Elm Avenue Park and the locations of workout equipment. (Photo submitted)
BETHLEHEM — It’s going to be like going to the gym and to the park all at the same time.
A new fitness trail at the Elm Avenue Park will feature the latest in fitness equipment that is similar to what you typically find at the gym but is meant to withstand the harsh northeast weather.
“They are like playground equipment, but they are really some pretty serious exercise equipment,” said Nan Lanahan, administrator of the town’s Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s a newer trend and there are more and more manufacturers getting into it. It’s like gym equipment but it’s outside and you walk or run the circuit and stop at each place and do the machines.”
The $50,000 project is being paid for as part of a $250,000 grant secured by Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy. The majority of that, $155,000, paid for new playground equipment at Elm Avenue Park and another $45,000 paid for a new kayak/canoe dock at the Henry Hudson Park.
The trail is cut, but it’s not been blacktopped yet and there are three concrete pads poured, each awaiting exercise equipment that will offer different types of workouts focusing on different parts of the body.
One cluster will focus on a the upper body and feature such things as a pull-up bar, a triceps press, bench press, a lap pulldown and a chess press. Several of the machines at all stations are wheel accessible, Lanahan said.
Another cluster, nearest the playground, will feature machines geared towards the lower body and cardio workouts such as a two-person cross country skiing machine, stepper machines, a leg press and a squat machine.
The third cluster will feature machines geared towards a “core workout” such as a two-person sit-up bench, an ab toner, a hit twister and a back extension.
“I’ve seen them pop up all around the country. I first saw one in Florida and then went to see one in Burlington,” Lanahan said. “It is the latest trend in fitness equipment and we are very excited to have it here. I think it will bring a lot of people around and we are all about promoting fitness and outdoor activities and this accomplishes both.”
The new fitness trail will take the place of a fitness trail that ran through the woods and had stops that were made out of wood and were all static in nature. For example, you could walk or jog to one stop and do pull ups or dips.
But, wood eventually rots and those stations have been removed and is just a nature trail through the woods now.
Both those trails are part of a larger network of trails planned for the park in the coming years. If everything goes as planned, and a half mile of trail is added per year, the park will eventually have some five miles of interconnected walking/running trails.