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Find Inline Skating Rails-to-Trails

Many Rails-to-Trails Are Great Skating Locations

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Find Inline Skating Rails-to-Trails
Logo © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

A good skating location resource for inline skaters in the United States are rail-to-trails, rail-with-trails and other multi-use paths. These locations are traffic-free, do not have road obstacles and the grade of an average rails-to-trails path never exceed three percent, so you do not have to worry about needing uphill or downhill skating skills.

Most of these trails for inline skating have smooth asphalt or concrete surfaces and consistent trail conditions.

Find Inline Skating Trails by State

Most rails-to-trails are less than 5 miles long, but there are 10 in our country that extend for over 100 miles and there is at least one that is 225 continuous miles long. Many of these wide, sculpted, relaxing paths with a flat or gentle-grade are the perfect location for inline skating. They provide skaters and other fitness enthusiasts with many year-round opportunities to go outside for healthy exercise and wholesome fun at any age. Most rails-to-trails are designed with a lot of access points along the length of the trail that allow skaters and others to travel on as much or as little of each trail's length as they would like to use.

There are a few good benefits for inline skaters who use these rails-to-trails:

  • Rail paths always have a flat to gentle slope.
  • No cars are ever allowed on these trails.
  • Former train routes offer scenics with no strip development.
  • These trails often pass through small towns, big cities and scenic rural areas.

Behind most of this planning and work is the non-profit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The Conservancy publishes a magazine, newsletter, and a directory of known rail trails in the US, entitled 1000 Great Rail Trails. This publication is a useful tool for finding out where rails-to-trails exist in any specific state. The complete rail-trail listings include the trail's length and endpoints, the type of surface (paved, dirt or gravel), the types of activities allowed and even wheelchair accessibility. The same information is also available on their supplemental website, TrailLink, which includes a list of the 10 longest rail trails, the top 100 trails, hotel information and introductory orientations to most current rail trails. The Conservancy publishes 8 region-specific books that provide useful logistical details about each area's rails-to-trails, too.

Other Trail Finding Resources

A trail list has been compiled by Minnesota Inline Skating Club members who have skated the trails and have written up a description and rating of each listed trail location. K2 Skates has a nice collection of skating trails. California Inline Skating has a great guide to the best places to inline skate in the Golden State.

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