Longboarding has become a hugely popular sport across the USA. Today, there are packs and trails designed for longboard riding and training. For those in the longboarding community, it’s more than just a hobby.
Longboarding is a way for us to get exercise, relax outdoors, and explore new places. Whether you’re cruising around town or shredding down a mountain trail, longboarding lets you enjoy the freedom of riding while also staying active.
This guide is all about helping my fellow longboarders find great trails close to where they live. I’ll give you tools to discover longboarding trails near me and provide the essential safety and gear info you need. I will also recommend awesome spots around the country and share tips from my own experience bombing hills.
I hope you feel inspired to chase those downhill runs or carve up some new pavement by the end. Most importantly, I want you guys to get out there and enjoy everything longboarding and trail rides offer!
Before you hit the trails, you must ensure you’re prepared for a fun and safe longboarding adventure. Safety should always be the top priority, so the first step is inspecting your safety gear and board.
First, you must ensure you have the proper safety gear to protect yourself while on the trails. A good helmet, pads, and gloves will save your skin if you end up bailing. Here are some of my must-have recommendations for safety gear:
- Get a certified longboarding helmet that fits your head snugly.
- Wear wrist guards to prevent sprains or breaks if you fall forward.
- Have knee pads for the same reason—they’ll save your knees.
- Don’t forget elbow pads for extra protection of those bony joints.
Before I head out for each session, I take a few minutes to inspect my board to look for any issues. I recommend you do the same. Ensure everything is in working order so you can focus on enjoying the trail. Do the following as a basic safety check:
- Check all bolts and ensure trucks are tightened properly.
- Clean and lubricate bearings if needed for smooth rolling.
- Examine the deck for cracks or delamination.
- Inspect wheels for wear and ensure they spin smoothly.
Remember to check how the weather will be on your longboarding trail. This is important for planning your ride and staying safe. Take a minute to check online or call local land managers to get the following info:
- Check the weather forecast. Reschedule if rain or storms are coming.
- See if any trail closures are in effect.
- Inquire about recent conditions like fallen trees or mudslides.
- Consider conditions when choosing trails suited for the day.
Finding great longboarding trails near me is important if you want to enjoy the sport. Whether you’re looking for an easy cruise or a challenging downhill run, having local trails to ride is essential. Here are some of the top ways to start researching trails in your area:
When you’re looking for new trails to ride, I recommend you start with online resources and mobile apps. Sites like Trailforks and AllTrails are great places to begin your search. These apps allow you to search for trails by location, surface type, distance, and difficulty.
You can easily see reviews from other longboarders about conditions and features. The maps and GPS tracking make navigating directly to the trail from your home simple. I find this is an easy way to scan the options and find somewhere new to explore.
Another excellent source of knowledge is connecting with local longboarding communities. Many cities and regions have Facebook groups or forums such as Central Florida Longboarding and r/longboarding where longboarders gather to share routes, meet up for rides, and ask each other questions.
Participating in these groups will teach you about hidden trail gems you might have never discovered on your own. Fellow longboarders can provide insider tips about the best hills, fun features, and current conditions of the trails.
For more formal trail information, governmental websites can be quite useful. City and county parks departments usually maintain trail maps and listings on their sites.
You can find detailed data on state and national forest paths through forest directory pages. These official sites cover elevation profiles, permitted uses, and amenities like parking areas.
They provide peace of mind that a trail is properly maintained and suitable for longboarding. Reading through the descriptions alongside photos can help you choose routes perfectly suited to your ability and preference.
When it comes to longboarding, there are so many different types of trails available across the USA that it can sometimes be hard to choose! But don’t worry; by understanding the variety of environments, surfaces, and features, you can find the perfect trail.
As a longboarder, I’m always excited to explore the wide range of environments you can find trails in. Whether you want to cruise through the city or ride through nature, there are options for everybody. Some of the main environments include as follows.
- Urban trails:
These trails are perfect for those who live in cities. They typically involve paved paths winding through parks, alongside rivers, or in residential neighborhoods. The smooth surfaces and mostly flat terrain make practicing tricks and maneuvers easy and safe.
