The following skate parks are within a 90-minute drive of Washington. Unless otherwise noted, each requires use of helmets and protective pads for knees and elbows, all of which often can be rented at supervised sites for $1 to $3 per item or $5 to $10 per full set. Each park, unless otherwise described, is outdoors and fenced-in and allows skateboards, in-line skates and -- during specified sessions -- BMX bikes. The minimum age generally is 6, and adults usually must accompany children younger than 10. Unless noted differently, parks require all participants to sign liability waivers, and parents must sign forms on site for children younger than 18. A waiver usually is good for a year. Skaters must obey posted safety and courtesy rules. Call ahead to confirm session times and to check weather conditions, as outdoor parks close in the event of rain and sometimes if temperatures prove extremely hot or cold. Parks also usually close on holidays. Most parks provide free spectator seating just outside the skating areas.
Anne Arundel County
SAWMILL SKATEBOARD PARK -- Sawmill Creek Park, 301 Dorsey Rd., Glen Burnie. 410-222-0017. www.aacounty.org/RecParks/athletic_facilities/skateboard.cfm. Open mid-March through mid-November. During summer, open daily noon to 8. Daily admission is $3; a 15-visit frequent user pass is $35. The park offers skateboarding summer camps for all ages Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 to noon, the weeks of Aug. 2 and 16. The cost is $108. Rent the facility for private parties for $50, daily from 10 to noon and Fridays from 6 to 8 during the summer; Saturdays and Sundays 10 to noon during the school year. Rental safety equipment is not available. Constructed on two asphalt-surfaced former tennis courts, this lighted, supervised, county-operated skate park opened in July 2002. It features a five-foot halfpipe, quarterpipe, pipe rail and funbox, all constructed of steel. Non-motorized scooters are welcome, but bikes are not permitted. Children ages 12 and younger require adult supervision. The park also has a playground, tennis courts and trails.
SKI HAUS & CYCLEWORKS -- 824 E. College Pkwy., Annapolis. Take Route 50 east to Exit 29-B (Cape St. Claire Road). At first traffic light, turn right onto East College Parkway. Turn right at the first stop sign and follow about a quarter-mile to the store on the left. 410-757-6444. www.skihaussports.com. Open year-round during store hours, generally Monday through Friday 10 to 7, Saturdays 10 to 6 and Sundays 11 to 5. Closed during summer skateboard camp sessions, which take place whenever at least six people register, Monday through Friday 9:30 to 12:30 through the end of August, $65 for each five-day session. Park admission is $6 per day. The small, unfenced, unsupervised five-year-old facility, created by Ski Haus employees, features plywood structures on an asphalt surface. Highlights include a large halfpipe, a mini ramp, two small quarterpipes, a funbox, a wedge box with a rail and a few standalone rails. Helmets, wrist guards and kneepads are required; elbow pads are optional. Skaters must provide their own equipment.
TRUXTUN PARK SKATE PARK -- Truxtun Park, Hilltop Lane and Primrose Road, Annapolis. 410-263-7958. www.annapolis.gov. Open daily from 10 to dark year-round. Admission is free. Camps for ages 8 to 10 and 11 to 14 take place periodically; new sessions will start during the school year. The site is not staffed and does not require waivers or passes. Skaters skate at their own risk and should wear proper safety equipment. The park is open only to skateboards and in-line skates. This 61-by-90-foot facility, operated by the Annapolis Department of Recreation and Parks, features an asphalt base topped with ramps and obstacles constructed of pressure-treated lumber and plywood, with Skatelite Pro riding surfaces. Highlights include two four-foot quarterpipes, two five-foot bank ramps, one fly wedge box with a 5-0 rail, a half pyramid with a multi-ledge, a straight rail, a round grind rail, a flat grind rail and a ledge-style box.
Baltimore and Baltimore County
CHARM CITY SKATEPARK -- 4401 O'Donnell St., Baltimore. 410-327-7909. www.charmcity.tv. Open daily 12:30 to 8:30. All-day admission is $10; after 5 p.m., admission is $5. Small-group lessons are available before the park opens, $30 for one two-hour lesson. Participants must provide their own equipment. Helmets are the only required protective gear. Parental supervision is not required, regardless of age. Staff members are on hand in case of injuries but do not supervise skating. Skateboards, in-line skates, BMX bikes and scooters are permitted at all times. The facility includes a shop that sells skateboards and accessories. Owned and operated by experienced skateboarder Jason Chapman, this unique, five-year-old indoor, concrete-floored skate park offers 16,000 square feet of activities in a no-frills, warehouse-like setting. Chapman constructs the ramps and other obstacles using two layers of three-quarter-inch plywood and a thick layer of tempered Masonite. The street-oriented layout, which changes periodically to meet customers' needs, includes a 40-foot halfpipe and numerous other ramps, boxes, rails and other challenges.
