I’ve been skateboarding for about 10 years. I got started with the sport in the suburbs of Indianapolis and have lived in the state every since. When I started, skateparks around the state were few and far between. Most of them were not public, small, crowded, and expensive for a 13 year old’s meager budget. Needless to say, street skateboarding was the modus operandi. However, as I got older and the sport of skateboarding grew, public skateparks began to pop up throughout the state. Since I’ve been to so many of them over the years, I figured I’d share what I think are the top 5 skateparks in the state. Feel free to disagree with my picks. I know full well that hometown skatepark pride is alive and well.
#5 Forest Park – Noblesville, IN
This park is truly a diamond in the rough. It doesn’t look like much, but if you ask any experienced skateboarder whether this is worth a trip, they’ll answer with an emphatic yes. Forest Park offers a classic mini ramp with spine, multiple ledges, a small street course and many other basic obstacles. It’s not a complex setup which makes it perfect for both low key sessions and high octane shreds. The park has a lot of shade too, which makes it a great stop on a hot summer day.
#4 Lawton Skate Park – Fort Wayne, IN
I was tempted to put this skatepark in the 3rd slot, but I haven’t skated it enough for that. This skatepark has some great transition and street elements and provides a perfect place to skate for someone who likes variety. The euro gaps and ledges are perhaps the park’s best features. The bowl is great too and provides some interesting opportunities for transfers and other ways of “catching air.” It’s a little out of the way from most of the state’s skateparks, but it’s still worth a visit.
#3 Monon Center Skatepark – Carmel, IN
The skatepark in Carmel has one of the most interesting designs for a park anywhere in the state. It takes a little time to warm up to, but I’ve come around to it and really enjoy skating there. It’s got a great mix of euro gaps, rails, ledges and gaps. It does have a bowl that skates kind of like a drainage ditch, so don’t expect much on the transition front. Unfortunately this park doesn’t have lights to keep it open at night, but with a nice workout complex right next door, its easy to take a break and get a snack if you so desire.
#2 Anderson Skate Plaza – Anderson, IN
If you like street skateboarding, this park is a must visit. It’s got some great ledges that are a lot of fun to skate and plenty of gaps and handrails if you’re feeling a little gutsy. The park is incredibly smooth as well. You really don’t need to worry about scrapes or losing skin on the ground because this park has polished concrete. Night sessions are also an option with big stadium lights keeping the park skateable well into the evenings. This skatepark does have a few draw backs, however. There is no transition in the park at all, so if you’re into halfpipes, quarterpipes, or bowls, this park isn’t for you. The skatepark is in a bad location as well. The park is notorious for crime so make sure to lock your car and be wary that there maybe be some people who come by the park looking for trouble.
#1 Upper Cascades Skatepark – Bloomington, IN
This skatepark has it all. Good transition, fun street obstacles, and all kinds of interesting lines to skate. If you love skateboarding in bowls, this one has two. One shallow bowl and one deeper one with pool coping and transitions that range from 6 feet to 8 1/2 feet. The pyramid is a must skate too. If you get sick of the park itself, don’t worry. There’s a DIY spot built on the other side of the parking lot with flatbars and benches. Don’t worry about your car getting broken into either. This park is about as safe as you can get.