When you’re surrounded by a picturesque backdrop of lush green, panoramic water views, and nature trails in Westerly, workouts with adventure await. Save the inside gym routine for winter and fall and explore the great outdoors on land and water while exercising you body and mind. With traffic increased in the summer and limited parking along the beach areas the best way to explore the shoreline sights and get a great work out in is by two wheels.
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For out of towners leave the four wheels behind in downtown Westerly and hop on your bike along Beach Road. A leisurely jaunt in and out of River Bend Cemetery blends beautiful views of the Pawcatuck River along paved and dirt gravel paths in a quiet no traffic allowed setting. Hop back on Beach Road and follow that another mile to the Route 1A intersection where you can veer off to explore Misquamicut Beach area (approximately another 5-7 mile ride along the beach access road) or stay straight to bike into Watch Hill.
Cruising by The Cooked Goose (a great breakfast and lunch place) at the turn steer your bike right for a short diversion through Avondale, a historic village and quite residential neighborhood. This gives you a quiet break from the beach traffic heading into Watch Hill, affords nicer views of the Pawcatuck River, and the houses along the road aren’t too shabby either. If you want to cool off for a bit and experience a water workout stop by Paddle Surf at India Point Road in the Frank Hall Boat Yard.
Lisa Kodzis, co-owner of Paddle Surf in Westerly along with her husband Brian raves about the health benefits that paddle boarding and surfing can add to a workout. “Fresh air is a perk, the salt water has healing benefits, it helps with balancing and builds muscles and the joy of it is being on the water,” says Lisa. Maintaining balance on the paddle board requires constant engagement of the abdominal muscles and along with muscles used in the upper body, the muscles contract as you row side to side.
Surfing takes that fitness workout to a more intense level using more thigh muscles and upper body strength with paddling out through the surf and lifting up off the board to catch a wave. Paddle Surf offers beginner lessons and weekly surf camps at Napatree Point in Watch Hill as well as Misquamicut Beach for all ages teaching people to feel comfortable on the surfboard.
Or switch gears and take that downward dog yoga move to a whole other level when you try balancing and floating on a paddle board on the Pawcatuck River. “Its really fun,” says Lisa. “And feels new if you have done yoga before on a mat.”
If you prefer a little break from the bike to stretch your legs on land an easy walk through the Avondale Farm Preserve along the public walking trail is a peaceful spot to have a picnic. Views of the salt marsh make it an ideal location to view egrets and Great Blue Herons while the meadows and field grass attract a host of butterflies.
If your planning on being in Westerly for a long weekend or summer trip with the family and packing bikes was too much work – no worries, let the Napatree Bikes guy deliver and pick up a rental bike at your doorstep! Gary Palmer, a Westerly resident has owned and operated Napatree Bikes for over 15 years and loves “to see the smile come across a person’s face” when he pulls up with a truckload of rental bikes for a family to enjoy the sights along the Westerly coastline.
“It makes my day,” says Gary.
He specializes in custom tours lasting usually around two hours and takes people to whatever sights they are interested in seeing, whether it’s the quiet garden community of Weekapaug, shopping central in Watch Hill, or along the barrier beach roads in Misquamicut. Each place has its own personality that he focuses on and includes history and points of interest in each shoreline community. He has toured all kinds of groups from couples on their honeymoon, to business groups, and every family size in between and can cater the bike tour depending upon the exercise level of the individuals.
Experience all the sights, smells, history, charm, and adventure that working out in Westerly has to offer!