Charleston's Best Outdoor Fitness Locations

The kickoff to summer is finally here! With that being said we all know what sweet summertime entails, lots of beach trips, pool days, cookouts and fun activities in the sun.  

Sure, we all get a little lazy during those winter months but NOW is the time to push yourself and get back on track with your fitness goals. That is why our team is here to deep clean your mind, body, and soul and finally help you reach your bathing suit body dreams.   

Personally this is my is my favorite time of the year for many reasons; it stays lighter longer, the birds are singing from morning till night, the temperatures continue to rise and my workout motivation skyrockets! 

And to top it off who doesn't love a beautiful view while they workout?! Whether you are a beginner or a professional, live in Charleston or are visiting; we have compiled the ultimate list of our favorite 12 Outdoor Fitness Locations in the Lowcountry. ENJOY and get ready to getcha workout on! 

1. Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park & Ravenel Bridge

If you are easily distracted while working out this is the spot for you! The Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park offers numerous workout routes for fitness of all types. The Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park is directly under and provides paved access to the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge which connects Mount Pleasant to downtown Charleston. The bridge and park and provide an scenic and safe route to walk, run, bike, or roller-blade. From one end of the bridge to the other is 2.5 miles, making it a 5 mile round trip. But don't let the distance intimidate you, this is one of the best fitness locations in the Charleston area! From the top of the bridge you can spot Sullivan's Island, Mount Pleasant, and downtown Charleston all in one breathtaking view over the Cooper River.

The Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park  has free parking and also offers fun activities such as a great playground, pier to walk out onto as well as fish off of while witnessing a spectacular view from under the bridge. 

 
 

2. The Battery 

The Battery is one of downtown Charlestons most well known and historically significant spots. Located in the heart of downtown, The Battery running loop is a must try if you want a satisfying view of the architecture, history, and culture of this beautiful old Southern city. The Battery is located at the Southernmost tip of the Charleston peninsula, and represents a strategic point important to the early history of Charleston. The route totals out to about 3.1 miles and to one side you'll witness waterside views of Fort Sumter and The Sullivan's Island Lighthouse and the other side showcases many of Charlestons famous antebellum historic styled homes. This is a great dog friendly and flat location for those looking for a route to walk, run, or bike.  

 
 
 

3. Riverfront Park

One of North Charlestons favorite outdoor destinations for locals and visitors is Riverfront Park. Riverfront Park is open year-round and is located on the former Charleston Naval Base. The park not only oversees the beautiful banks of the Cooper River but also was built adjacent to some of the historic homes once occupied by Naval officers stationed at the once operational Naval Base. The park is known for the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial , built to honor the fearless military leaders and personnel that served our country and the Greater Charleston area. There are paths and trails throughout the Park great for walking and jogging as well as grassy areas for stationary workouts. Another great perk of Riverfront Park is the Performance Pavilion that hosts concerts, festivals, and events throughout the spring, summer, and fall. 

Photo: Flickr , North Charleston 

Photo: Flickr , North Charleston

4. Folly Beach - Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve ($1 per person) 

My all time favorite place to workout is the beach, no matter what state east or west coast I am a beach girl at heart. As an avid runner, I run at least 5 days a week. One of the main reasons I love to workout on the beach is because it provides a wide space to run and incorporates muscles and movements that are not utilized running on flat surfaces. This particular location Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve located on the Northeastern end of Folly Island is the perfect spot for viewing the Morris Island Lighthouse. The site as a land preserve is home to many different maritime habitats and diverse species of plants and animals. If you have not tried out this spot for a workout, believe me try it! Something about the sound of the waves crashing, the smell of the salt in the air, and the sand under my feet gives me a sense of mental meditation and acts as the ultimate stress reliever.  

 
 
 

5. Azalea Park

Located very close to the business district of Summerville is the lovely landscaped Azalea Park. Azalea Park offers beautiful scenic gardens that extend over several city blocks in the heart of Summerville. The park offers several trails around ponds, trees, creeks, statues and is a great place to enjoy the gorgeous blooms of spring and early summer. Azalea Park is a wonderful place to visit anytime of the year to enjoy a relaxing walk, jog, or run. The tranquility and beautiful wildlife of the park is extremely relaxing and is the perfect workout location to help clear the mind of a stressful day/week. Other amenities that are offered on the property include: tennis courts, picnic areas, and an amphitheater. 

