you can shred to your heart’s content.

The author of this article, Matt Moment, at the since-closed Drop-In Skatepark in 2007, courtesy of Matt Moment.

Nyack Skatepark

Memorial Park, Nyack

Nyack’s park is a local favorite. It’s comprised of a concrete network of quarter pipes, kickers, ledges, and rails, making it manageable for skaters new and old. Beyond the strength of the park itself, the view is hard to beat. The skatepark sits about 100 feet from the Hudson River, with a clear view of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (or, as locals are likely to still call it, the Tappan Zee Bridge).

When you’re done with your sesh, you can walk into the town of Nyack to grab a bite, some coffee, or just peruse the shops on Main Street and Broadway.

 

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Poughkeepsie Skatepark

Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie

Speaking of skate spots with beautiful views of the Hudson, have you been to Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie? Located between the Mid-Hudson Bridge and the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, the park places skaters just minutes from local delis, restaurants, and even the AWOL Skate Shop.

Unlike the park in Nyack, the infrastructure at Waryas Park is made of wood and metal, which is preferrable for some skaters.

 

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Saugerties Skatepark

Washington Avenue, Saugerties

Open from 7:30 to sunset, the park in Saugerties is similar to Nyack’s in that it is made of concrete and metal. This makes for a smooth cruising experience as riders zip between the bowl, the six-stair, the miniature quarter pipe, and other obstacles.

Luckily, once you tire yourself out, you only have a three-minute drive (a little longer by board) to Main Street in Saugerties.

 

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2nd Nature Skateboarding

Highland Industrial Park, Peekskill

This is the first indoor park on our list, making it a great choice for rainy or cold days. Many skaters take the winter off, but if you want to keep up the grind—no pun intended—you can spend the day at 2nd Nature for around $20.

The park has two main areas. There’s the ground level, with well-manicured wooden obstacles, rails, and a brick quarter-pipe. Upstairs, you’ll find a wooden bowl and halfpipe perfect for newer vert riders. 2nd Nature also offers birthday parties, lessons, and a skate shop adjacent to the park.

 

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Washingtonville Skate Park

Ahern Boulevard, Washingtonville

The skatepark in Washingtonville is a great choice for new skaters. It offers a handful of obstacles—a small halfpipe, a box jump, and a bench—and plenty of open space for newbies to get a handle on their board. The park sits right next to a playground and baseball field, so if you’re making a trip as a family, there is a little something for everyone.

Middletown Skatepark

Erie Way Park, Middletown

This park, located near City Hall and open dawn to dusk, is another great choice for beginners. Much of the equipment is low to the ground, making the park more manageable for inexperienced skaters.

 

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Hudson Skatepark

Oakdale Park, Hudson

Situated within Oakdale Park in Hudson, this park is a great choice for residents of the upper Hudson Valley. It is something of a concrete-and-metal island within a swath of greenery and includes a unique assortment of ramps and rails. While there is plenty to try for beginners, the Hudson Skatepark also offers technical riders some more challenging obstacles.

Not too far from the park is the heart of Hudson—a great selling point for skaters who depend on a parent or guardian for transportation.

Newburgh Skatepark

Washington Street, Newburgh

Rounding out our list is a concrete park just a mile from Newburgh’s waterfront, flanked by a playground and shaped like a “V” when viewed from above. One skater says it is the “best place to learn how to skate,” and that it is home to a “great community.”

For the novice and the seasoned rider alike, the Hudson Valley is a great place to ride a skateboard. On warmer days, consider making a trip to your local skatepark, even if just to spectate. And, if you do decide to ride, always remember to wear a helmet.

Related: These Hudson Valley Pilates Studios Improve Flexibility and Core Strength

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