- Suburban trails:
Similar to urban trails in material but often longer in length. You’ll find trails in quieter suburban areas, rolling through open green spaces with occasional gentle ups and downs. This provides views of surrounding scenery while still keeping the ride fairly accessible.
- Rural trails:
Want to escape the city? Rural trails deliver you deep into nature along gravel, dirt, or crushed stone paths. You may pass farm fields, forests, lakes, and low-traffic country roads. The varied and unpredictable loose surfaces will improve your riding technique on tricky terrain.
- Coastal trails:
Nothing beats the seaside atmosphere of coastal trails. Ride on soft surfaces right alongside the ocean with its refreshing breezes. Take in panoramic beach and water vistas as you cruise or carve parallel to the shoreline.
- Mountain trails:
Calling experienced downhill riders, mountain trails are not for the faint of heart. They involve rugged paths winding steeply uphill and down through alpine scenery like forests and rock formations. Navigate tight curves and test your control on these challenging slopes.
Part of the fun of longboarding is tackling different surface types. As an experienced longboarder, I’ve learned to love the diverse textures under my wheels. You’ll commonly find the following surfaces in longboard trails.
- Concrete trails: As one of the smoothest surfaces, concrete allows for high-speed riding with minimal rolling resistance. It’s very consistent under wheels.
- Asphalt trails: Similar qualities to concrete but with just a touch more texture for improved grip, especially when conditions are wet or breezy. Asphalt provides confident downhill runs.
- Gravel trails: Skilled riders enjoy gravel for its loose, uneven, and unpredictable nature. It requires utilizing edge control and weight shifts to maintain balance and momentum.
- Packed dirt trails: Having more give than gravel, packed dirt is softer underfoot but still provides decent rolling. Shifting your weight quickly helps you navigate ruts and bumps.
- Wooden boardwalks: Gliding along elevated wooden structures through scenic wetlands or nature areas creates a magical trail experience. Listen for the creaking planks underneath.
- Wet surfaces: Whether paved or unpaved, wet trail conditions up the slipperiness factor tremendously. Go slower and be extra cautious of braking and turns.
Every trail has its own personality, shaped by aspects like hills, turns, and views. A good longboarder knows how to appreciate all the special highlights a trail offers, as mentioned below.
- Hills of all grades: Ride hills at your own comfort level – steep or mellow. It’s satisfying to conquer challenging inclines or bomb enjoyable descents.
- Tight or wide turns: Sharp corners improve edge control while broad sweeping bends are satisfying to hold long, graceful carves through.
- Scenic views: Towards the ocean, rivers, meadows, and mountains – trails offer inspiring panoramas to take in while riding.
- Historic structures: Passing remnants of the past, like stone walls, bridges, and old buildings, adds cultural interest.
- Art installations: Public sculptures along routes creatively transform the trail experience. You get to appreciate some incredible works as you shred.
- Benches and resting spots: These offer a place to take a breather, recharge, and enjoy nature at your own pace.
From coast to coast, the United States boasts versatile terrain perfect for longboard exploration. Whether you seek hilly downhills, lush scenery, or open stretches of asphalt, America’s varied landscapes invite boarding adventures.
The following trails offer enjoyable ways to tour different regions on your longboard.
The Cardinal Greenway is a 60-mile-long multi-use recreation trail located in east-central Indiana stretching from Richmond to Marion. It was constructed on a former railroad line and is one of the longest rail trails in the state.
It passes through beautiful countryside in Grant, Delaware, Henry, Randolph, and Wayne Counties. The trail surface is crushed limestone and is suitable for walking, running, cycling, or other non-motorized uses. It’s a quiet trail suitable for all abilities to enjoy the natural scenery and cultural sites in the region.
Here’s a quick summary of the trail.
- Location: Cardinal Greenway Trail
- Trail Length: 60 miles
- Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
- Notable Features:
- Links several cities, villages, parks, rivers, and landscapes.
- Connects cultural and historic areas.
- Connects to other trails.
- Features restored depots, bridges, and scenic views.
- Trailhead locations in Richmond, Gaston, Gas City, Sweetser, and Marion.
