Winter Guide

10 Ways to Workout Outdoors This Winter

Get out and get moving outside - yes even in the Rhody winter

So Rhode Island Magazine ·

Don’t confine your exercise to the gym just because it’s winter. Put on some layers and appreciate all the natural beauty (and fun!) the season has to offer.

Go For a Winter Hike

If you bundle up properly, a trek through a frozen landscape can be a rewarding experience. There’s the beauty of nature in winter, the animals that prefer cold weather, the serenity of exploring a space in total quiet. The Dundery Brook Trail in Little Compton is an easy loop, part of which is on a boardwalk path above the wetlands, that gives you a peek at over 60 bird species. Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge in Charlestown has six miles of hiking trails through grasslands, wooded swamps and gorgeous views of Ninigret Pond, the largest coastal salt pond in Rhode Island, from the observation deck at Grassy Point. 

Outrun the Cold
If the idea of running in freezing temperatures has you on the treadmill (or, let’s be honest, on the couch), find some external motivation with a running club. In Providence, the Rhode Runner Running Club has weekly training runs on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and Sunday mornings, plus access to in-depth coaching and discounts at the store and local races. RunNewport has a running group that meets every Tuesday evening, and runners can choose between a three or five mile course. At nearly 200 members, the Rhode Island Road Runners is the state’s biggest running club. They have monthly meetings, and an active website where members can join up for smaller weekly training runs throughout the state.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
In the winter when there’s enough snow, Pulaski State Park and Recreational Area in Chepachet offers free access for cross-country skiing. There are 10 miles of groomed trails in the 100-acre park, which is inside the 4000 acre George Washington Management Area. Find more details through the Appalachian Mountain Club Narragansett Chapter.

The horse trails and golf course at Warwick’s Goddard Park are popular with Nordic skiers after a heavy snowfall, although you’ll have to carve your own path).

Arcadia Management Area ( in Exeter has seemingly endless hiking and mountain-biking trails suitable for backcountry cross-country skiing as well. Another popular option is the South County Bike Path, which has the advantage of being wide and generally flat (the paved surface, however, means the snow generally melts faster than on natural trails). Rhode Island Cross Country Skiing is a good source of information, too.

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