1. Louisville Extreme Park – Louisville, Kentucky
N. Clay St. and Franklin St.
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Opened: April 2002
Size: 40,000 sq. ft.
Hours: Always open
The fact that the Louisville park is open all day and night every day of the year and bikes are always allowed helps put this park on the top of our list, as it is truly one of a kind. In addition to its accessibility, the park is one of the largest outdoor parks in the U.S. and has something for everyone no matter what age or skill level. The park is owned and operated by the Louisville Metro Government and Metro Parks department and includes a 24-foot full pipe, bowls, quarters, and hips of all sizes, lots of rails and ledges, and a 12-foot wooden vert ramp.
In issue 77 of Ride, Rob Dolecki had a double page photo of the park as the Start spread and Mark Losey wrote a paragraph explaining that the park had just opened, was open 24 hours a day, and bikes were always allowed. Since then, the park has appeared in Road Fools 12 and other Props videos, along with countless Web edits. With plenty of good street spots nearby and cheap hotels, too, Louisville quickly became a road trip destination after the park was complete. Showing up at 2am and riding until the sun comes up is a must-do for any traveling BMX rider. Just don’t try to camp out there—the park is cool and relaxed, but the city won’t allow anyone to sleep at the park.
“I can’t believe it exists in the U.S.A. It’s bananas. 24/7 and no hassle from anyone. Amazing.” – Vinnie Sammon
The Start spread from Ride’s issue 77.
2. Espee Park – Chandler, Arizona
450 E. Knox Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85225
Year Built: May 2007
Size: 25,000 sq. ft.
Hours: 7am – 10:15pm
On May 5, 2007, the city of Chandler, Arizona, cut the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony of one of the first bike-only parks in the country. Its incarnation was the result of BMX riders taking positive action and working closely with their city council after not being allowed to ride the skateparks in the area.
The park is definitely more flow-oriented, as it doesn’t have a “street section” at all. It has a box jump that you can hit from every direction, plenty of hips and quarters, humps and rollers, a spine, sub boxes and rails, berms, and wedges. If you can stand the heat in Arizona or go at a time of the year when it’s not 100-plus degrees, you will absolutely love this place. And you’ll never have to worry about running into a skateboarder or five-year-old on a scooter.
Photos by Marko Knezevic.
Video from swbmx.com.
3. FDR – Philladelphia, Pennsylvania
S. Broad Ave. and Pattison Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Size: 16,000 sq. ft.
Hours: Sunrise to sundown, no lights
Skateboarders started building this park without permission under a freeway bridge in ’94. After the city realized they had a good thing going they just let the skaters keep building. Over the years it has changed more than a chick getting ready for a big date and it keeps getting bigger and better. Since skateboarders literally built the place with their hands they tend to get a little protective of the spot, but if you go early in the morning and respect the park and the skaters, you can usually get in a good session without hassle.
Since the East Coast has such a thriving scene, it’s no surprise there has been a ton of photos and footage from FDR over the years in magazines and videos. Big name pros like Van Homan, Brian Wizmerski, Josh Stricker, Bob Scerbo, and Derek Adams (to name a few) have all been locals at the park at one point or another and just about every traveling pro has gone there more than once including the cast of Road Fools 3.
This photo was shot around 2000. Since then the park has grown and changed quite a bit, always for the better.
4. Anthem Hills – Henderson, Nevada
Reunion Dr. & McCullough Hills Pkwy.
Henderson, NV 89052
Opened: October 2003
Size: 26,475 sq. ft.
Hours: 6am – Midnight
The Las Vegas area has more public concrete parks than they know what to do with. You can literally drive around and accidently bump into several parks in a day. Some suck, some are good, and some are really good. Then just outside of Las Vegas is the Anthem park in Henderson which is good enough to make it on our list of best parks in the country. There are several sections of the park, so you can ride one area and not get in the way of anyone else—a key element for a place that gets so crowded. As with any great park, this one has a large variety of stuff to ride in all shapes, sizes, and is for all skill levels.
Photos by Manimal from Concrete Disciples.
5. West Linn, Oregon
S. Parker Rd. and S. Wild Rose Dr.
West Linn, OR 97068
Size: 14,000 sq. ft.
Hours: 9am – dusk
The greater Portland area is another part of the country that is just littered with public concrete parks. A huge “thank you” goes out to the city planners in the Northwest for realizing how important these parks are to today’s youth. And another huge thank you goes out to West Linn for being home to one of the best parks in the country. The park is jam packed with transitions ranging from really small to oververt. This park is for riders who like a pool-flowing feel—it even has real pool stairs to carve over. Just watch out for and respect the pool coping because we all know how protective pool skaters get over their spots.
Photo from skateoregon.com.