Get Park Fit on the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

Group of runners on the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

This trail, with its 10-foot wide paved path, is an optimal outdoor location to get fit.

All too often exercise is thought of in conjunction with gyms, but outdoor opportunities for fitness are fantastic! It can be as simple as taking a brisk walk with a friend or as intensive as training for a marathon. Being immersed in nature can be cathartic. Couple that with cardiovascular activity and you have the recipe for a happy, healthier lifestyle.

The Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail even provides some undulating terrain in a state not necessarily known for its topography.

Cyclists riding on big sink hill

Big sink hill, photo by John Moran

If you start at the Boulware Springs trailhead and head east, the first three miles of trail take you through sinkhole territory. Yes, you can get your heart rate up especially in the area known as "hammocks, hills and curves."

If you prefer an easier route, use the Rochelle trailhead at CR 2080 and CR 234 and head east for a more level trail experience, or start at the Hawthorne end and head west. 

Hit the trail first thing in the morning for the cool, crisp air as you prepare yourself for the day or come as the day concludes and disconnect yourself from the demands of modern life.

The therapeutic sounds of nature will surround you as you clear your mind and reinvigorate your body.