Developers are turning industrial urban spaces into fitness-focused hot-spots. Hit up these cool urban parks—and score a workout while you're at it.
The 606, Chicago
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The 606 lives on a reclaimed track of Chicago's famous "L" train system. After the route fell out of use in the '90s, nature began to overrun the abandoned elevated track, forming an unofficial nature trail with killer views of the Chicago skyline. City officials teamed up with the Trust for Public Land to turn the space into an official urban park—complete with 38 blocks' worth of biking and running trails. The best part? Since the 606 is a former train line, the park doubles as a fit way to commute through the city on two wheels instead of four.
Photo: Adam Alexander, courtesy of the Trust for Public Land
The Bentway, Toronto
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The Bentway is the coolest underpass you'll ever visit. The newest public space in Toronto, the park took advantage of the space under the city's Gardiner Expressway, providing a space for community gardens, a farmers' market, and an ice-skating trail perfect for transitioning your workout out of the frigid winter and into spring. As the weather thaws, the park will also begin hosting outdoor fitness classes this spring. The Bentway is still growing. Once completed, the park will connect existing parks in seven different neighborhoods, making it a particularly cool place for those long marathon training runs.
Photo: Denise Militzer
The High Line, New York
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The High Line in New York's Chelsea neighborhood might be the most recognizable subway-track-turned-park in the country, studded with cool art installations and Instagram-worthy food vendors. Get there in the morning to make the High Line your own personal workout playground; take a pre-work run with views of the Hudson River, run the amphitheater stairs at the 10th Avenue overlook, or latch on to a bench for a full-body toning workout.
Photo: Iwan Baan
Buffalo Bayou, Houston
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In addition to hiking, biking, and jogging trails that thread through Houston's 160-acre park, Buffalo Bayou is home to a great meditation spot. The Cistern, the park's historic water reservoir, is open for guided and solo meditation sessions on Sundays.
Photo: courtesy of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership
The BeltLine, Atlanta
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Like the 606 and the High Line, Atlanta's BeltLine park is a sustainable redevelopment project that turns some of the city's unused transportation routes into fitness-friendly green spaces. When the park is fully completed in 2030, it will include 33 miles of trails and 2,000 acres of parks—that's a lot of space for trail runs or a playground workout. This spring, you can take advantage of free fitness classes hosted in the currently open trails and green spaces of the BeltLine.
Photo: Adrian Benepe, courtesy of the Trust for Public Land
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
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The whole squad can get sweaty this spring at Brooklyn Bridge Park, a former collection of industrial piers turned into fitness-friendly playgrounds featuring soccer, basketball, handball, and beach volleyball courts. When weather permits, grab a kayak and score some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline or get your climb on at DUMBO Boulders.
Photo: Etienne Frossard courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park