- Parking is available at trailhead locations.
Longboarding Beartooth Highway is an amazing downhill run along a scenic highway in the Beartooth Mountains. It is straddling the Montana-Wyoming border.
The route follows US 212 south from Beartooth Pass Vista Point at over 10,000 feet elevation. The road is a very smooth blacktop the entire way, with a gentle slope downhill for most of the approximately 22-mile route.
Riders can achieve speeds around 20-40 mph depending on conditions and their riding style. I consider it one of the top trails in the region for its beauty and flow.
Here’s a quick overview of the trail.
- Location: Beartooth Highway Along US 212 South
- Trail Length: Approximately 22 miles
- Difficulty: Intermediate. The run is mostly downhill with some gentle uphills and turns to navigate.
- Notable Features:
- Spectacular mountain scenery along cliffside roads.
- Numerous high alpine lakes.
- Opportunities to see wildlife.
- The trail starts from a pullout near Beartooth Pass Vista Point along U.S. Highway 212.
- The highway is paved and accessible by vehicle.
- Camping options are also available near the trailheads.
- There are various turnouts and parking areas along the route.
Cross Seminole Trail is a very long paved trail that runs through several cities in northern Florida. It starts in Lake Mary on the western edge of Sanford. A scenic portion passes through Winter Springs with wooded tree coverage. It then enters Oviedo parallel to the busy Aloma Ave.
The final section crosses into Orange County near Howell Branch/Aloma Rd. There are many access points along the route with parking near shopping centers. It offers an easy 31+ mile continuous path for longboarding or other non-motorized activities through an urban setting.
Check the quick overview of the trail below.
- Location: St. Joseph, Florida
- Trail Length: 31.58 miles
- Difficulty: Easy but with lots of cornering.
- Notable Features:
- It is a paved trail that runs through several cities, including Lake Mary, Winter Springs, and Oviedo, and ends in Orange County.
- Features scenic portions through Winter Springs with tree coverage.
- There are several access points along the trail.
- In Winter Springs, good parking is available near the Winter Springs Towne Center or a retirement home near SR 417.
- In Oviedo, access is near the mall on Aloma Ave (SR 426).
- Ends near Howell Branch/Aloma Rd in Orange County.
The Tidewater Bike Trail is a 4.17-mile multi-use trail located near Manteca, California. The trail follows along the bank of the Tidewater River and remains relatively flat with only minor elevation changes totaling 3 feet of gain and 7 feet of loss.
The surface is described as a little rough but suitable for bicycles and walking. The terrain is not suitable for downhill longboarding due to its flat layout. Approximately halfway along the trail, there is a small skate park located just off the path.
The summary of the trail is given below.
- Location: Manteca Tidewater Bikeway
- Trail Length: 4.17 miles
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Notable Features:
- The flat trail alongside a river.
- Features a small skate park a couple of miles in.
- No specific directions were given to the trailhead.
- The trail runs alongside a river near Manteca, California.
The Five Mile Loop Trail is a 5-mile long trail that winds through Point Defiance Park. The trail follows an old road that was closed to cars due to erosion issues. This makes it a safe space for pedestrians and non-motorized users.
Being car-free allows users to enjoy the scenery along the trail leisurely. The trail is popular with longboarders, hikers, and others looking to experience the beauty of Point Defiance Park along a trail.
Check the trail summary as follows.
- Location: Tacoma, Washington
- Trail Length: 5 miles
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Notable Features:
- Steep inclines, forest sights, and beaches.
- Rose Garden, Rhododendron Garden.
- Located in the outer loop of Point Defiance Park’s Five Mile Drive and Trails.
- Accessible from the Boy Scouts lot near Cheney Stadium.
- Parking available.
The Jordan River Parkway Trail is a 45.3 mile multi-use trail situated along the Jordan River in northern Utah. It stretches through the cities of North Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Midvale and Sandy.
The trail provides access to over 12 miles of paved path perfect for walking, running, biking or other recreation. The route remains fairly flat and paved for its entire length, offering users beautiful views.
- Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
- Trail Length: Approximately 45.3 Miles
- Difficulty: Moderate. It is fairly flat and paved.
- Notable Features:
- Views of the Jordan River and surrounding mountains.
- Paved surface along the entire trail.
- Popular for walking, running, biking and other recreation.
- Designated accessible parking near trailheads.
- Paved trail surface along entire length.
- Benches available for resting.
As longboarders, we want to ensure everyone has a good time on the trails. Different locations will have their own specific rules, so it’s crucial to check signage at the trailhead. But in general, there are a few key things we should all keep in mind to be respectful trial users.
I recommend yielding to other trail users, even if you have the right of way. Trails can be narrow, so go slowly and be prepared to stop if needed. I suggest passing left-side like bikers do so others always know where you’re going.
I find it essential to pay attention to any posted speed limits. Sometimes, trails will have sections where it’s best to go slower, like around blind corners.
As longboarders, we love cruising fast, but safety comes first. You never know what’s around the bend. I suggest cruising at a pace where you can quickly stop if an animal or person appears ahead.
Being friendly and courteous can go a long way. A quick “passing on your left!” let others know your intentions. I find it helpful to yield extra space if a trail is busy, as bigger groups mean smaller areas to navigate around each other. Following basic etiquette ensures trails remain accessible and enjoyable for all types of recreation.
Before embarking on your longboarding adventure, I recommend checking with local authorities about any trail-specific rules or regulations. Requirements may differ depending on the park or location. Knowing the guidelines ahead of time will help you stay compliant.
I suggest considering protecting the natural environment of the trails as well. Traveling only on designated paths and avoiding sensitive areas helps preserve the trail ecosystems for future longboard explorations. Proper trail etiquette keeps the landscape safe and sustainable for all.
Developing strong fundamental longboarding skills is crucial for safely enjoying extended trail rides. Proper technique helps navigate uneven surfaces and varied terrain with ease and stability. Here are some areas I suggest to work on:
To fully enjoy longboard trail rides, having the basic techniques down pact is important. I recommend you start practicing on gentle, flat trails to get comfortable balancing and propelling yourself. Some key fundamentals include the following:
- Riding in a straight line.
- Initiating turns safely and smoothly.
- Being able to stop effectively using foot braking.
Getting braking dialed made me feel much more confident to take on hilly trails gradually. Be bold and start slow – building that foundation will serve you well as your skills progress.
Once you master the basics, you can tackle more varied terrain trails. Hills can be thrilling but also require special approaches. When going up hills, I learned that dropping to my knee for extra stability or simply getting off and walking if it’s steep.
For downs, it’s important to maintain control with a curved stance for maneuverability. Practice modifying your speed by carving back and forth across slopes.
Be cautious – it’s easy to pick up too much speed, so keep your wits about you. You will gain the confidence to navigate almost any hill with steady practice.
Carving turns is what makes longboarding so fun and fluid. I suggest you experiment with carving techniques to maximize style on wider open trails. Lean your body into sharp, controlled turns; you will trace curvy paths down hills or around scenic vistas.
It takes some tries to get the hand positioning right for balanced turns. Over time, they began linking carves into flowing combinations. Carving drills are a great way to improve precision handling skills continuously. The smoother your carves are, the more you’ll truly appreciate the landscapes unfolding on every ride.
I always find being well-prepared vital to maximizing the fun and enjoyment of any longboarding adventure. Taking the time to plan properly will ensure you have everything needed to ride safely. Here, I’m outlining the critical items to pack and other essential preparation tips.
When preparing for longboarding adventures, pack essential gear to enjoy the ride and stay prepared for anything. Here are some essential items I recommend keeping in your bag:
- Water: Dehydration can sneak up on you quickly, so always carry plenty of water when longboarding on the trails. I drink at least 2 liters for every hour of riding.
- Snacks – Pack portable snacks like protein bars, granola, or dried fruit. After shredding down the trails, your brain and body will thank you with quick and easy fuel.
- First Aid Kit: You never know when a small cut or scrape might happen. I always bring a small first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic, pain reliever, and first-aid cream.
