In northern California where I live, the East Bay Regional Park District maintains miles and miles of multi-use trails that residents use for recreation, commuting and exercise. When I relocated from Alameda County to Contra Costa county, I was sad to leave the Alameda Creek Trail behind but ecstatic to find the Iron Horse Trail, a converted rail trail that Dan and I use on a weekly basis. We are so devoted to persuading others to come out and play on skates that we maintain a website called CASkating.com with these trails plus over 300 other routes in our home state.
Anybody who wants to find skate-friendly routes across the US can use the free TrailLink.com search tool, powered by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and supported by a partnership with Google Maps. If you have a favorite trail that’s not listed, go ahead submit your writeup and photo.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting local communities in converting unused railroad corridors into community trails. I have donated financial support to this worthy organization for years because they are making it possible for skaters to enjoy more and more time and distance in the great outdoors.
I also support regional multi-use trail expansion efforts that may not result in new wheel-friendly routes for me but do encourage people of all kinds to participate in human-powered sports. The Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and the Pacific Crest Trail both get my annual donation.
Does your community or state benefit from the work of organizations like these? I urge all of my skating friends to become aware of trail projects such as the ones I mention here that will help stave off the looming obesity epidemic. Which organization can you commit to supporting today? How many extra calories burned would you like to take credit for?