Hey, gang-

My next few posts will be Flashback episodes- mostly about me and Nicki recently playing local tourists. The pandemic has kept us staying pretty much close to home, but have been able to get out and about in our “backyard” of Hernando, MS and Memphis, TN.

On Saturday, October 16th, Nicki and I went to check out the Hernando Skate Park 6th Anniversary competition and fundraiser event at Pidgeon Park in Hernando, MS.

The skatepark is just around the corner from us and Nicki had a new mirror-less digital camera she wanted to play with. (Sharing pics taken with my iPhone.)

There was a great “Hernando Skates” turnout- lots of spectators, many bands performed, and several skaters of all skill levels took to the bowl style concrete park and competed in the fundraising event.

There was some serious defying of gravity going on…

…well, sometimes gravity can be a harsh mistress..!

Trust me, I was reminded the first time I tried going in! Thankfully I was wearing hockey pads. I don’t bounce back like I used to.

You can read more about that time when Kevin ThornGreg CravensMike Womack, their kids and I checked out the skatepark and it’s grand opening 6yrs ago on my Have Geek travel blog post.

That’s the board (left) I rode on that day in Hernando and the one (right) I rode on around 40 years ago when I lived in Bartlett.…it’s soooo tiny! Would have loved to skate a park back then.

I was skating out in Bartlett, TN back in ‘77/78 and mostly just had the parking lots in our apartment complex to skate around by myself- really didn’t have any friends who skated. I remember seeing some guys doing a trick demo out in front of the Raleigh Springs Mall and was blown away! I never thought about doing any “tricks” on my board. For me avoiding any rocks in the road and staying on it was tricky enough. I remember hearing about a park being built out that way and then was told it closed almost immediately due to drainage problems. I never got to try it (there is a new one in Raleigh now). I was sorry to see the skatepark area in Southaven on Rasco near Hwy 51 suddenly close. It had a plaza “streetscape” trick area and a separate roller-hockey rink. I graduated from Southaven High just up the road and would have loved having it back in the ‘80s.

The Hernando Skate Park aka “Pidgeon Park” was built in 2015 by Evergreen Skateparks (Portland, OR) in Renasant Park off Hwy51, just south of Conger Park and the courthouse square and Commerce Street. The local dog park is nearby, and the future Hernando Animal Shelter will have it’s new home there, too…someday.

The MS Dpt. of Wildlife and Fisheries granted Hernando a $100,000 Recreational Trails grant to construct the Hernando Skate Park/Pidgeon Park. The land was donated, and Hernando Skates group raised the remaining funds needed for Evergreen Skateparks to make it a 6,000 square-foot concrete reality.

Landshark! We’re gonna need a bigger park…”

The non-profit group is raising money for Phase 2 of the park to add a plaza style skate park alongside the current bowl one. Look forward to seeing that happen, especially since the Southaven park was dismantled.

The new and more streetscape park will include grinding/trick items like handrails, benches, curves, and more- plus adding some new landscaping. Would love to see some seating/bleachers added (at a safe distance) for spectators.

They’re applying for an 80/20 grant of $150,000 through Mississippi Department of Parks and Wildlife Fisheries and will be responsible for the other 20 percent of the funds needed.

It’s a strong possibility that the 2nd skatepark section will be in place and operational before the animal shelter breaks ground- in my opinion the city seems to be dragging their paws on the shelter. Nicki and I try to donate to it when we can- either money or dropping off supplies at the shelter and/or farmers market table. If you’d like to help check out their Facebook page.

I didn’t know a lot about the actual origin of the skatepark (and am still learning about the park’s history), but remember being very excited hearing about it and the local grassroots movement to see it happen in Hernando. Nicki and I would donate a few bucks whenever we’d see “Hernando Skates” (a non-profit group) set up around town, and enjoyed talking to Edward Pidgeon whenever I’d run into him on the square or at Area 51 Ice Cream.

