Brilliant Stories

Top places to exercise outside in Champaign County

July 22, 2022

Champaign County is home to breathtaking forest preserves, rolling prairie-lands, and hiking trails that span the horizon. With an area so rich in nature, it's no surprise we're a popular destination for fitness enthusiasts! From biking, jogging, to yoga and pilates, you'll find a few places where you can go and get your sweat on.


Meadowbrook Park

Arguably one of the most popular outdoor exercise spaces in Chambana, Meadowbrook Park features 3 miles of 10’ wide multi-use paved paths—perfect for biking, running, jogging, inline skating and skateboarding! For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, an additional 2 miles of unpaved paths weave through the park’s prairie and stream corridors. 

Allerton Park & Retreat Center

This “best kept secret” of Illinois contains 1,500 acres of woodland and prairie areas, a reflecting pond, a 10-acre meadow, sculpture gardens, and hiking trails–making this gem the perfect setting to clear your thoughts and align your body and spirit. Yoga, pilates, running, and walking are popular in this beautiful space.

The University of Illinois Arboretum 

The Arboretum houses over 160 acres of plants, a variety of flora and trees—making this an excellent choice to exercise and get your daily dose of nature. With a 5 minute drive from Campusdown, this is a great exercising spot for students. Oak Grove and  Sen Cherry Tree Allée are popular jogging areas within the Arboretum.


Helms Park

As the second smallest park in Champaign County, Helms Park is a great choice for novice runners or walkers. Located at 475 S. Second Street, Helms Park overlooks a beautiful basin that stretches across both Helms and Lo Park and is home to diverse wildlife including turtles, fish, geese, ducks and herons. 


Lake of the Woods 

Located in Mahomet, Illinois, their 3.3-mile paved bicycle/pedestrian path stretches the entire length of the preserve, winding through grasslands, prairie and wooded areas as well as crossing the Sangamon River on the Lake of the Woods Covered Bridge. This path is popular amongst walkers, joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers alike.


What are some of your favorite exercising spots in the community?

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