Working in the fitness industry, I’ve grown very familiar with the New Year, New You crowd. After two months of celebrating the holidays with decadent meals and desserts (my cheesecake recipe boasts a whopping 2 lbs of cream cheese calories - and that’s before you add the toppings), the dropping of the ball on January 1 offers new beginnings, at least for six weeks before Valentine’s Day candy comes to tempt us. If “get fit” has ever been an item to cross of your resolution list, you, too, understand the complete madness that is January at the gym.
For most people, the hardest part of developing a fitness routine is starting. And if clamoring for your spot at the treadmill or weightbench amongst the throngs of determined new members is not your idea of cardio, Forrest County has the perfect option for you.
Funded by taxpayers and offered for resident use completely free of charge, Forrest County plays host to eleven community recreation centers. Lacing up my walking shoes one Sunday afternoon, I took to the trails at two of these scenic centers, Rawl Springs and Dixie (check out the column at right for a complete listing of Forrest County Recreation Centers). With only a short 15-minute drive to either location from downtown Hattiesburg, I was pleasantly surprised that the trails, nestled in between spacious trees and adequate lamp posts, were as easily accessible as they were approachable, with ample visibility for both walkers and those choosing to spend their time at the adjacent recreation center. Better still, said recreation center (which is also available to reserve free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis for county residents for gatherings like family reunions or birthday parties) had well-lit and remarkably clean restrooms. The Dixie center was bustling with activity, with kids dashing around the playground while parents took leisurely stolls around the trails and the remnants of a child’s birthday party lining the community tables.
So if you think 2019 will be your year for finally observing that fitness resolution, grab a friend and get started with something as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
Forrest County Recreation Centers
BARRONTOWN 610 Herrington Rd | Petal | 601.544.3641
BROOKLYN 2170 Carnes Rd | Brooklyn | 601.583.6782
CARNES 1193 Carnes Rd | Lumberton 601.583.6782
DANNY HINTON 225 Tatum Rd | Hattiesburg 601.584.0989
CAMP DANTZLER 27 Turkey Pine Dr | Hattiesburg 601.582.7168
DIXIE 760 Elks Lake Rd | Hattiesburg 601.582.2522
GLENDALE 451 Monroe Rd | Hattiesburg 601.545.6140
LEEVILLE 516 Lynn Ray Rd | Petal 601.544.3641
MCLAURIN 15 McLaurin Rd | Hattiesburg 601.544.6738
NORTH FORREST 673 Eatonville Rd | Hattiesburg 601.545.6140
RAWL SPRINGS 50 Rawls St | Hattiesburg 601.545.6140
SUNRISE 338 Sunrise Rd | Petal 601.544.3641
WILL DENTON 902 Old Hwy 49 S | Brooklyn 601.583.6782
When Whitney isn’t chained to her desk as Creative Director for HubCitySPOKES, you can find her doing her preferred method of cardio, walking outside.