- Multi-tool: This comes in handy for minor board adjustments or repairs on the go. Look for a multi-tool with a common screwdriver and wrench heads.
- Cell Phone: Ensure your phone is fully charged if you need to look up directions or contact someone. Download maps of the area ahead of time as well.
- Sun/Wind Protection: Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen help you stay comfortable on long, sunny rides. I also bring a light windbreaker for cool breezes.
Proper clothing is essential to enjoy longboarding while also staying safe. Before hitting the trails, consider the forecast and terrain. While at it, remember the following tips:
- For sunny pavement trails on a warm day, I like to wear moisture-wicking shirts made of technical fabrics that keep me cool and dry.
- Lightweight shorts, preferably with padded knee inserts, allow maximum freedom of movement.
- Remember your helmet, wrist guards, and knee/elbow pads for whenever you’re pushing your limits.
- I recommend dressing in layers for flexibility in cooler weather or when tackling wooded trails.
- A base layer keeps sweat off your skin, while outer layers provide warmth and wind/water protection.
- Fleece and softshell materials work great.
- Additionally, closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles protect you from roots, rocks, and other trail debris.
- Always bring extras like a rain jacket, gloves, or beanie, depending on current and changing conditions.
Your clothing should keep you comfortable on a variety of descents and climbs. Adjust your gear based on the terrain, elevation changes, and overall challenges of the ride you plan to tackle.
Sometimes, longboarding trails near me can sometimes close unexpectedly due to maintenance, weather events, or other issues. I recommend confirming a trail’s status online or calling the local land management office ahead of your visit.
Following trail organizations on social media also informs you of closures or advisories.
Knowing the latest conditions prevents surprises and helps you find alternative routes to shred if your preferred trail isn’t available. Regular communication helps optimize your longboarding adventures.
Being prepared for any situation is important when enjoying longboarding trails. Follow these recommendations to ensure you ride safely:
It’s crucial to know how to properly respond to falls, crashes, and other injuries that may occur. I recommend taking a wilderness first aid course to learn techniques like splinting and basic first aid.
Always ride with a well-stocked medical kit containing supplies like bandages, pain relievers, and antiseptics. Proper safety gear can also help minimize harm from wipeouts.
Carrying a fully-charged mobile phone allows you to summon help if needed. More importantly, GPS apps can keep you oriented on unfamiliar trails.
Apps like Trailforks show your location, allow turn-by-turn navigation, and display emergency contacts – giving you peace of mind should you become lost or separated from your group. Be sure to download trail maps before your ride in case of low cellular service.
Letting others know your plans is invaluable for your safety. Give details about your intended route and expected return time to family or friends. This way, they can accurately report if you don’t check in as scheduled.
I also recommend riding with a buddy whenever possible. You can look out for each other’s well being and navigate back together if issues arise.
GPS tracking apps like Life360 share your location and allow loved ones to monitor your progress in real-time. I felt safer knowing my travel companions could pinpoint my whereabouts should we separate.
If riding solo, enable location services so rescuers can track your signal quickly if needed. Additional precautions include leaving detailed route descriptions with a trusted contact supplement technology for extra assurance.
Before you head out to a trail, you will want to consider if you will be longboarding alone, as a group, or joining a club. Riding solo or in a group, each has its own unique benefits when exploring longboarding trails.
While independent rides allow flexibility, hooking up with others offers valuable learning opportunities and safety in numbers. Both solo and group trail sessions have their place depending on your preferences for any longboarding adventure.
I often enjoy longboarding on my own as it allows me full freedom over my pace and choice of trails. However, riding solo does have some disadvantages.
When riding alone, no one can help if you encounter any issues or accidents on the trail. You also miss out on the encouragement, tips, and camaraderie found when riding with others.
Group longboarding allows you to explore new trails with other experienced riders. More advanced longboarders in a group can show you new maneuvers and skills to improve your riding. Beginners can learn from others in a safe environment.
A group also gives a sense of security while traveling on busy or challenging trails. Many hands make light work if you encounter obstacles together. The social aspect is enjoyable, too – comparing gear, sharing stories and tips around a trailhead, or over lunch.
