Spring is here – let’s go outside and exercise! -
The weather is warming up and after a long, cold winter I am so excited to mix up my exercise routine and get outside! Beloit has many opportunities to have a great workout while enjoying the warmer weather. Here are a few of my favorites around town:
Location: 1160 S. Riverside Drive, Beloit
Parking: Rotary River Center parking lot and at several points along Riverside Drive.
This park is so pretty and you can enjoy a great walk or run alongside the Rock River. I often walk the riverfront with my husband and our dogs. It’s a beautiful path. You can cross over several bridges, like the Ken Hendricks, and East Grand Bridge, and over or under the Portland Avenue Bridge. The footbridge with the train is a big hit with kids. You can also take the bike trail downtown to the state line and back.
If you want an extra challenge you can run “the hill”. This is just south of Eclipse Drive by the Beloit Public Library. You’ll see several people running throughout the summer months. Let me tell you–after about 3 times up, you start to feel it!
Big Hill Park
Location: Park entrance at the intersection of Afton & Big Hill roads
Parking: available at different locations throughout the park.
This park is just north of Beloit on the bluffs overlooking the Rock River. It’s lovely and there are several paths you can take. The nature trail is an unpaved surface and totals 2.70 miles and the Nature & Ski Trail totals 2.32 miles. I like the fact that you can hike the entire park or choose a shorter path.
Another bonus is the opportunity to stop and play at 3 different playgrounds. It’s a chance to engage your children on a nature hike and then burn off even more energy on the monkey bars or heading down a slide. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to jump on a swing or slide down a slide? You can even get some added exercise on the playground by using the monkey bars for pull-ups!
It’s a great park to hike with your dog if you own one. Not only are you reaping the benefits of exercising and being outdoors, but so is your dog. You can get fit and be a great pet owner all at once!
Turtle Creek Floodplain
Location: Trail entrances on Cranston Road and on Milwaukee Rd/Hwy 81 (between Leeson Road and the railroad tracks.)
Parking: Parking lot by the Milwaukee Road entrance
This park is on the east side of town on Highway 81 and has several loops. The Milwaukee Road route is a 2.6-mile loop. It’s a flat, easy route and quiet even though it’s bordered by homes on some of the loop. You do have the luxury of walking alongside Turtle Creek throughout the loop. During the warmer months you’ll see people swimming in the creek or floating down on kayaks. There are also other trails such as the Chatsworth trail (.91 miles), Deerfield Estates (2.6 miles) and Moccasin trail (1.29 miles). Pick up a copy of the Nature & Cross Country Trail Guide at the Parks and Recreation office for more information.
Beckman Mill Park
Location: 11600 Co Hwy H, Beloit
Parking: Parking lot located next to the mill
This is a great park to visit but a short hike. You can walk around the mill and check out the fish ladder, the dam and take a tour of the mill. Just north of the gift shop is a path forged through the woods. You come across a bridge and find trails that lead you through the park. Bring the family for an easy hike – it’s a great way to introduce hiking to younger children.
Location: 1611 Hackett St, Beloit
Parking: Two parking lots (1) by the intersection of Hackett and House streets or (2) at the entrance to the golf course on Hackett Street
This is a great park for a workout on the west side of Beloit. The cool thing about Krueger is you can have a different kind of workout. They have cement seating above the pool and you can jump the stairs. I like to jump up the seating for more of a challenge and run down the staircase. You can use the playground to do pull ups on the monkey bars, pushups and more!
You can access the bike trail at the park and run down Burton Street and jump on the trail around the river if you are looking to add on to your workout.