There’s no denying it: 2020 wasn’t the best year to start on a fitness journey. We worked from home, ate too much at home, and tried (however we could) to stay fit at home—all with mixed success.
If 2020 left you feeling sluggish and worn down, you’re certainly not alone. Thankfully, the New Year gives us all a chance to refocus on our wellness. But with gyms slowly reopening and public life grinding back to normal, what hope can there be for committing to fitness in 2021?
Ridgeland, Mississippi, has everything you need to keep your New Year’s resolution this time around. With hundreds of miles of historic biking and hiking trails, immaculate public parks, and a locally beloved freshwater paradise in the Barnett Reservoir, access to safe and satisfying fitness fun has never been greater.
Biking & Hiking
Few modern American cities (indeed, few world cities) can boast access to a historic trail of such resounding significance as the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Stretching from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee, the 400-mile-long trail has been traveled by accomplished scientists, iconic adventurers, American presidents, and native tribes. With so much history and so many accomplished travelers, the Natchez Trace is the perfect place to start a fitness journey of your own!
Hike or bike the Chisha Foka Multi-use Trail—a 10-mile paved path winding through historic Choctaw homelands. Lace up your jogging shoes for a breathtaking run through wildflower pastures and old oak tree lines or bring your bike and hit the trail at high speeds!
With its own entrance onto the Natchez Trace Parkway, The Bike Crossing invites cyclists of all levels to pedal their hearts out. With bike-fitting services and all the gear you need to get you started, The Bike Crossing will have you loving the great outdoors in no time.
A leisurely afternoon stroll around a manicured park or a robust round of disc golf are both excellent ways to get your heart rate up in 2021! Old Trace and Friendship parks in Ridgeland not only offer sport and scenery, they’re also perfect for picnicking, jogging, and just about any other activity you can think of!
The lawns at Old Trace Park roll toward the deep blue waters of the Barnett Reservoir, and an on-site disc golf course can quickly put a competitive edge on your 10K steps! The shaded walking trail at Friendship Park, meanwhile, allows for a humble amble through swaying woodlands—exactly what the doctor ordered.
Making the best of the great outdoors requires making the best of your footwear. Located in the Trace Station shopping center—home to dozens of locally owned stores and boutiques—Fleet Feet is your go-to shop for athletes of any level. For 40 years, Fleet Feet has been matching athletic shoes to the athletes themselves, giving them what they need most to keep active and happy!
Known as “The Rez” by Ridgeland locals, the 33,000-acre Barnett Reservoir is the bright blue aquatic playground voted “Best Waterfront Destination” by Mississippi Magazine!
Put your back into it with rental watercraft from Pearl River Kayaks or bring your rod and reel for some world-class fishing! As a natural fish hatchery with abundant cover, the reservoir is home to bass, catfish, crappie, bream, sunfish, white bass, striped bass, and much more!
In addition to local Ridgeland favorites such as Fleet Feet, Sportique and the national chain Lululemon, you’d be hard pressed to find as much athletic gear in one place as you would at the Northpark Mall. With over 120 retailers, the Northpark Mall has the swimsuits, bait and tackle, watercraft, and general athletic wear to match any fitness occasion!
A Healthier You in 2021
We can all admit it now: 2020 was rough. But with the right attitude, the right gear, and the right destination, your fitness can truly flourish in 2021!