Local longboarding clubs and meetups are great ways to experience the sport socially and find organized group rides. Clubs often hold structured training sessions, trail maintenance days, and social events.
Clubs provide an easy way to be introduced to new trail networks while gaining advice from longtime local riders. Many areas have Facebook groups, too, where you can link up with others.
If you’re a student, you can join a school longboarding club. A good example is the Ohio State University’s longboarding club. Don’t be shy – reach out to your regional club and start shredding trails with a crew today.
Getting out and seeing new places is one of the best parts of longboarding. Whether you load up your board for a day trip or camp under the stars, hitting fresh trails is always an adventure. Here are some tips for expanding your horizons:
Day or weekend trips are a perfect way to extend your longboarding radius and check out new trails without too much planning. I recommend scouting potential destinations close to home that you can easily access for a long day of riding.
That will allow you to sample different terrain without a major time commitment or travel. Expanding familiarity with areas outside your neighborhood can open new paths for regular jaunts or impromptu shredding sessions.
Taking your board on the road allows you to shred in new places, but you need to transport it properly to keep it safe during the drive. Here are some tips to do just that.
- Use a padded longboard bag to protect your deck from bumps and scratches in the car.
- Secure your bag or board in the trunk or back seat with a bungee cord or strap to prevent sliding around.
- Remove loose truck parts like wheels to prevent damage, and pack them securely.
- Consider bringing a smaller “beater” board for road trips if you’re worried about damaging your prized deck.
- If taking multiple boards, stack them neatly and add padding between each.
- For really long road trips, take breaks to stretch your legs and do a little cruising at rest stops along the way.
The United States has no shortage of scenic trails just waiting for you to carve down. Get inspired by browsing trail maps online and reading trip reports from other longboarders.
Feel free to venture out of your comfort zone, too – I’ve found that pushing my limits on more advanced trails has taken my skills to new heights.
Remember that conditions can vary drastically based on location, too. Trails out West offer epic downhill runs through mountain scenery. The East Coast provides flowing asphalt cruisers along coastal boardwalks.
For a truly unique experience, look into trails carved into volcanic landscapes in Hawaii or through redwood forests in California. Wherever your travels take you, I’m certain you’ll discover stretches of pavement unlike anything near home.
Documenting and sharing your longboarding experiences with others is a fun way to relieve memorable rides and inspire fellow shredders. Whether you capture photos and videos or log your routes with GPS, social media makes connecting with the worldwide longboarding community easy.
Sharing the Stoke from great trails you discover is a way we can all work together to promote this activity we love. Here are some of my recommendations for documenting and sharing the awesome ride.
I recommend using GPS apps to map out your longboarding routes. Apps like Strava allow you to record your rides’ track, distance, and top speed. You can even analyze maps and stats to improve your skills.
Don’t just save the data for yourself; be sure to share your epic trails with others online, too. Fellow longboarders will love checking out your sickest runs.
When you reach an especially chosen filming spot, bust out the cameras. Capturing photos and videos is a great way to remember the places you shredded.
Get shots of scenic vistas, crazy tricks, and your crew boarding together – endless possibilities. Later, you can relive the Stoke by watching your editor of the day’s sesh. Just be safe and only film when it doesn’t put you or others at risk.
After your adventures, I recommend sharing photos and videos on social media. Give a full play-by-play on Instagram stories. Post dope shots with locations pinned on Facebook. Tweet highlights from your hauls.
Spreading the Stoke is key to inspiring others and growing the community. You never know; cool spots or new boarding pals may come your way, too. Connecting with industry folk or sponsors could lead to pro opportunities.
Longboarding offers an amazing way to experience the diverse natural beauty of the United States. Whether you seek a leisurely cruise or an adrenaline-pumping downhill run, trails across the country provide endless opportunities to adventure outdoors and improve your skills on the board.
I hope this guide has inspired you to discover new longboarding routes near your home or during future travels. Most of all, remember to soak up the freedom and joy that comes from cruising scenic trails. Whether solo or with friends, enjoying the ride is what longboarding is all about.