10 Places to Exercise for Free in Charleston, WV

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As inflation continues to drive up the prices of gas, food and other items, many people are looking for ways to save money.

One way to do this is to ditch your gym membership and take advantage of free, local exercise options.

13 News has compiled a list below of free workout resources in Charleston, West Virginia.

1. Danner Meadow Park

Approvals:

  • walking track
  • Outdoor exercise equipment
  • athletic field
  • Playground
  • hiking trails

Address: South Fort Drive and Longwood Road, Charleston, WV, 25314
Hours: From daylight to dusk
More information: Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau website

Danner Meadow Park in Charleston. (Photo courtesy of the City of Charleston, WV)

2. FitLot Outdoor Fitness Park at East End Community Park

Approvals:

  • Outdoor workout equipment: elliptical, stepper, chest press, and handcycle
  • Mobile strength and cardio elements
  • Resistance Attachment Sites
  • Adjustable resistance
  • Recycled tire rubber floor surface
  • Lampshade structure
  • Scannable QR codes for instructional workout videos and downloadable guides
  • On-site sign displaying workout moves
  • Free exercise classes (register here)

Address: 1564 Dixie Street, Charleston, WV, 25311
Hours: From daylight to dusk
More information: FitLot website

3. Kanawha Town Community Center

Approvals:

  • Weight room with free weights, barbells and cable machines
  • Gymnasium with indoor basketball court (completely renovated in 2017)
  • Cardio room with treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes
  • Eight outdoor tennis courts
  • Indoor tennis courts
  • Outdoor basketball court
  • Outdoor pool
  • Playground
  • Baseball and softball fields

Address: 3511 Venable Ave, Charleston, WV, 25304
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. | Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Close on Sunday
More information:
Charleston, WV Parks and Recreation website

4. Martin Luther King Jr Community Center.

Approvals:

  • Boxing hall with speedbags, heavy bags and a small boxing ring
  • Cardio room with treadmills, ellipticals and exercise bike
  • Gymnasium with an indoor basketball court (recently renovated)
  • Weight room with free weights and machines
  • Women’s Fitness Lab
  • Outdoor pool
  • Outdoor playground
  • Outdoor classroom – a natural playground with spaces for climbing and crawling
  • Two outdoor tennis courts and a tennis practice wall
  • Two outdoor basketball courts
  • Outdoor futsal pitch

Address: 314 Donnally Street, Charleston, WV, 25301
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. | Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Close on Sunday
More information: Charleston, WV Parks and Recreation website

5. Morning yoga class at Magic Island (June and July)

Approvals:

  • Free morning yoga class with instructor Debora Mattingly
  • Walking path
  • Outdoor volleyball courts
  • Splash skate for kids
  • Recreational area

Address: 101 Kanawha Blvd West, Charleston, WV, 25302
Hours: Monday, 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. (Yoga classes in June and July only)
More information: Charleston, West Virginia Parks and Recreation Facebook Page

(Photo courtesy of Charleston, WV Parks and Recreation)

6. Mountain Momma Hash House Harriers (M2H3) – “Beer lovers with a run problem”

Approvals:

  • Free running and booze club
  • Scavenger hunt-style races with occasional booze
  • Weekly non-competitive fun runs
  • Moderate fitness
  • Custom trails average 3 miles in length
  • Occasional walking/running events suitable for strollers
  • Occasional full moon runs
  • International races: Red Dress Run, Ugly Christmas Sweater Run, etc.

Address: Location varies, but tracks are in Metro Valley (Charleston, Huntington)
Hours:
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. (summer) | Tuesday, 6 p.m. (winter)
More information:
West Virginia Department of Tourism Website | Mountain Momma Hash House Harriers Facebook Page (M2H3)

Mountain Momma Hash House Harriers (M2H3) in front of the Cabriole sculpture outside the Truist building in downtown Charleston. (Photo courtesy of West Virginia Department of Tourism)

7. North Charleston Community Center

Approvals:

  • Gym with an indoor basketball court with lines for basketball, volleyball, and pickleball
  • Weight room with free weights and cable machines
  • Cardio room with treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes
  • Women’s fitness room with weights, cable machine, and cardio equipment for women who want to exercise in a more controlled space
  • Several softball fields
  • Two outdoor playgrounds/playgrounds
  • Outdoor basketball court
  • Outdoor pool
  • Dog park (where furry friends can exercise too!)

Address: 2009 7th Avenue, Charleston, WV, 25387
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. | Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Close on Sunday
More information: Charleston, WV Parks and Recreation website

8. Recreational Sundays on Kanawha Boulevard (from Remembrance Day to Labor Day)

Approvals:

  • Road space for outdoor recreation such as cycling, walking, skating, running and other outdoor activities
  • The closure of the boulevard to vehicles ensures the safety of pedestrians

Address: Kanawha Boulevard between Court Street and Greenbrier Street
Hours:
Sunday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
More information:
City of Charleston, West Virginia Facebook Page

(Photo courtesy of the City of Charleston, WV)

9. Roosevelt Community Center

Approvals:

  • Gymnasium with indoor basketball court
  • Child-friendly stone wall
  • Cardio room with treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes
  • Weight room with free weights and cable machines
  • Playground

Address: 502 Ruffner Ave, Charleston, WV, 25311
Hours:
Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. | Closed from Saturday to Sunday
More information:
Charleston, WV Parks and Recreation website

Roosevelt Community Center weight room. (Photo courtesy of Charleston WV Parks and Recreation)

10. The Laidley Field at the University of Charleston

Approvals:

  • Football field
  • 400 meter athletics track
  • Bleacher steps can be used for stair exercises

Address: 1549 Piedmont Road, Charleston, WV, 25311
Hours:
Open to the public from day to dusk when sporting events are not taking place on the field | Stadium office open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More information:
Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau Website | University of Charleston website

Laidley Field in Charleston. (WOWK Newsfile 13)

Bonus: Teens can train for free at Planet Fitness all summer 2022 (May 16 to August 31)

Approvals:

  • Free summer gym pass for ages 14-19
  • Cardio machines including treadmills, ellipticals and more
  • Weight room with weight machines, Smith Machines, cable towers and more
  • 30-minute circuit training area
  • PF 360 with kettlebells, resistance bands and more
  • Free weights
  • Free fitness classes
  • Workout guides via the Planet Fitness mobile app
  • Chance to win a scholarship
  • Free day pass for parents

Address: Metro Valley Planet Fitness locations below

  • 125 Lakeview Drive, Cross Lanes, West Virginia, 25313
  • 204 Liberty Square, Hurricane, WV, 25526
  • Huntington Mall at 800 Mall Road (Unit 975), Barboursville, WV 25504

Hours: Monday to Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Saturday to Sunday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
More information: Planet Fitness website | Article: Teens can train for free all summer at Planet Fitness

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