* Upcoming special events:
Aug. 14 -- The Grom Contest Series for skateboarders ages 13 years and younger has beginner and intermediate divisions. Registration is at 10 a.m., and the contest starts at noon. The entry fee is $20. For additional information, call 732-790-5169 or call Charm City Skatepark or visit Unitedskate.com.
Aug. 15 -- The Beast of the East Amateur Contest Series for more experienced skateboarders older than age 13 begins registration at 10 a.m. The contest starts at noon. For additional information, call 732-790-5169 or call Charm City Skatepark or visit Unitedskate.com.
COCKEYSVILLE SKATE PARK -- Galloway Avenue, just east of York Road, Cockeysville. 410-887-7734. www.co.ba.md.us/Agencies/recreation/countyparks/skateparks/index.html (with directions). Open year-round; hours through Aug. 29 are daily from noon to dusk. No admission fee. Each participant receives a mandatory registration card after signing a waiver. Rental equipment is not available. Only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted. This supervised, 12,000-square-foot Skatewave-designed park, which opened in March 2003, features all-metal structures on an asphalt surface. Highlights of the park, operated by Baltimore County's Department of Recreation and Parks, include halfpipes, ramps, jumps, grinding boxes and rails, and an area designated for younger and less experienced skaters. The park does not offer lessons, but staff members are on hand to assist beginners.
SANDY HILLS SKATEBOARD PARK -- Bero Road, Lansdowne. 410-887-1439 between 10 and 4. www.co.ba.md.us/Agencies/recreation/countyparks/skateparks/index.html (with directions). Open all year; summer hours, in effect until school starts, are Monday through Friday from 3 to 8, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to dusk. Admission is free, but each user must obtain a registration card after signing a waiver. Only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted. Old-school board enthusiasts from around the world flock to this unique, surf-style park to skate the legendary Lansdowne concrete bowl, which dates to the '70s. The winding, sloping layout also features a "snake run," an elongated area in which skaters build up speed. Closed for several months, the bowl reopened in June with resurfacing and added grinding curbs. The park now is fenced and supervised. Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks employees and neighborhood skaters are designing a new street course to feature a halfpipe, flyboxes and other obstacles on an asphalt pad. It's slated to open later this month or in August, and a dedication ceremony with demonstrations is scheduled for 11 a.m. Aug. 28.
STANSBURY SKATEPARK -- 7880 Stansbury Rd., Dundalk. 410-887-3478. www.co.ba.md.us/Agencies/recreation/countyparks/skateparks/index.html (with directions). Open all year. Summer hours are daily noon to dusk through Sept. 1. Free admission. Each participant receives a mandatory registration card after signing a waiver. Rental equipment is not available. Only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted. Operated by Baltimore County and designed by Arbor, this supervised, year-old park features 18,000 square feet of asphalt, accented by steel structures, including a large halfpipe, a spine, skate rails, ramps, obstacles and a couple of grind boxes.
CHIEF SITES PARK -- Lower Beckleysville Road, east of Main Street, Hampstead. Go north on Route 30 to Lower Beckleysville Road, and go about a half-mile to the park entrance. 410-239-7408. No Web site. Open all year from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. Waivers are not required; skaters skate at their own risk. This 100-by-50-foot, unfenced, unsupervised skating area offers quarterpipes, a jumpbox and a grind rail, all constructed of steel, on an asphalt pad.
MANCHESTER SKATE PARK -- Westside Park, Route 27, south of Route 30, Manchester. 410-239-6900. No Web site. Open April 2 through Oct. 31, daily from dawn to dusk. Day passes, $5, are available Monday through Friday 8 to 4:30 at the Manchester Town Office, 3208 York St., or at Pizza Garden, 2965 Manchester Rd. Season passes, available at the Town Office, are $50. Each applicant must provide a small photograph for an ID card, and, if younger than age 18, must have a parent's signature. Skaters must wear helmets and are encouraged to wear knee and elbow pads. Skateboards and in-line skates are permitted at this three-year-old, asphalt-surfaced, fenced-in facility operated by the Town of Manchester and monitored by the local police. Highlights include a quarterpipe, vert ramp, halfpipe and funbox, constructed of wood with metal skating surfaces. Spectators can watch from picnic tables in a nearby pavilion.
