Sunday, December 14, 2003 - Places to just skate through life - Places to just skate through life
NorthShore Marathon
Duluth, Minn.
Running 26.2 beautiful and mostly flat miles along the shore of Lake Superior,
"this race was selected as the top skating marathon in the USA by
With more than 4,000 participants and growing, it is the largest skating event
(scheduled for Sept. 13) in the country." Difficulty: advanced beginner and

Friday Night Skate
This is "an incredible skate through the streets of Paris — at night and with
about 12,000 of your closest skating friends. Even though 'night skates' now
take place all over the U.S. and Europe, Paris ranks as the grande dame of them
all. Escorted by police and organized by volunteers, this is a skating experience
not to be missed." Difficulty: intermediate and better.

Mineral Belt Trail
Leadville, Colo.
The MB Trail is a 12.5-mile ribbon of smooth pavement that circles Leadville,
offering views of Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak. "Much of the trail,
which boasts significant hills and an average altitude of over 10,000 feet,
winds through the town's historic mining district." Difficulty: advanced.

Venice Beach
Venice, Calif.
"Although it's a mecca for roller disco, hip-hop skate dancers and those wishing
to see and be seen, the roll along Venice Beach's waterfront bike path is for
everyone. While the path in Venice only runs several miles, you can continue
through other areas to make it a day of sun-drenched skating." Difficulty: advanced
beginner and better.

Pennsylvania Amish Area
Lancaster, Pa.
Although it is rarely billed as such, the Amish area here is a fantastic place
to skate. "On the back roads outside Lancaster, children play near one-room
schoolhouses, farmers work in their fields and buggies set the speed standard.
Rolling hills make this suitable only for those with good braking skills." Difficulty:
intermediate and better.

Withlacoochee Trail
Inverness, Fla.
On 46 paved miles along the Withlacoochee River from Citrus Springs to Trilby,
"the trail is mostly flat and quite scenic. The cute town of Inverness splits
the trail in half, allowing for a good overnight spot or a starting point for
an out-and-back skate." Difficulty: advanced beginner and better.

Rhône River Valley
Skating in Switzerland? Some of the greatest long-distance skating paths in
the world are here. "One of nine official bike routes and three official 'skatelines,'
the Rhône River Valley skate runs on paved paths and side roads from the German-speaking
town of Brig down to the French-speaking Lake Geneva region. With views of the
Alps, the path itself is mostly flat and superb for a multi-day skate." Difficulty:
intermediate and better.

Central Park
New York
"New York's most famous skating scene takes place in its most famous park. A
6-mile loop in Central Park is closed to automobile traffic twice daily and
makes an outstanding location for a recreational roll. It is even possible to
get a free braking lesson from the Central Park Skate Patrol." Difficulty: intermediate
and better.;

Berlin Marathon
"This is the biggest inline skating marathon in the world, with 12,000 inline
skaters expected on Sept. 27. The race accompanies the Berlin Marathon, a major
event on the running circuit, Sept. 28. The course is flat and fast, and the
weekend includes a pre-race pasta dinner and a post-race party." Difficulty:
intermediate and better.

A2A Road Skate
Athens, Ga.
"The Athens-to-Atlanta Road Skate (Sept. 28) is the premier distance skating
event in the U.S. Running 87 miles along country roads, this event is not for
the inexperienced or under-trained." Difficulty: advanced intermediate and better.

USA Today has a collection of "great places" in several categories.

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