Ed was one of the spear-headers for the park’s creation, and although he passed away in 2019, he did get to see and enjoy the park before he died, as well as pass along his love of skating to a new generation of DeSoto kids.

The skateboard park can be enjoyed by anyone- from beginners to more experienced skateboarders. Skateboarding clinics are held from time to time to teach those wanting to learn.

Even though I really don’t use the skate park, I enjoy watching others skate it and am really glad it’s in our backyard.

Hernando Skate Park/Pidgeon Park

3369 Hwy 51 S #3323
Hernando, MS 38632
Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Mon-SunHoliday hours might differ

Free or Pay – Free
Inside or Outside – Outdoors, very outdoors!
Are Pads Required? No- but I recommend them, seriously.
Riding Surface? Concrete…hard concrete.
Is there a pro shop on site? N0, but there is a port-a-potty, and pop-up booths and live music at events.

City Of Hernando Parks & Recreation

DeSoto Times: “Skateboard competition raises funds for second phase construction at Hernando skate park”

CH3: Hernando skate park opening comes after years of dedication

Edward Pidgeon and Hernando Skatepark | Documentary by Bryan Cox

HGWT: Cleveland Rocks, And Memphis Has The Blues, But Hernando SKATES!


Skateboard gear, apparel, and info:

Mid-South Skate – www.midsouthskate.com
Instgram: @midsouthskate

Cheapskates of Memphis 
1576 Getwell Rd.
Memphis, TN, TN 38111

Contact Skateboard Shop LLC (Society Memphis Skatepark and Coffee)
583 Scott St.
Memphis, TN 38112

Zumiez (Wolfchase Galleria)
2760 N Germantown Pkwy; Ste 214
Memphis, TN 38133

Zumiez (Tanger Outlet, Southaven)
5205 Airways Blvd, Ste 970
Southaven, MS 38671


Other skateparks in the Mid-South area:

Latimer Lakes Park
Horn Lake, MS 38637
Bowl-type skating park built for skateboards, bicycles and inline skates.
Covers a half-acre site and features ramps and slide rails.

Raleigh Springs Civic Center (Memphis Skate Park)
3384 Austin Peay Hwy
Memphis, TN 38128
Our skate parks are free and open to all ages, but skaters must play at their own risk.
Protective gear is recommended for adults, and kids under the age of 12 are required to wear protective gear (knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet) and be accompanied by an adult.
Skaters are allowed Tuesday through Sunday, with bike use in this park allowed only on Mondays.

Tobey Park (Memphis Skate Park)
2599 Avery Ave
Memphis, TN 38112
Amenities include bowls, plenty of ramps and rails, stairs, snake runs, and Tobey Park’s infamous Memphis Wave, which allows daredevils to defy gravity.
Our skate parks are free and open to all ages, but skaters must play at their own risk.
Skaters are allowed Tuesday through Sunday, with bike use in this park allowed only on Mondays.

Society Memphis Skatepark and Coffee
583 Scott St.
Memphis, TN 38112
Anyone and Everyone who wants to enter Society skatepark area must register by filling out and submitting the proper Liability Waiver.
At this time, due to insurance regulations, HOVERBOARDS, ELECTRIC VEHICLES, UNICYCLES  are NOT ALLOWED!
We have viewing lounge on the second floor with free Wi-Fi and a full service coffee bar.

Al Town D.I.Y. Skatepark
849 Roland St.
Memphis, TN 38114
Instgram: @altown_memphis

Houston Levee Skate Park
9777 Wolf River Blvd.
Germantown, TN 38139
This facility can accommodate skaters at all levels, from the beginner to the extreme.

Munford Skate Park (located in Poplar Park)
63 College St.
Munford, TN 38058
All users are required to wear helmets, and all users under the age of 13 are required to wear knee and elbow pads.
Skate boards and in-line skates only; i.e., no bicycles are allowed. No motorized vehicles or other wheeled devices allowed within the skate park.