MOUNT AIRY SKATE PARK -- Watkins Park, 615 Center St., Mount Airy. 301-829-1424 or 301-829-8373. No Web site. Open all year. Summer hours, until Aug. 29, are Monday through Friday noon to 8, Saturdays 9 to 8 and Sundays 1 to 6. Admission is $5 per day. An annual pass, $40 for town residents and $60 for nonresidents, can be purchased at Town Hall, 110 S. Main St., Monday through Friday 8:30 to 5. No equipment rental is available. Only skateboards are permitted, at this town-operated, supervised park, which includes such features as wood, Skatelite-coated ramps, quarterpipes, ledges and boxes, and steel rails on an asphalt pad.
WESTMINSTER SKATE PARK -- Corner of Tuc Road and Locust Street, Westminster. 410-751-5501. www.westgov.com/ParksRec/parks_skatepark.htm. Open daily dawn to dusk all year except for March. Westminster Police Station is across the street. Free admission. Waivers are not required -- skate at your own risk. Helmets and kneepads are required, elbow pads are recommended. Only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted. Operated by the city of Westminster, this unsupervised park has an asphalt pad topped by wood ramps and other obstacles with Skatelite and 10-gauge steel coatings. Highlights include six-foot and four-foot halfpipes, several four- and six-foot quarterpipes, a funbox, a pyramid and a rollover. Skaters can transition from one end to the other without push-offs.
CHARLES COUNTY SKATEPARK -- White Plains Regional Park, 1015 St. Charles Pkwy., White Plains. 301-638-5208. www.charlescounty.org/pf/pg/parks/skatepark/default.htm. Open daily, except holidays, year-round. Summer hours, through Aug. 31, are weekdays from noon to 4 and 4 to dusk, Saturdays and Sundays 11 to 3 and 3 to dusk. Admission per session is $3 for residents ages 17 and younger and $4 for residents ages 18 and older, $2 higher for nonresidents. A season pass is $75/$100 for youths, $95/$130 for adults. The facility can be rented for $175, generally Saturdays and Sundays from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Looking somewhat like an array of stylized sand dunes, this totally concrete park designed by Wally Hollyday of California Skateparks is one of the region's largest and most popular facilities. Constructed in 2002, the 17,000-square-foot, 65-person capacity layout includes a multiple bowl/pool area along with a street course featuring quarterpipes, pyramids, banks, ledges, stairs, rails and hips. Stainless steel coping facilitates easy sliding and grinding. The park has drink vending machines and a covered rest area and lots of spectator seating.
COLUMBIA SPORTSPARK -- 5453 Harper's Farm Rd., Columbia. 410-715-3054. www.columbiaassociation.com/ text-sports.shtml#sportspark. Closed January through March; other hours vary with weather. Skate park summer hours are daily noon to 4:45 and 5:15 to 10. Admission is $3 for Columbia residents with resident cards and Columbia Association members, $6 for nonresidents and nonmembers. Rental safety equipment is available, including wrist guards, required for in-line skaters. The facility can be rented for private parties; prices and times vary. Almost 15,000 square feet in size, this Columbia Association-operated facility features a six-foot halfpipe, three quarterpipes, assorted ramps, two quarterpipe vert walls, two bank vert walls, a three-sided bank launch box with a rail, and two 20-foot rails. The SportsPark offers miniature golf, batting cages, video games, a snack bar and a playground.
