Central Park is full of miles of paved parkways that are ideal for inline skating. The most popular place to skate in Central Park is the Loop, which is closed to car traffic at all times except morning and evening rush hour on weekdays. It is easy to choose between two versions of the Loop - one is shorter and one is longer. The longer loop is 5 miles long, and the shorter one is 2.5 miles long. When you skate past the Loeb Boathouse, you will have the option to go right up Cat Hill, or bear left to stay on the smaller loop.
Traffic on the Loop is one-way; you should travel it counterclockwise. If you're not sure which way is correct, look for the large white arrows painted on the pavement. Never go clockwise, or the wrong way, on the Loop. This could cause an accident. If you absolutely must backtrack, go very slowly along the side or even on the grass if you can.
It is very important to follow safety rules on the Loop and be mindful of other users on the trail, since the Loop is not just for inline skaters. During times when cars are allowed on the Loop, all other trail users must stay in the far right lane. Naturally, this means that the lane gets crowded during these times, so if you are a neophyte skater, consider skating at a different time. When the Loop is closed to cars, the far right lane is reserved for the user of joggers. At some spots, the Loop intersects with pedestrian paths, such as near the Obelisk.
On some weekends, the park skate safety crew runs a free stopping clinic, which you should take advantage of if you're new to skating.