LCU Parrish Fuller Fitness Trail provides fitness, fellowship to community

The Parrish Fuller Fitness Trail at Louisiana Christian University is a providing significant positive impact on the community’s vitality, according to a National Demonstration Site study conducted by PlayCORE’s Center for Outreach, Research, and Education.

The survey found an overwhelming level of satisfaction with the new recreation space with 100% of visitors satisfied (86% very satisfied). The survey found the site to be inclusive—with accessibility for various ages and fitness levels, and a great place for community engagement.

Dr. Sonia Tinsley, chair of the Department of Allied Health, oversaw the refurbishment of the trail, which was rededicated in 2021, and is one of only four adult fitness parks in Louisiana.

“The adult fitness park located at the Parrish Fuller Fitness Trail on the campus of Louisiana Christian University is part of a National Demonstration Site Network,” Tinsley said. “One of the benefits of being a National Demonstration Site is the partnership with PlayCORE’s Center for Outreach, Research, and Education. Visitors to the Parrish Fuller Fitness Trail were invited to complete a survey regarding the trail.”

CORE analyzed the data from the survey and created a Visitors Outcome Report. The researchers used data-driven strategies specific to our community to enable actionable recommendations and personalized support to maximize the positive impact on our community.

“It’s exciting to be able to share meaningful data translations with the team at Louisiana Christian that they can use to shape their own data stories,” said Anne-Marie Spencer, corporate vice president of marketing for PlayCORE. “In seeing that 100% of their visitors expressed satisfaction with their visit to the adult fitness site, and that 100% plan to visit again, it’s a great indicator of the site’s contribution to overall community vitality!”

Respondents offered the following comments about the trail:

  • “Great place to walk and enjoy nature.”
  • “It’s a nice place to walk or jog, and a convenient location.”
  • “A safe green place to walk.”

Many of the respondents (84%) said they visited two or more times per week and spend more than 45 minutes at the fitness area.

The funds for the refurbishment of the trail were largely provided by The Rapides Foundation to increase access to health and fitness opportunities for the community. The fitness trail was created more than 40 years ago by Parrish Fuller of Oakdale.

“We have received over $134,000 from The Rapides Foundation to help with improvements at the trail,” Tinsley said. “We have repaired, widened, and repaved the trail, installed exercise equipment, and we are providing physical activity programs for the community. With the support of The Rapides Foundation, we are able to build healthier communities through the power of physical activity and our ‘Step Up, CENLA’ program.”

The Parrish Fuller Fitness Trail includes a .4 mile walking trail and three fitness stations which include a variety of aerobic, muscular strength, core, balance, and flexibility equipment to provide a well-rounded workout. This will help individuals of all fitness levels participate in more physical activity and enjoy the health benefits of being physically active.

“We are overjoyed people are enjoying the trail and bringing their families with them,” said President Dr. Rick Brewer. “We could not have done this without wonderful, giving community partners.”


Media Release     |     June 13, 2023     |     Pineville, Louisiana
Contact: Dr. Elizabeth B. Clarke, Director of University Communications |