The local skatepark that I chose to review was a rather easy choice. The Niles skatepark is located in downtown Niles, Michigan. Heading northwest on Front Street, you’ll pass the Wonderland Cinema; then boom, the skatepark is located on your left hand side.
Being called a “skatepark” is actually rather misleading; considering the sign on the gate says that the park is open to bicycles, skateboards and roller blades. Although, I have seen the occasional scooter rider roll around inside the park. All of the local skaters that I ran into while visiting the skatepark were incredibly friendly and created a warm and welcoming atmosphere to new strangers, like myself at the time of the visit. Overall, I enjoyed visiting the skatepark.
It was almost as if everybody I asked questions about the park, were all on the same brainwave. A good majority of the locals that I questioned responded to the question, “What is that you like about the Niles skatepark?” with the common answer that the park is conveniently located downtown and that there isn’t a fee to enter the park. One local skater answered the question with, and I quote, he “always has a fun time when he skates here.” It seems like Niles must have done something correct when they built their skatepark in the location downtown.
Among the fun and welcoming atmosphere at the Niles skatepark, the park offers a wide variety of ramps and rails to skate around on. One major ramp, well I’m not sure if it’s called a ramp, but the Niles skatepark has a huge skating bowl. Other ramps the skatepark has are launch ramps, bank ramps, quarter pipes, a hip ramp and a pyramid ramp. Along with three rails available for grinding. Although it is not a ramp or rail, many experienced skaters utilize the trashcan to help improve their skills and perform tricks.
During my visit, I also witnessed a wide range of ages to use the park. Some were there with friends doing half pikes while others were just learning to stay on their board! My first thought was that it just wouldn’t work having older teens with young elementary kids but to my surprise, the older boarders were helpful and courteous to younger ones. For this, I am glad that Niles chose to build a park to bring all ages together to skate in a safe environment.
So, if you are looking for adventure on a smaller scale, fun on the weekend or just hang with some friends after school, the Niles Skatepark is the place to be. It’s a great addition to Niles parks, it’s free, conveniently located, has different aspects for the beginner or advanced skater and has a friendly atmosphere. In my opinion, the Niles Skatepark gets a “thumbs up” for family fun, affordability and availability.