As one of the fastest-growing suburbs outside of Charlotte, Rock Hill, S.C., continues to impress with its growing variety of cultural amenities, entertainment options, and shopping and dining destinations. There’s absolutely no shortage of things to see and do in the area, especially when it comes to places exercise and ways to spend more time outdoors. With nearly 30 miles of greenways and trailways, an entire facility dedicated to cycling, more than 30 public parks, and four recreation centers, Rock Hill residents have what seems like endless possibilities to choose from in order to stay fit, active, and healthy.
To find the very best places in the area to help you reach your fitness and health goals we consulted with the doctors and staff at ORTHOCAROLINA’S Rock Hill Office at 197 Piedmont Blvd., as our September experts on Locals Living the Healthy Life, the Rock Hill Edition.
Best Places to Walk/Bike/Run in Rock Hill
Rock Hill’s Trails & Greenways system spans almost 26 miles, giving residents plenty of opportunities when it comes to convenient places to run, walk, or bike. These trails are spread throughout the county and take walkers, riders, and bikers through scenic wooded areas and popular parks, including Cherry Park and River Park. There are also plans to continue to continually expand the the greenway system.
Bikers will love all the biking amenities that can be found at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center’s cycling facilities. The center provides several different trails and venues for bikers to test their riding skills, no matter their level of expertise. There, you can find a BMX Supercross Track, both road and mountain biking courses, plus, several family-friendly biking routes.
Also located at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center, the Piedmont Medical Center Trail is a picturesque 3.5-mile paved trail that hugs the banks of the Catawba River, offering a front row seat to the area’s natural beauty, while also providing the ideal spot to get in some daily cardio when the weather is nice. The trail is pet-friendly — as long as your favorite four-legged friend is on a three-foot leash. The Piedmont Medical Center Trail is part of Rock Hill’s Trails and Greenways System as well as the Carolina Thread Trail.
Best Places to Walk Your Dog in Rock Hill
Located at 1036 Eastwood Dr., Spencer Park and Dog Park is a must-visit for dog owners. The dog park is the first off-leash park in Rock Hill and features two separate areas for dogs of different sizes to safely play. One area is a designated space for dogs weighing 30 lbs. or less, while the other is open to dogs of all sizes. Conveniently, there are both doggie water fountains and waste stations for visitors and their pups to use. The park is open every day from dawn until dusk. There is no admission or a membership fee to use the dog park.
River Park is another great place to take your pet for a stroll outdoors. It spans 70 acres and has more than 3.5 miles of nature trails to explore. Dogs are allowed along the trails as long as they are on leashes. The park is open daily with varying hours depending on the time of year. From October to February you can visit between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 8 pm. from March to September. There is no admission fee to visit the park.
Most Underrated or Unknown Exercise Options in Rock Hill
The Rock Hill Tennis Center offers a number of different tennis programs throughout the year that are designed to suit any age and skill level. The center also has several different tennis leagues for players to join and participate in a little friendly competition. For those who are new to the game there are variety of clinics scheduled year-round to enhance your skills as well as opportunities to take private and semi-private lessons.
Rock Hill’s Parks, Recreation, and Tourism department offers an incredible program dedicated to getting residents of all ages outdoors to stay active and learn skills to help live a healthier lifestyle. The Active Learning and Living Outdoors program — better known as A.L.L. Outdoors — hosts a diverse list of organized activities that range from kayaking, cycling and hiking trips to indoor rock climbing adventures and geocaching.
Best Free or Almost Free Fitness in the Area
Boyd Hill Recreation Center offers open gym hours five days a week. Monday through Thursday guests can take advantage of the center’s gym for free from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. The gym is also open in the morning for guests who want to use the space for indoor walking.
The Emmett Scott Recreation Center also features open gym hours five days a week, allowing guests to work out from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Best Nearby Outdoor Activities for Families
Spend the day outdoors making exciting memories with your family at Camp Canaan, a 100-acre island teeming with fun adventures. Options range from two-and-a-half to three hour ziplining tours to half-day guided kayaking trips down the Catawba River.
Best Nearby Outdoor Activities for Dates
Plan a fun outdoor outing with seven of your favorite couples and impress your date with your nerves of steel and athletic abilities (Ha!) on the High Ropes Course at Camp Canaan. The course includes several different adrenaline-inducing elements that include a 400-ft. zipline, a giant swing that soars 25-ft. above ground, and the Leap of Faith, where participants will climb up a 30-ft. pole and jump to a swinging trapeze. The ropes course requires a minimum of 15 people — why we suggested making it a couple’s outing — and lasts for approximately three hours. Tickets are $39 per person.
Spend an evening kayaking Lake Wylie by moonlight on one of Rock Hill Parks, Recreation, and Tourism’s Moonlight Kayaking Trips. Excursions are scheduled multiple times throughout the year and typically last about two hours. Tickets are $25 per person.
Best Neighborhood Studios in Rock Hill
Take a break from your average workout and try something new at Light Bright Boxing, where you can take a high intensity boot camp or group boxing class with certified boxing coaches.
Having a little one at one home doesn’t have to stop you from staying active and in great shape. Fit4Mom makes it easy for moms to look and feel their best, by designing workouts that incorporate having your little one with you during the workout. Classes range from Stroller Strides, where moms can get in 60 minutes of cardio with kids in tow, to the Body Back Transformation class that helps women bounce back after giving birth. Your first class is free and Rock Hill classes meet weekly at the BMX Supercross Track.
Best Vegetarian/Vegan/Juice Restaurant in Rock Hill
Fresh Vibes Juice Bar is a go-to for fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, and healthy food items. The shop’s juices and smoothies are made using only the freshest, natural ingredients using no added sugar or preservatives. Fresh Vibes also features a food menu with several vegan and vegetarian options that will suit all kinds of tastes. Menu items range from a vegan cheeseburger wrap and signature salads to a hummus and avocado bagel.
Best Place to Eat After Your Workout
Follow up an early morning or midday workout with a meal at Eggs Up Grill, which serves up a variety of healthy options for breakfast and lunch six days a week. The menu includes both heart-healthy and gluten-free dishes as well as a number of vegetarian items. A sampling of of the restaurant’s menu includes an egg white omelet packed with fresh veggies, fruit and yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit bowls, oatmeal, and veggie stir frys. Eggs Up Grill even offers nutritional facts for most of their dishes — just in case you want to keep track of things like calories, sugars, proteins, etc.
Best Neighborhood Outdoor/Athletic Store to Buy Your Gear in Rock Hill
Rock Hill is home to one of the five Charlotte Running Company locations. The beloved, locally owned store is a go-to for locals to snag top-of-the-line running gear, sportswear, and training accessories. They carry a wide selection of popular brand names, including Brooks, Balega, Garmin, Camel Bak, and Pro Tec Athletics.
Now that you’ve seen our list of bests, we’d love to hear about the ways you stay fit, active, and healthy in Rock Hill. Leave a comment with your favorite places to get active or grab a healthy meal.
Click here to find an OrthoCarolina location near you.