One of the best ways to appreciate a longboarding session is to take in a fantastic view. With summer fast approaching and travel limitations still in effect for many places, now is the best time to get outside and explore our very own local(ish!) North America. Not every landmark location has paved roads for longboards, but these do! Here are a few of our picks for trek-worthy trails of North America:
Cardinal Greenway in Richmond to Marion, Indiana: Part of the Great American Rail Trail, this massive trail spans a whopping 62 miles, with many historic arched steel bridge crossings. With this path mainly being flat, it is perfect for new longboarders or those looking to pull out a land paddle and get some speed or train. Ideal for those looking for a longer course. Look for a longboard designed for a smooth ride for this one—you won’t regret it!
Edmonton, Alberta’s River Valley Trails: This city is split in two by the North Saskatchewan River, which results in some gorgeous views and trails to explore right in the heart of a city. You can eat, shop, and explore the downtown core, then feel at peace riding through a beautiful river scenescape within minutes. The trails follow along riverbeds, so keep in mind there will be gentle to intermediate hills and slopes along the way. Try to plan your trip for summer for even more excitement downtown – there’s a reason Edmonton is commonly called ‘Festival City.’
Iowa’s High Trestle Trail in Madrid: Interested in a gorgeous photo from your day on the trail? The High Trestle Trail has got your back. This trail has a bridge that is a piece of Iowa public art. In the daytime, the Trestle Trail Bridge is an impressive optical illusion—by night, the bridge lights up, erupting in vibrant color. The photos of this bridge run from the beautiful to the bizarre. Take your camera for this one!
Paseo del Bosque Trail in New Mexico: Another urban trail, this time in sunny Albuquerque! This space doesn’t stop at just a beautiful path to longboard – there is a beach with public art, a nature center, and the Rio Grande Valley State Park. You can also head off this trail at peak locations to find restaurants if you feel peckish, so it’s perfect for an impulse day trip that included forgotten snacks – talk about multitasking! Just keep in mind not all parts of this trail are paved, so you may be carrying your board if you feel like off-roading.
Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail of Canmore/Banff Alberta: Few things are more awe-inspiring than the rocky mountains. This trail in Canada takes you between the two mountain towns of Banff and Canmore. The path is parallel to the highway, so if you are looking for a peaceful course, this may not be it – but what it lacks in quiet it makes up for in breathtaking views and potential wildlife sightings. It is not uncommon to find mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, marmots, and yes, occasionally bears and moose frequenting the space around this pathway – so keep a lookout for an unforgettable sight!
Yampa River Core Trail of Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Following the Yampa River, you are sure to be brought to a state of meditative serenity. Steamboat Springs offers various things to do both on and off the trail, so consider planning a multi-day trip to this location. Once you’ve experienced the beauty of the river and mountain skyline on a longboard, consider returning the next day and riding down the river on an innertube. Of course, as the name suggests, the hot springs are a fantastic way to open or close a trip to this paradise. Are you looking to be a little more off the beaten path? Check out Fish Creek Falls nearby for another impressive view.
Now get out there and adventure! If you are interested in finding your own longboarding spot, you can check out this trail archive for the United States or this one for Canadian sites. Just make sure to confirm they have asphalt, or you may end up disappointed and on foot.