GAITHERSBURG SKATE PARK -- Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg. 301-258-6350. www.gaithersburgmd.gov; click on "Parks, Recreation and Culture," then click on "Skate Park." Open April through December. Summer hours, until school starts, are daily noon to 4 and 4 to 8. Sessions open only to BMX bikes are Tuesdays 4 to 8 and Sundays 10 to noon. Full-session (four hours) admission is $4 for city residents, $6 for nonresidents; partial-session admission (for the two-hour BMX session and two-hour skating sessions during the school year) is $3 for residents, $5 for nonresidents. Rental safety equipment is available. In-line skaters must wear wrist guards in addition to the required helmets, kneepads and elbow pads. The park can be rented for private events, Saturdays 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., $175 for residents, $250 for nonresidents. Five-session "School of Skate" lessons take place Monday through 23 for beginners, Aug. 9 through 13 for intermediates. Classes run from 8:45 to 11:45 a.m., for kids in grades two through eight, $100 for residents or $125 for nonresidents. Operated by the Gaithersburg Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture, this 12,300-square-foot, asphalt-surface park opened in 2000. The supervised site offers 12 ramp and box structures crafted of pressure-treated wood coated with Skatelite. Other features include a 200-watt stereo system (playing edited versions of popular songs); several quarterpipes, a spine, bank and small obstacles. The park also has vending machines and lockers. Surrounding Bohrer Park also boasts a water park and miniature golf.
CITY OF ROCKVILLE SKATE PARK -- Welsh Park, 355 Martins Lane, Rockville. 240-314-8765 (info line) or 240-314-8766 (office line).www.rockvillemd.gov/skatepark. Open mid-March through mid-October, daily noon to 4 and 4 to 8 during the summer. Freestyle bike and scooter sessions take place Wednesdays and Sundays 4 to 8. Admission per session is $4 for ages 17 and younger, $5 for ages 18 and older, $2 additional for nonresidents. A season pass is $65 per resident youth, $90 per resident adult; $110 per nonresident youth and $130 per nonresident adult. Rent the facility for birthday parties, $175 for residents, $250 for nonresidents, available Saturdays and Sundays 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Weekly in-line and skateboarding camp sessions for ages 6 to 14 take place Monday through Thursday from 9 to noon through Aug. 19; cost is $135 for Rockville residents, $155 for nonresidents. The park requires full safety equipment, including wrist guards. Built and operated by the city, and designed by Woodbridge-based Ramptech, the supervised, 10,300-square-foot, asphalt-surfaced skate park opened in 2001. Its pressure-treated wood obstacles coated with Skatelite Pro, along with steel rails and polyurethane side rails, include a halfpipe, eight quarterpipes, two bank ramps, a half and full pyramid box, two flat fly wedges, an angle wedge, a lowbox, a minibox, a straight rail, a kinked rail, a street spine and a hip ramp. The course is designed to provide easy flow and access from one piece to another, and an open area is suitable for beginners. The park also has a picnic area, sports courts, a playground and indoor and outdoor pools with a snack bar.
Prince George's County
BOWIE SKATE PARK -- 301-262-6200, Ext. 3076. www.cityofbowie.org. The City of Bowie's skate park at Gallant Fox Lane and Maryland Route 197 is closed. The city is planning a new concrete facility at Allen Pond Park, 3330 Northview Dr., to be built this fall and winter and scheduled to open in the spring. The city is posting on its Web site, for two months, a skate park survey through which skaters can describe their preferences for the future park.
St. Mary's County
SKATE PARK AT NICOLET PARK -- 21777 Bunker Hill Dr., off Great Mills Road, Lexington Park. 301-475-4200, Ext. 1845 (information line, with directions). www.co.saint-marys.md.us/recreate/facilities/skatepark.asp. Open all year. Summer hours are Monday through Friday 2 to 7 and Saturdays and Sundays noon to 7. Admission is $3 for ages 17 and younger, $4 for ages 18 and older. Season passes cost $75 and $95, respectively. Night skate jams take place Aug. 13 and Sept. 10 from 7 to 9. Skate lessons are Saturday mornings 10 to 11:30, Aug. 7 through Sept. 11, $75 per six-week session. The park can be rented for private parties September through mid-December by calling 301-737-5680. The cost is $100 for 50 to 75 people. All skaters must wear full protective gear, including wrist guards. Only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted. Designed by American Skateparks, this 12,000-square-foot street course looks like a huge, amoeba-shaped, waterless swimming pool. Highlights at the supervised park, which opened , include a spine, a nine-foot deep side and six-foot shallow side, a bank walls pyramid and a double set of stairs with a ledge and rail. A back bowl includes depths of seven, six and four feet. The third and final contest in the Checkers Skateboarding Championship Series takes place Aug. 21 for ages 16 and younger and Aug. 22 for ages 17 and older and for women and long-board skaters. Registration is from 8 to 9, and the competition starts at 9:15. Entry fee is $20. The event is a fundraiser for the Capitol Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit organization that monitors beach conditions and water quality. Call 301-737-5680 or visit www.checkersseries.com for additional information.
