A fitness trail (more recently known as outdoor exercise equipment and also known as a parcourse) consists of a path or course equipped with obstacles or stations distributed along its length for exercising the human body to promote good health. The course is designed to promote physical fitness training in the style attributed to Georges Hébert. In general, fitness trails can be natural or man made, located in areas such as forest, transportation rights-of-way, parks, or urban settings. Equipment exists to provide specific forms of physiological exercise, and can consist of natural features including climbable rocks, trees, and river embankments, or manufactured products (stepping posts, chin-up and climbing bars) designed to provide similar physical challenges. The degree of difficulty of a course is determined by terrain slope, trail surface (dirt, grass, gravel, etc.), obstacle height (walls) or length (crawls) and other features. Urban parcourses tend to be flat, to permit participation by the elderly, and to accommodate cyclists, runners, skaters and walking. The new concept of an outdoor gym, containing traditional gym equipment specifically designed for outdoor use, is also considered to be a development of the parcourse. These outdoor exercise gyms include moving parts and often made from galvanised metal.
The original parcourse was invented in 1968 by Swiss architect Erwin Weckemann with support from Swiss life insurance firm Vita. The first course was built in Zurich, Switzerland. Hundreds of courses were built in Europe by 1972.
Courses built in ensuing years included:
- [US] 1976 "Parcour" exercise trail in County Farm Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan
- [US] 1977 Bruce Jenner Trail in the Lake County, Illinois Forest Preserve District.
- [US] El Estero Exercise Course at Lake El Estero, Monterey, California
- [HK] 1977 Lion Rock Country Park, New Territories, Hong Kong, featuring 15 exercise stations.
Fitness trails or Parcour trails can be designed within the natural environment and recycling of resources within it. Wildfit.co.uk design bespoke and natural trails that will enhance any current landscape or environment. Wildfit designs and creates sustainable outdoor eco-gyms, wellness trails and parcour circuits within healthy and biodiverse environments. Courses and activity trails can be integrated into existing facilities or can be new-build. These are supported by the creation or restoration of high quality landscapes and biodiverse habitats. http://www.wildfit.co.uk/wildfit/Eco-Gym_Parkour_Design.html
Installations are found across AU, A Google map shows their locations Click here.
- Sunnybrook Park in Toronto, Ontario has a Vita Parcours Exercise Trail, along with sports facilities.
United States of America
- There is a 1.6 mile cross country fitness course with 19 exercise stations beginning at the Pelican Point parking area .
- There is an asphalt parcourse (remodeled in 2012), that projects into the Bay in Marina Park in San Leandro.
- Section Two of the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail is an asphalt paved parcourse in Moraga.
- A dirt parcourse trail surrounds Bishop Ranch 7 office complex in San Ramon. Although the parcourse is on private property, it is open to public use.
- Under the BART right-of-way along Masonic Ave., in Albany.
- The first parcourse trail built in the USA still exists in the Mountain Lake Park of San Francisco's Presidio. The parcourse begins at the beginning of 9th Ave, just north of the intersection of 9th Ave and Lake St.
- The Perrier parcourse is at the site of the former Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. This course is open for public use.
- There is a parcourse that borders the Marina Green in San Francisco.
- There are several exercise stations (some new and some from an original Parcourse), on the south side of Millbrae Ave. between S Magnolia Ave. and Palm Ave. along the Spur Trail in Millbrae.
- An asphalt paved parcourse trail begins at the 5.9 mi. mark of the Bay Trail, around the perimeter of the Oracle Corporation office complex in Redwood Shores. Although the parcourse is on Oracle property, it is open to public use. There is another parcourse on the opposite (south) side of Marina Parkway, but it has fallen into disrepair.
- A parcourse is located along Marina Parkway beginning near the intersection of Bridge Parkway and Cork Harbor Circle and ending near the intersection of Bridge Parkway and Portwalk Place in Redwood Shores.
- There is a Parcourse with fitness stations clustered along a trail in the Holbrook-Palmer Park on the south side of Watkins Avenue between Dinkelspiel Station Lane and Middlefield Road in Atherton.
- There is a Parcourse inside the NASA Ames Research Center. However, an official NASA ID is required to access it.
Los Angeles Area
- A paved parcourse trail is available at Rynerson Park in Lakewood on Studabaker Road parallel to the San Gabriel River Bike Trail. This parcourse has 6 stations along a 1 mile loop.
- Johnny Carson Park located in Burbank features a parcourse circuit with a dozen stations along a dirt path loop. It also includes a warm-up area with equipment designed to facilitate stretching.
- The Whittwood Towne Center offers a small short vita course set up next to eh 24 Hour Fitness Gym.
- In the Unincorportated part of South Whittier at Adventure Park all around the baseball diamonds there are numerous stations.
Lake Tahoe Area
- There is an 18 station par course at North Tahoe Regional Park, which is located at 6600 Donner Road, one mile west of Highway 267 and one mile north of Highway 28 in Tahoe Vista.
San Diego Area
- Morley Fields Sport complex - Perrier Parcourse Fitness Circuit. This fitness circuit was donated by the Groeat
Waters of France Company, distributor of Perrier water. The circuit includes eighteen exercise stations spaced over a 2.5 mile path.
- There is a parcourse located in the woods surrounding Waycross College.
- In Hamilton County, OH, Embshoff Woods, Miami Whitewater Forest, Sharon Woods, Triple Creek, Winton Woods, and Woodland Mound county parks have parcourse trails.
- In Frick Park, Pittsburgh, there's a paved parcourse trail starting at the intersection of Beechwood Boulevard and Nicholson Street with 18 stations. The signs along the trail date from 1975.
- Prince George County Parks and Recreation Chernikoff Fitness Trail, Maryland, US.
- Downs Park  in Pasadena, Anne Arundel County
- NCR TRAIL. Parkton Md
- Washtenaw County, Ypsilanti, MI North Bay Park
- Delta County, Gladstone, MI VanCleve City Park
- In Austin, the Shoal Creek Trail features a three-station parcourse near its intersection with 30th St, Texas, US.
- In Sugar Land, A parcourse is located adjacent to Highlands Elementary School at the intersection of Williams Trace Boulevard and Edgewater Drive, Texas, USA.
- In Missouri City, A more compact course is located behind the LA Fitness at 5402 Texas 6, on Cross Lakes Boulevard.
- In Richmond, Byrd Park has a 1-mile fitness trail.
- In Vienna, Nottoway Park has a 3/4 mile fitness trail.
- Parcourse Redux - Outdoor fitness tracks ... Mike Grudowski. Outside Magazine, May 2000. Photos, examples. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
- Parcourses - Where have they gone? Heather Long, Families.com, July 28, 2006. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
- Old-school exercise is par for the course Jeff Nachtigal, Bakersfield.com, December 11, 2006. Retrieved Feb 7, 2007. Archived at web.archive.org, retrieved December 28, 2009.
- Par Course Exercise - Outdoor Fitness for Everyone James M. Evans, American Senior Fitness Association, January 19, 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
- Outdoor fitness equipment  Guy Chaham GreenGym
- Hamilton County Park District Trails Retrieved March 18, 2011.