Fitness facilities, parks, sports leagues, healthy food sources abound
Whether you’re on the hunt for your next fitness fix or in search of ingredients for a healthy, home-cooked meal, chances are you’ll find it in Williamson County.
That’s because the community has it all in terms of ways to live an active, healthy lifestyle – boutique fitness studios and gyms, family-friendly wellness centers, beautiful parks, health food stores, sporting goods shops and plenty of opportunities for kids and adults to enjoy friendly sports competition throughout the year.
Parks and Youth Sports
It’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors in Williamson County, thanks to the community’s incredible network of public parks.
For example, many residents enjoy Franklin’s 34-acre Pinkerton Park, which lays claim to a 1-mile paved pedestrian trail and two playgrounds (including the popular Tinkerbell Playground) and offers quick access to downtown Franklin via the Sue Douglas Berry Memorial pedestrian bridge.
Another favorite spot is Brentwood’s Crockett Park that covers more than 164 acres and features paved walking paths and bikeways, a nature trail, seven lighted tennis courts, eight lighted baseball/softball diamonds and eight multipurpose fields. Crockett Park is also home to an indoor arena that’s operated by Williamson County Parks & Recreation and hosts soccer, golf, flag football and other events for both youth and adults.
In addition, Brentwood includes Marcella Vivrette Smith Park that spans 400 acres and has six miles of rugged hiking trails, and hikers also enjoy the 70-acre Timberland Park that’s located along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Franklin.
Along with parks, youth sports leagues are prevalent across Williamson County. Many of the community’s most popular youth programs are operated by the nonprofit, volunteer-run Williamson County Soccer Association, which offers outdoor soccer in the fall and spring and indoor soccer in the late fall, winter and summer for nearly 8,000 kids ranging from ages 4 to 19.
“It’s so important for kids to be part of a team and to experience being part of something bigger than themselves,â€ says Mary K. Anderson, executive director of the WCSA. “When children come together and play as a team, they learn to take others’ feelings into consideration, and they can gain a sense of responsibility. They want to play well because they don’t want to let their teammates down. Plus, youth sports leagues pull kids away from their electronics, and they get them outside and moving.â€
Fitness Facilities, Outdoor Gear Shops, Health Food Grocers
The area’s many health and wellness centers make it easy for people of all ages and interests to get active. There are boutique fitness studios across Williamson County, such as Pure Barre Westhaven, CrossFit Trivium and TITLE Boxing Club Cool Springs, as well as gyms like Planet Fitness Franklin, Franklin Athletic Club, Prairie Life Fitness and Life Time Athletic.
The YMCA of Middle Tennessee has a big presence in Williamson County, too, with locations including the Brentwood Family YMCA, Maryland Farms YMCA and Franklin Family YMCA. Although each location is unique, they each offer free onsite child supervision and youth activities, group fitness classes, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wellness consultations, fitness assessments and much more.
“When you join the Y, you’re committing to more than a healthier you or a healthier family,â€ says Tonya Kimbrough, director of internal communications for the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. “You are supporting the values and programs that strengthen your community. These include children learning life-saving skills in YMCA swim lessons, teens learning how to be a leader for tomorrow in Y-CAP Williamson County [a program that teaches youth essential life skills through various activities], families spending time together and seniors finding fellowship in the classes and community of the Y.â€
Williamson County also caters to those looking to take their fitness outdoors with gear and apparel shops like REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Rock/Creek at Cool Springs, Mountain High Outfitters, Friedman’s of Franklin and Academy Sports + Outdoors.
Additionally, residents are covered when it comes to high-quality nutrition as Williamson County has health-focused grocers such as Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, Sprouts and Herban Market. Each store offers an impressive selection of organic foods, and many also include juice and coffee bars as well as grab-and-go meals and snacks.