Is a Fitness Club For You?

Is a Fitness Club For You?

Joining a fitness club doesn’t have to mean buying a gym membership. Local, and inexpensive, running, cycling and hiking clubs offer both physical activity and camaraderie. And being fit isn’t a prerequisite for joining. “There are virtually no requirements for joining except a spirit of fun and outdoor activity,” says Darcie Pickren, the president of the Cherry Capital Cycling Club. 

If you enjoy being outside and want a fun group to work out with, check out these area fitness clubs. 

Traverse City Track Club (TCTC)

The Traverse City Track Club was established in 1962 making it Northern Michigan’s oldest running club. The club is known for its 54-year-old running and walking program, the Summer Series. The informal race and training program is held everyWednesday and consists of courses with distances between 3 and 7 miles. The weekly event is free, so you can try it out and meet other area runners before becoming a member. The TCTC also hosts eight racing events throughout the year including the Bayshore Marathon and the Devils Dive Half Marathon and 5K. An annual membership costs $10 and includes weekly fun runs and walks, discounts at local shops, complimentary entry to the Summer Series and a T-shirt, among other things. For more membership information, contact

Cherry Capital Cycling Club (CCCC)

Comprised of several hundred members of all ages and abilities—from beginner to racing level—the Cherry Capital Cycling Club is open to everyone. The CCCC calendar is filled with road rides, mountain bike rides, alternative transportation activities, plus fixed gear and Alley Cat rides. Non-members are invited to go on several rides before joining and vacationers are welcome, too. An annual individual membership costs $20, and a family membership, which includes two adults and minor children living in the home, is $30. For more membership information, contact

Grand Traverse Hiking Club (GTHC)

The Grand Traverse Hiking Club is a local chapter of the North Country Trail Association. The group of outdoor enthusiasts is responsible for developing and maintaining 100 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail in Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Wexford and Manistee Counties including parts of the Pere Marquette State Forest. There are monthly meetings throughout the fall, winter, and spring along with several outdoor events. In May, hikers are invited to participate in a 100 Mile Challenge sponsored by the GTHC. Weekly hikes are scheduled to help participants complete a 100-mile section of Michigan’s North Country National Scenic Trail, which stretches approximately 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota. This year, a new 100 Mile Challenge is also being promoted by the National Park Service to commemorate their 100th anniversary. The National Park Service will accept a record of miles hiked on any trail under their jurisdiction during 2016. An annual membership to the GTHC costs $46, which represents 1 center per mile of the North Country Trail. A household membership costs $60. For more membership information, contact