Everyone has a favorite spot to use when they want to do Parkour, but there are some locations that are so beloved that they are famous around the world. In this series, we break down some of the most popular Parkour locations in the world, and some of their challenges. To start things off, here are some of the best locations in America.
Some of them are so infamous that they have been sealed off to the general public. But for the ones that are still available, people travel from all over the country to experience them.
Are you near any of these well-known hot spots? And if so, have you practiced Parkour on them? You can definitely consider yourself lucky.
Freeway Park, Seattle, Washington
Built in 1976, Jim Ellis Freeway Park has just about everything you're looking for. Wide open with plenty of space to run and vertical ledges to climb. It's incredible. The possibilities are endless, and the only thing stopping anyone is their imagination.
Despite it being a popular public park, it is not as policed as you might expect. You can catch athletes of all backgrounds doing their thing without getting harassed. Since it is such a popular spot, planning the best hours is essential. Going there when the general public is taking up space is only going to limit your opportunities.
UC Berkeley Campus, California
There is no place better in California for any outside activity than the UC Berkeley Campus. Not only is it permitted, but they teach classes on Parkour! It is a win-win situation on campus as the police are kept in check and are there only for keeping order.
The activities beyond Parkour are plentiful, so it's easy to get sidetracked. Users will often lose focus and end up trying 3-7 activities before the day is over. Out of all the popular places on the list, this one in particular excels in introducing groups.
Even if you are only in town for a little while, you'll make friends for life. Don't miss out on the opportunity to experience this first hand, as it is a one of a kind experience.
Central Park, New York
A lot like Freeway Park, Parkour athletes will love the old school makeup of Central Park. But while the roots of Central Park are old, the park itself is modernized. The modernization took place without getting rid of all the wonderful natural elements.
It's expansive as it was before, with calisthenic equipment and rock formations in place. The only downside about Central Park is that it is too popular. Besides normal park events, you'll catch plenty of people just hanging around after shopping.
It's one of those places where it is super busy in the daytime, but right around evening or nighttime, it is the perfect place.
Century Gardens, Calgary, Canada
Yes, we are aware that Calgary is not in America. It's in North America, though, and that’s good enough for the purpose of this list!
Century Gardens is one of Canada’s greatest Parkour locations, and has attracted international attention for its imposing concrete blocks, slick walkways, warped cement hills, and multi-level layout – making it a dream for traceurs of all skill levels. In fact, folks from all over the world have travelled internationally to do runs at Century Gardens.
There are few other places on the planet that deserve the title “Parkour Playground” quite as much as Century Gardens. It has basically everything you need for any kind of skill building. You can do full runs there, or focus heavily on drills. It’s literally a dream. The city is planning to start refurbishing the space by the end of this year, so get some training in while you can.
The Challenges of These PlacesAs mentioned before, these places are great but sometimes suffer from being overcrowded. These are popular places for Parkour, but you shouldn't look at the general public as a nuisance. They have as much of a right to be there as you, so challenge yourself.
If the schedule you set up doesn't work out and a place is still crowded, do a speed run. Map out open areas and go through them as fast as possible while timing yourself. This is something that a Parkour athlete should be ready to do at any time, so don't sell yourself short.
The preparation for any object in any place will better you as an athlete. If you go into a crowded spot and still don't see the possibilities, then look again. Be safe, but realize that what's in front of you is nothing but obstacles in your way.
Do You Have A Spot?You should share it with other people! The more places there are, the less crowded the popular places will become. One of the biggest hurdles is finding places to train.
Although the listed places are considered to be the most popular, they are by no means the best. There are plenty of places not on the list, a lot of them being college campuses. A college campus is a breeding ground for a lot of Parkour and tends to be more lenient.
Parks can also be hidden gems, so always make it a point to keep an eye out. A good park is hard to find, especially if it is an old school park that isn't overly populated.