SCHUYLER HAMILTON JONES SKATE PARK AT LUCKETT FIELD -- 3300 Duke St., at Wheeler Avenue. 703-838-4343. Open all year, daily 9 a.m. to dark. Free admission. The park isn't supervised; skate at your own risk. Only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted. Operated by Alexandria's Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, the city's first skate park opened in September. City staff met with local skaters to plan the design, constructed by the American Ramp Co. The 12,000-square-foot park features two connected areas, one geared toward beginner to intermediate skaters, and the other, which opened in May, for intermediate to advanced skaters. Steel-framed ramps and other obstacles, surfaced with Skatelite, top a concrete pad.
POWHATAN SPRINGS SKATE PARK -- Powhatan Springs Park, 6020 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. 703-228-3337. Scheduled to open mid- to late August. Open all year, with summer hours Sunday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $4 for county residents, $6 for nonresidents. Free admission for skaters arriving before designated supervised hours. For residents only, $25 punch passes are good for 10 visits, and $50 annual membership allows unlimited visits. Helmets are required; knee and elbow pads are recommended. BMX bikes are permitted only during designated three-hour sessions, one weekday afternoon and one weekend session per week, times to be announced. Construction is nearing completion on this 15,000-square-foot concrete skate park, designed by pro skater Frank Hirata of Purkiss Rose-RSI, incorporating suggestions from local skaters, and built by California Skateparks. Features of the largely street-inspired course include an 11-foot-deep bowl and eight-foot-deep bowl, pool coping, four-foot and six-foot halfpipes with a spine, vert extensions, a hump, a volcano, big three blocks with gaps, stairs with a railing, flat and round rails, a funbox, a picnic table, a bank, a hip and a curved/angular bench. Powhatan Springs Park also will feature athletic fields and an interactive, educational Children's Rain Garden play area.
VAN DYCK SKATE PARK -- Van Dyck Park, 3730 Old Lee Hwy. 703-385-7858. www.fairfaxva.gov/ParksRec/Parks.htm. Open year-round, dawn to dusk. Free admission. Waivers are not required, but helmets are; other safety equipment is highly recommended. The park is not supervised; skate at your own risk. Adjacent to the Fairfax Police Station, this two-year-old, 78-by-78-foot park features a concrete skating surface with rails and several steel ramps. It's open only to skateboards and in-line skates. The adjoining park boasts a playground, tennis and basketball courts, and, through October, a Tuesday morning farmers market.
SKATE NIGHT AT FAIR OAKS CHURCH -- 4601 West Ox Rd., Fairfax. 703-631-1112, Ext. 134. www.skatenightonline.com. Through Aug. 25, the church holds a free summer sports camp featuring skateboarding and other sports for third- through sixth-graders Wednesdays from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Helmets are required. The church's popular Skate Nights, Sundays from 7:30 to 9 for all ages and from 9 to 10 for ages 16 and older, resume in September, opening date to be announced. Free admission, donations accepted. Helmets and other protective gear are not required. The portable, indoor skate park inside a 100-by-120-foot gym features real street obstacles, including stairs, rails, ledges, park benches and picnic tables along with quarterpipes and bank ramps, constructed of wood with Ramp Armor coating. Asylum Skate Shop sponsors the events, along with large competitions usually held in September and February. Skate Night includes, at 8:45, a Bible lesson and announcements about upcoming church events.
CATOCTIN SKATE PARK -- 141 Catoctin Cir., Leesburg. 703-771-4771. www.idalee.org/skatepark/default.htm. Open year-round. Summer hours, through Sept. 6, are Monday through Friday 2 to 10 and Saturdays and Sundays 11 to 8. Open only to ages 10 and younger Saturdays 11 to 1. Bikes without pegs (cylinders fastened to axels and used for doing tricks) are admitted Wednesdays 7:30 to 10 p.m., Saturdays 6 to 8 p.m. and Sundays 11 to 1. Admission is $4 for Loudoun County residents ages 15 and younger, $5 for residents ages 16 and older, $1 additional for nonresidents; bike admission is $3 for residents and nonresidents. Books of 10 admission coupons cost $32 for resident youths, $40 for resident adults, $8 additional for nonresidents. Books of 25 admission coupons cost $60 for resident youths, $75 for resident adults, $15 additional for nonresidents. Rental safety gear is available. Call 703-777-1368 for details about renting the park for private parties outside of regular park hours, $100 per hour. Waivers are not required. A 10-foot-high vert wall, six-foot-high halfpipe with a one-foot extension, four-foot mini-ramp with spine, quarterpipes, launch ramps, funboxes and rail slides highlight this 12,000-square-foot lighted, supervised skate park operated by the Town of Leesburg Parks and Recreation Department. The park, which opened in 1998, boasts an open design and features a skating surface of coated asphalt; obstacles are made of Skatelite-coated wood. Vending machines and picnic tables are on site.