 
 
 

6. West Ashley Greenway 

Live in West Ashley and looking for a place to get a good workout in? The West Ashley Greenway is the answer! The West Ashley Greenway is a 7.8 mile (one way) hiking and biking trail located just outside of downtown Charleston. The Greenway is a favorite of local mountain bikers and stretches from the South Windermere Shopping Center on Folly Rd. all the way to Johns Island showcasing the scenic Lowcountry wetlands. The West Ashley Greenway is open from dawn to dusk and offers free parking at either end of the trail. 

 
 

7. Hampton Park 

Another awesome fitness location in downtown Charleston would be Hampton Park. Hampton Park totals out to 60 acres of land making it the largest park on the peninsula. This park showcases the largest floral display out of all the parks within the city, and the displays are planted seasonally by the staff and volunteers who care for the neighborhood park. With on-site parking, restrooms, and year-round public access the park has become a home to many activities such as Frisbee games and family gatherings anytime of the year. Hampton Park also has a scenic physical fitness trail for those looking to get in a cardio workout. 

 
 
 

8. Sullivan's Island

Another Charleston area beach on the north side of Charleston that is great for working out. Sullivan's Island is a great place not only for runners, it provides easy access for swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, volleyball and much more. If your looking to enjoy a beach run, walk, or bike without the sand, Sullivan's Island to Isle of Palms is the perfect route for you! Start on Middle Street on "Sully's" and take a straight shot over the bridge at Breach Inlet to Palm Boulevard on Isle of Palms. This route totals out to a gorgeous 5.4 miles. Enjoy breathtaking views of beautiful beach houses and the ocean all while avoiding the sand. There many public beach access areas to get onto the beach as well if you are looking to do a mixture of running on the sand and on a flat surface, it all is up to you and your preference! 

 
 
 

9. Colonial Lake

Colonial Lake is a tidal lake and park area located in downtown Charleston at the intersection of Broad and Rutledge. Along with most locations downtown, the Colonial Lake area has steep history and dates back to the mid-18th century when the "Commons House of Assembly" dedicated the land to be used by all. Colonial Lake went through major renovations back in 2016 since the water source connected to the Ashley River had collapsed. Over $5 million was raised by the Charleston City and Park Conservancy to restore the water flow and widen walking areas around the lake. Since then it has become a great area for fitness enthusiasts of all types. Colonial Lake offers large paved sidewalks with a route for walking,running, biking, and skating as well as grassy areas for yoga and stationary exercises. 

 
 
 

10. Joe Riley Waterfront Park Charleston 

Another popular outdoor fitness location is Joe Riley Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston. The attractive park offers wonderful views of the Cooper River and Charleston Harbor. There are beautiful gardens you can stroll or jog through here along the riverfront as well as a pier and several large fountains with an area for kids to splash around. Joe Riley Waterfront Park is an excellent place not only for runners or walkers but also for those more into stationary type of workouts such as yoga, Pilates, or HIIT as the park offers great spacious areas for all types of activities. 

 
 
 

11. Daniel Island Waterfront Park 

Located on the gorgeous waterfront of the Wando River, the Daniel Island Waterfront Park is owned and operated by the City of Charleston. The park features a playground, hiking and walking trails along the riverfront, a fishing pier and more. The waterfront trail is 1.4 miles (one way) with wide paths excellent for taking your furry creatures on a walk while enjoying great views. Daniel Island Waterfront Park is open from light till dark and is free to the public. 

 
 

12. Wannamaker North Trail

Located near Goose Creek is the Wannamaker North Trail apart of the Wannamaker County Park. This park offers almost 15 miles of beautiful natural and man-made options for hikers, runners, and cyclists. The Wannamaker North Trail offers great terrain for cyclists of all levels. If you are not a biker, this trail is very scenic and acts as a great place to go for a relaxing hike with friends or family and enjoy the beautiful nature of South Carolina. The Wannamaker County Park also offers a 9-hole disc golf course, 2 playgrounds, seasonal sprinkler water play area, sand volleyball court, and much more! 

 
 
 

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Thumbnail Photo Credit: @ellirichter on Instagram

Main Photo Credit: Getty Images

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