Lift Vault ranks best spots for outdoor workouts

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.

West Virginia has two spots in the top 100 and a third at 103.

Coopers Rock State Forest, Bruceton Mills, came in at No. 96.

Famous for its sweeping scenic views and over 50 miles of trails, Coopers Rock offers a variety of hiking, biking and running trails that range from easy to difficult. The forest features unique rock formations and overlooks the Cheat River Valley, providing a serene and motivating environment for outdoor activities. The Underlook Trail, leading to the main overlook, is a favorite for both sunrise and sunset workouts.

No. 100 is Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry.

Located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry is steeped in history and natural beauty. The park offers a variety of scenic walking, hiking and running trails, including sections of the Appalachian Trail. The Maryland Heights Trail provides a challenging hike with rewarding views of the historic town and surrounding rivers. The area’s rich history adds an educational element to any outdoor exercise regimen.

Coming in at No. 103 is New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

Recently designated as a national park, New River Gorge is renowned for its deep canyons, whitewater rafting and rock climbing opportunities. It also features hiking and mountain biking trails that traverse rugged terrain, offering stunning views of the gorge and river below. The Endless Wall Trail is particularly notable for its breathtaking cliff-top views, making it a perfect spot for a vigorous hike or a leisurely walk in a spectacular setting.

The top 5

  • No. 1 Chautauqua Park, Boulder, Colo. 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.
  • No. 2 Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, Nev. 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.
  • No. 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.
  • No. 4 Olympic Discovery Trail, Olympic Peninsula, Wash. 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, and offers views of the distant Olympic Mountains. It’s a favorite for long-distance runners and cyclists.
  • No. 5 Glacier National Park, Mont.

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 range from flat lakeside jaunts to steep mountain climbs for fitness enthusiasts of all levels.