GetFitConway is a division ofGetFitArkansas. Published byArkansas Digital Media. All Rights Reserved 2015.
Conway Loaded with Fitness Options
One thing about living in or around Conway is there’s never an excuse to say “there’s nothing to do,” especially when it comes to fitness. Over the past several years, the city has made a commitment to providing numerous fitness and recreational options to its residents. When you combine that with its number of fitness centers and fitness-related businesses, the ways to get in shape, and stay in shape, are endless.
One of the best places to visit is the Tucker Creek Walking and Bike Trail. The park is home to the Tucker Creek Pathway which is fully paved and runs alongside Tucker Creek for just over a mile. It’s also home to a long stretch of the Shady Oak Bike Route which runs thru-out Conway. With different access points and parking off Salem Rd, Bainbridge Park, and even Walmart (by the automotive bays around back), there’s no reason not to get out and enjoy this beautiful resource to get a walk, run, or bike ride in. There’s also play areas for the kiddos at both the Salem Road and Bainbridge Park entrances, and it’s pet friendly, so there’s no need to leave Rover at home!
If you’re looking for something more challenging than a paved walkway, you may wish to head over to the Cadron Settlement Park and tackle the Tollantusky Trail. It’s located just a mile or so northwest of the Hogan Road/Highway 64 intersection. As you enter the park, just veer to the right and you’ll see the trailhead sign by the parking lot across from the pavilion. There’s also a couple of other access points within the park that you will see along the hike. The trail is great for mountain biking, running, hiking, or walking. It’s heavily wooded and winds up and down a mountain, offering some great views overlooking the Arkansas River. Make sure to take plenty of water and even some energy snacks. Allow at least a couple of hours to complete the trek if you are walking, especially on your first trip.
There are numerous parks scattered thru-out Conway that offer plenty of space for getting outdoors and staying fit. A few of the main ones are Laurel Park, Gatlin Park, and Fifth Avenue Park. All three of these parks have tennis courts, basketball goals, and very large fields to enjoy your favorite activities. Gatlin Park is also home to part of the Shady Oak Bike Route that winds thru-out the city. Laurel Park has two main entrances. One is located on Prince Street across from the high school while the other is on Robinson Avenue. Gatlin Park is on Tyler right across the street from the Briarwood swimming pool. Fifth Avenue Park sits just a couple of blocks south of Oak Street close to I-40.
If you’re into soccer, and most of Conway is, you’ll find no better fields to get out and play on than at Centennial Park. Drive west on Dave Ward Drive towards the river and you’ll see the sign directing you to turn left. Just stay on that road, pass the driving range, and you’ll then see all the soccer fields. So bring the kids, the ball, and get going!
If basketball, volleyball, or even racquetball, is more your thing, then get acquainted with either the McGee Center, which lies between Prince Street and College Avenue in west Conway near Hogan Lane, or if you’re closer to east Conway, be sure and stop by the Don Owen Recreation Complex which is located just off Highway 65 on Lower Ridge Road. Both of these facilities house very nice walking tracks which circle above and around the basketball courts. Access to indoor tracks like these is a huge benefit to residents, as it allows you to walk or run to stay in shape when the weather is too hot outside, or when it’s cold and rainy during the winter. There’s only a nominal cost to reserve the racquetball courts for an hour. Get out and take advantage of these wonderful facilities! A lot of cities don’t have them and wish they did!
For more information on these facilities and parks, as well as others, you may wish to take a moment to visit the Conway Parks and Recreation website at ConwayParks.com.
If you’re ready to step it up and devote even more time to staying fit and want to add some weight lifting to your routine, or perhaps you’re even considering hiring a personal trainer, Conway is home to many great gyms and fitness centers including 24/7, Conway Regional, 10 Fitness, 365 Fitness, CrossFit, Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and Gillespie Boxing. All are reasonably priced and offer plenty of equipment and have training or guidance available to help you reach your fitness goals.
There are also many fitness-related businesses in Conway that offer specialized training in specific sports. Whether you, or perhaps your children, want to get started in gymnastics, karate, judo, kickboxing, yoga, baseball … you name it … there’s something for everybody in Conway! Just get out and do it!
Article and photos by Mark Jenkins, Arkansas Digital Media. All rights reserved 2015.