Charleston's Best Outdoor Fitness Locations

posted by Casten Farr - 

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. 

ᗷᗩᒪᗩᑎᑕE Iᑎ ᖇEᒪᗩTIOᑎᔕᕼIᑭᔕ . I prefer thinking of balance more in terms of harmony and alignment with our authentic self, so let’s zoom out into CEO perspective (ᑕompassionate Empowered Observer) and check in on our relationships (not just to other people..) . With the self Others Source/god/universe Environment Money Body Food Work Time Community Service . . Are they in balance, aka in harmony and alignment with our authentic self, our passions, our true heart’s desires? . How good are we in receiving? How unattached are we giving? . I invite you to give yourself time and space to contemplate, not judge, to redirect/refine/reignite your relationship status to everything from ‘its complicated’ to ‘its simple and aligned’ . . #balance #libra #fullmoon #duality #harmony #alignment #consiousness #meditation #yoga #charleston #livelifefully #ayurveda #energy #lightworker #friday #allisone

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Meant to post it sooner. Here are some photos from Starlight Yoga. ⭐️🌙🧘🏻‍♀️ #latergram. . Thank you all! 🙏🏻💕 #gratefulheart

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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.  

History fact: The first shots of the Civil War were fired here. | #Socality | #LiveAuthentic | #FromWhereIDrone

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Running away from the fact that I graduate from college in 33 days 🙃🏃🏼‍♀️

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One happy boy

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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.  

At the end of a sandy trail awaits an early morning treat... a secluded beach, a beautiful sunrise, and views of the iconic Morris Island Light #goodmorningbeautiful #mynewhappyplace #FollyBeach 📸: @victoriavesce

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#follybeach #southcarolina 🧜🏻‍♀️ #lighthouse #mermaid 🐚 #beach 🦀 #lighthouseinletheritagepreserve 🌊

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These gems are just the best a girl could ask for! #ferdagirls #follybeach #rideallthebikes #whenweareold #wewillhavesomestories

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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. 

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much” - Helen Keller I am a wife. I am a mom. I work a day job. 9-5 I am a banker, doing all the same things we all do every day: • get up • get kids ready • get me ready • go to work • help with homework • cook dinner • settle down for the evening And every other second of every day I am me. I find the things that fill my soul, that speak to people, that speak to me. On my own, I could never have achieved what I have achieved so far. But with the love and support of those around me, they have allowed me to spread my wings, find myself and grow. Thank you, for letting me find me 😘✌🏻

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“Have you ever looked at something so beautiful you just had to smile?”

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Det blev en hård match mot pappa idag 😊💕 #tennis #familygame #familjematch

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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. 

Coretta looking fly in her formal wear. . . . #cycling #cyclinglife #ridebikes #instabike #cyclist #cycliste #bikelife #pizzawatts #lcr #lowcountryracing #outsideisfree #lifesbetteroutdoors #fit #fitness #athlete #treinadodia #prefiropedalar #pedalando #pedalpower #bikelove #cyclingshots #charleston #southcarolina #chsmoves #raleighbikes #thursdaynightbeerride #gravel #cx

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Afternoon strolls on the #westashleygreenway with a close friend are the best. Get in touch with nature, clear your mind, and love where you live! 🌳🍃🌾 #backtonature #chs #westashley #lovewhereyoulive #Charleston #greenway #afternoonwalk #bikepath #backyard #hometown

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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. 

Welcome, Spring! We’re so glad you’re here 🌸 If you’re staying with us this week, we recommend taking a stroll through Hampton Park to see the blooming azaleas! #firstdayofspring #charleston #hamptonpark

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Do you have a running partner? Or do you prefer to run alone? Have you ever been a part of a run club? I think running is a fantastic sport in that you can tailor it to whatever works best for you. 💫

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#throwbackthursday aka #TBT This is footage from around 4 years ago at hampton park when me and @witness2fitness ran fitclubs there.

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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! 

Did you catch views of #CharlestonRaceWeek this weekend? It was a sight to see, even from the sand! 🌊⚓️ #charlestoncoast #sullivansisland

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Photographer perk weekend: got flown down and put up in a beach house. Could get very used to it.

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Quick Up over #breachinlet #isleofpalms #sullivansisland #charleston #charlestonsc #aerial #aerialphotography #dronephotography #dronestagram #drone #dji #phantom3 #beach #ocean #inlet #island #southcarolina #coast

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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. 

Fall more in love with this city every day

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Stop falling into the “1 + 1 + 1” fallacy that is so common within fitness. Have 5 pull-ups, lets go for 6 or 7. Continuing to progress just volume or intensity alone at a certain point not only becomes unfulfilling but also almost always leads to injury. _____ With regards to pulling strength, there is no real point in my opinion to progress past five quality strict chest-to-bar chin-ups at tempo. Once this is achieved its time to move onto other goals. In terms of bodyweight pulling achievements, the one arm chin-up is #king. _____ A great way to start this journey towards the one arm chin-up is utilizing rope-assisted chin-ups. _____ Set-up: Position your rings evenly. On the non-pulling ring, place a rope hanging from the ring. As you get stronger you can lower your hand on the rope up to 30” away from the pulling hand. Start with 4-6 sets of 2-4 reps on each arm, resting 90 seconds. I generally like to superset this pulling exercise with some sort of pushing exercise.

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Full day of shooting with @vive.media and @realsimonmedia all over Charleston. Took a break to have fun with the Mavic Air.

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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. 

Charleston's Waterfront Park will be rededicated to our former mayor and renamed "Joe Riley Waterfront Park" this Saturday @ 10:30am! The park has plans for a new seating wall and a future expansion to the north, which will be discussed at the dedication event.

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Another beautiful sunrise in #charleston. #sunrise #sunrise_and_sunsets #pineapplefountain #pineapplefountaincharleston #historiccharleston #waterfrontparkcharleston

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Good morning 🌞 #charlestonsunrise #charlestonsc #waterfrontparkcharleston

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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. 

Part of tonight's sunset from Daniel Island, just outside Charleston, SC. #sunset #South #southcarolina #charleston #lowcountry #sc #sun #clouds #Southernsunset #southernlife #beautiful #DanielIsland #MtPleasant #MtP #beach #Carolina #Carolinasunset #WandoRiver #WandoRiverBridge #pier #danielislandwaterfrontpark

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Chasing crabs and watching birds! #ilovesc #outdoors #danielislandwaterfrontpark #pierwalking #lowcountry #danielisland #sunset #ilovemysister

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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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#thesprinkler #countypark #charleston

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Thumbnail Photo Credit: @ellirichter on Instagram

Main Photo Credit: Getty Images

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