OLD TOWN SKATE PARK -- Tudor Lane, next door to Osbourn High School, off Main Street, Manassas. 703-257-8237. www.manassascity.org. Open year-round, daily dawn to dusk. Free admission. Waivers are not required, and the park is not supervised. Skate at your own risk. Protective gear is recommended highly. Bikes are not permitted. Built by All Recreation and featuring Huna Designs equipment, this 50-by-100-foot park opened in February. Constructed on an asphalt pad and designed for beginner and intermediate skaters, the park features about a dozen steel components, with Skatelite-surfaced ramps and rails.
SKATEPARK AT COSTELLO PARK -- 99 Adams St. 703-335-8872. Open all year, daily from sunrise to sunset. Free admission. Waivers are not required; skate at your own risk. Helmets and kneepads are required. Manassas Park's first skate park, built by Ramptech, opened in May. The unsupervised, 5,000-square-foot facility features several ramps, rails and benches and is open to skateboards, in-line skates and BMX bikes without pegs.
Prince William County
SCOTT D. EAGLES SKATE PARK -- Veterans Memorial Park, 14300 Featherstone Rd., Woodbridge. 703-491-2183. www.pwcparks.org/vetspark/vets_skate.html. Open mid-March through October. Hours through Labor Day are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 2 to 6:30, Saturdays and Sundays 2 to 7. Daily admission is $3 for residents, $5 for nonresidents; a waiver must be completed at each visit. A season pass, valid for one year for residents, is $60. Rental safety equipment is available. The facility can be rented for private events on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekend mornings for regular per-person admission fees. Only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted. Children younger than 12 must be supervised by a person age 16 or older. Located in Veterans Memorial Park, the supervised, 9,000-square-foot facility built by Ramptech features such obstacles as a 12-by-50-foot halfpipe, bumps and moguls. The park includes 1,800 square feet of smooth surfaces accented by street and sidewalk obstacles.
CURTIS PARK SKATEPARK -- Curtis Memorial Park, 58 Jesse Curtis Lane, off Hartwood Road, just off Route 17, Fredericksburg. 540-752-5660. www.co.stafford.va.us/parks. Open year-round, daily dawn to dusk. Free admission. No regular supervision; skate at your own risk. No waivers required. Safety equipment is recommended but not required. Adults must supervise children younger than age 12. Only skateboards are permitted. Three five-day Skateboard Camp sessions for ages 9 to 14 take place at the skate park Monday through Friday 9 to 4, starting July 26. Admission is $85 for county residents, $95 for nonresidents; call 540-658-4572 to register. Built in 1996 by the Stafford County Parks and Recreation Department and local skateboarders, the 3,000-square-foot park will get a facelift starting at the end of summer, to be completed by late fall. Currently, the park's obstacles, crafted of wood with forged steel surfaces, include five three-foot-high ramps, four kinds of boxes and three quarterpipes arranged on an asphalt pad. The surrounding park offers an outdoor pool, trails, a lake, a playground and tennis courts.
ST. CLAIR BROOKS SKATEPARK -- 60 Butler Rd., Stafford. 540-373-7909. No Web site. Open all year, daily from 8 to dusk. No admission fee. The skate park is not supervised; skate at your own risk. Waivers are not required, but helmets and safety equipment are recommended. The five-year-old park, operated by Fredericksburg-Stafford Park Authority, boasts a unique freestanding, oblong, banked wooden-frame bowl with a Skatelite surface; it measures about 300 square feet and is 10 feet deep. The park also features a 100-by-200-foot open free-skate area with steel and wood obstacles, including two quarterpipes and assorted ramps, jumps, boxes and rails. BMX bikes are not permitted in the bowl. The Big One IV skate and bike festival, featuring demos and bands, takes place Sept. 18 from 10 to 6; admission is $5.