Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge ranked SC’s best spot for outdoor workouts, according to poll

May 28, 2024
  • 3,000 fitness enthusiasts polled on the best outdoor workout spots in America.
  • Congaree National Park, Hopkins and Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet were other top choices.
  • Infographic showing the best 150 scenic workouts in the country.

From the iconic Central Park in NYC to the scenic paths of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and along the bustling Lakefront Trail in Chicago, the U.S. is home to an array of stunning outdoor workout locales. These spots are more than just a place to exercise; they are destinations offering breathtaking views that elevate the fitness experience.

To provide a definitive guide to these scenic sweat spots, Lift Vault canvassed the opinions of 3,000 fitness enthusiasts. Their mission: to identify the nation’s best outdoor workout destinations that offer more than just exercise – they promise an enhanced fitness experience through their natural beauty. The result is a curated list of the top 150 locations for fitness in the great outdoors.

The top 5 were as follows:

#1 Chautauqua Park, Boulder, Colorado.

Nestled at the foot of the Flatirons, Chautauqua Park is Boulder’s front-row seat to nature’s grandeur. Fitness enthusiasts flock here to challenge themselves on the myriad of trails that wind through the park, offering both rigorous hikes and tranquil walks. The elevated vistas making it a premier destination for those looking to enrich their physical and mental well-being.

#2 Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, Nevada.

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park is a gem of the High Sierra, presenting a diverse landscape that caters to a range of outdoor activities. Whether it’s trail running through pine-scented forests, cycling along the lake’s panoramic shore, or practicing pilates on its sandy beaches, the park’s natural beauty provides an invigorating environment that makes every workout feel like a retreat from the ordinary.

#3 Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Acadia National Park’s rugged coastlines and verdant forests are a playground for the active soul. The park’s trails offer everything from the challenging Precipice Trail to the more accessible Ocean Path, allowing visitors to tailor their workouts to their desired intensity. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks and the scent of spruce trees create a sensory experience that amplifies the benefits of outdoor exercise.

#4 Olympic Discovery Trail, Olympic Peninsula, Washington.

The Olympic Discovery Trail stretches across the Olympic Peninsula, a testament to the Pacific Northwest’s enchanting wilderness. This continuous pathway meanders through dense rainforests, alongside expansive lavender fields, and offers views of the distant Olympic Mountains. It’s a favorite for long-distance runners and cyclists who seek solitude and scenery as companions in their endurance pursuits.

#5 Glacier National Park, Montana.

Glacier National Park’s awe-inspiring landscape, with its towering peaks and crystalline lakes, offers a natural fitness arena like no other. The park’s trails, ranging from flat lakeside jaunts to steep mountain climbs, invite fitness enthusiasts of all levels to test their limits against a backdrop of breathtaking beauty. It’s a place where the spirit of adventure meets the zeal for health, ensuring that every visit feels like a new challenge to conquer.

South Carolina’s most popular outdoor workout locations were:

#38 Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Charleston.

This iconic cable-stayed bridge spans the Cooper River in Charleston and includes a pedestrian and bike path known as the Wonder’s Way. It’s a popular spot for running and cycling, providing panoramic views of the Charleston harbor and city skyline. The incline of the bridge also adds an extra challenge to workouts, making it a favorite for those looking to increase their endurance.

#39 Congaree National Park, Hopkins.

Near Columbia, this park preserves the largest tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States. It offers a boardwalk loop and several backcountry trails that are ideal for walking, running, and hiking. The park is also known for its biodiversity, including towering trees and a rich array of wildlife, offering a tranquil and engaging environment for outdoor activities.

#143 Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet.

This state park is known for its pristine sandy beach, freshwater lagoon, salt marsh, and coastal woodland, providing a variety of landscapes for physical activities. It’s perfect for beach jogging, hiking, bird watching, and cycling. The park also includes a causeway that’s popular for spotting alligators and a variety of bird species, adding an element of nature watching to your workout.

Infographic showing the nation’s top 150 outdoor workout spots

The locations we’ve highlighted stand out not only for their natural beauty but for the way they inspire us to push further, dig deeper, and elevate our fitness to new heights. These places are more than just workout spots; they’re transformative landscapes where exercise and nature coalesce to rejuvenate the spirit“, says Kyle Risley, founder of Lift Vault.