Walking Trails in Our Community: Local Trails Offer Free Fitness
Walking Trails in Our Community: Local Trails Offer Free Fitness
Story by Cindy Reid
As 2022 arrives, many of us include getting fit as a goal in the New Year. There is literally no easier-—or more enjoyable—way to get started than to get walking! Walking is the perfect way to increase your activity level and, as an added bonus, it’s absolutely free of charge.
Walking is a good way to start getting active if you’ve been inactive, and most people experience positive changes in their health and mood soon after starting a regular walking routine. This can bring additional benefits, including lowered blood pressure and help in maintaining a healthy weight. It’s an exercise with a low risk of injury. In fact, walking can strengthen muscles and bones.
All it requires is comfortable clothes, decent weather, good sneakers, and a safe place to walk. You can make it fun by exploring new places and walking with a friend or pet. Some people like indoor walks—like a mall walk—but most people enjoy finding an outdoor area to stretch their legs and connect with nature.
A walk requires little to no planning, but safety is important. So take your phone and ID with you and let someone know your walking time and route. Hydration is also vitally important so don’t forget to bring a full water bottle on the trail. Many people listen to music via ear buds as they walk but keep the volume low so you stay aware of your surroundings.
Many community parks have amenities, such as playgrounds or fishing piers, in addition to walking and biking trails. Some of the areas listed below have restrooms onsite but due to Covid-19 precautions the restrooms may be closed.
Living in a temperate climate means we can enjoy the outdoors all year, luckily for us there are many fun and interesting trails in our area, some well-known and some “off the beaten path”. We have also included a sampling of biking trails, so grab your water bottle and get moving!
Tom Triplett Community Park, 1335 US-80, Pooler
1.5 mile Jogging/Bicycle Paved Track with Fitness Course. This is a community park operated by the Chatham County Parks & Recreation Department. Amenities include a freshwater lake, two fishing piers, tennis courts, a playground, a disc golf course and a dog exercise area.
Pooler Recreation Complex, 200 Preston Stokes Dr., Pooler
Primarily baseball fields, a football stadium, two gyms and a playground, and the Lost Woods Disc Golf Course. There is not a designated walking trail but there are walking opportunities via the playing fields and disc golf course.
Berkeley Park, Gateway Dr, off E. Haven Rd, Pooler
A small neighborhood park that is best known for the large, enclosed dog park. There is a smooth paved walking track that winds around a pond.
224 Courthouse Rd, Springfield
1 mile concrete Walking/Jogging path with fitness stations all the way around the pond with picnic benches, tennis courts, a playground, covered grill area and tennis courts. No pets.
Guyton Main Street Rail Trail
230 Central Blvd, Guyton
The .75 mile Walking/Jogging/Bicycle rail trail runs through the heart of Guyton, connecting much of the town's streets. The trail consists of two parallel 6-foot-wide paved paths and extends from the red caboose. There is parking at each end of the trail, the address below is for parking at the caboose. There are benches and trash bins on the trail.
J.F Gregory Park
521 Cedar St, Richmond Hill
A 335-acre multi-use recreational area that was once home to a rice plantation before being purchased by Henry Ford. The Park has a 3-mile-long nature trail, as well as a Wetlands Education Center, the restored home of Henry Ford, a birding trail with a tower, a 10-acre lake, and a covered pavilion. There are regular fitness stations along the hiking trail.
Chatham County Wetlands Preserve Nature Trail
6811 Basin Rd, Savannah
1.3 mile trail located near Savannah that is good for all skill levels. A gravel road circles the 20- acre lake, which also features a dock. There are picnic tables, some under shelter. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. The Preserve is located off Highway 17. Tip: When you turn off on Hwy 17, continue driving until you get to a fork in the road. The gravel parking lot is to the left.
L Scott Stell Park
195 Scott Stell Rd, Savannah
1.0 Walking/Jogging/Bicycle Paved Track with Fitness Course. Amenities include Pavilions, Lighted Tennis Courts, Lighted Basketball Courts, Fresh Water Lake, Boat Ramp and Fishing Pier, Five Base-ball/Softball Fields, Volleyball Play Area, Archery Range, Dog Exercise Area and Playground.
1850 E. Montgomery Crossroads, Savannah
1.5 Walking/Jogging/Bicycle Paved Track with Fitness Course. Amenities include Pavilions, Lighted Tennis Courts, Lighted Basketball Courts, Fresh Water Lake, Boat Ramp, Fishing Pier, Base-ball/Softball Field, Lighted Hockey Rink, Volleyball Play Area, Handball Practice Court, Dog Exercise Area and Playground.
1301 E Victory Dr, Savannah
1.5 paved sidewalk and rubberized trail around the perimeter of Daffin Park. The rubberized trail is perfect for runners. The concrete sidewalk is eight feet wide and has no incline, so it is handicapped accessible. There is also a .3 mile lighted sidewalk around Daffin Lake.
2 W Gaston St, Savannah
This superb urban park is located at the southernmost end of Savannah’s historical district. Paved, lighted sidewalks are handicapped accessible and surround the city’s most popular walking trail. The distance around the 30-acre park is 1.5 miles. The iconic Forsyth Park fountain is located on the north end of the park.
New River Linear Trail
3809-3835 Okatie Hwy, Bluffton, SC
3.4 mile trail in Bluffton, South Carolina. The route is shared with power lines along an abandoned railway corridor and is known for wildlife and the long dormant rice canals that can be seen at the New River end. The parking lot is accessible off of S.C. Route 46 between the two entrances to the Heritage at New Riverside development. The parking lot is connected to the New River Linear Trail by a short mulch path.
There are many ways to enjoy biking, from pleasant rides on wide, paved urban trails to mountain bike challenges and our area has trails that suit every skill level and interest. This is just a sampling of some of the trails you can explore by bike. Follow the same safety procedures as you would for walking, bring your water bottle, and have fun!
Tom Triplett Bike Trail
7.5-mile mountain bike loop trail located at the Tom Triplett Community Park, Pooler GA.
Savannah & Ogeechee Canal Trail
681 Fort Argyle Rd, Savannah
7 mile trail starting at the Savannah Ogeechee Canal Museum & Nature Center, both paved and dirt roads along the Savannah and Ogeechee Canal. There may be a fee for park usage.
Skidaway Island State Park
52 Diamond Causeway, Savannah
There are two bike trails, the 3 mile Big Ferry Trail and the 1 mile Avian Loop trail.
Pinckney Island Ride
Rt 278, Hilton Head, SC
6.8 mile loop trail that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Learn More about Local Walk & Bike Trail:
Learn More about The Health Benefits of Walking: