First of Escondido’s five fitness courts opens at Mountain View Park

Escondido residents will soon have a number of new options for getting in shape, thanks to a series of planned new fitness facilities.

On Nov. 18, the city unveiled the first of five planned “fitness courts,” which are described as free outdoor gyms available for public use. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the site of the first fitness court, which was built at Mountain View Park.

The city plans to install two more of the fitness courts in the spring, at Kit Carson Park and next to the city’s main library on South Kalmia Street. The two final courts will be built in the near future, said city officials.

Another outdoor recreation project is planned for Jesmond Dene Park, where a bike park will be built and named for City Councilman John Masson, who died in March. Masson was a strong advocate for youth recreation opportunities, and he enjoyed such activities as skateboarding, motocross and mountain biking, according to a city staff report.

Steven Davis, 52, gets in a morning workout at the newly opened fitness court at Mountain View Park in Escondido.

Steven Davis, 52, gets in a morning workout at the newly opened fitness court at Mountain View Park in Escondido. He lives nearby and exercises here regularly.

(Charlie Neuman/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Escondido City Council, at a meeting on Nov. 18, gave a green light to the project and authorized the city to accept a $271,000 state grant to pay for the new bike park.

Also at the Nov. 18 meeting, the council received an update on a plan to build a “skate spot” at Washington Park. The city has set aside funds for design and construction of the new facility for skateboarders. A staff report said design of the skate spot and an adjacent parking lot will cost $143,574, and construction of the skate spot is estimated at $382,000.

Construction is expected to begin in January, weather permitting, with completion by summer, said Deputy City Manager Joanna Axelrod.

The first fitness court, located at Mountain View Park, 1160 S. Citrus Ave., was completed in February, said Axelrod, but the opening was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re so excited to be finally able to open it,” she said.

Graphics show how to use the equipment at the new fitness court in Escondido's Mountain View Park.

Graphics show how to use the equipment at the new fitness court in Escondido’s Mountain View Park.

(Charlie Neuman/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The city worked with the National Fitness Campaign, a for-profit consulting firm based in San Francisco, to design and build the outdoor workout facility for ages 14 and up.

National Fitness provided $30,000 in seed money for the project, and the city’s utility department provided an additional $165,000, which the department provided in exchange for park land it needed to construct a water pumping station, Axelrod said.

The fitness courts are about 1,000 square feet and utilize a design developed by the National Fitness Campaign. They include seven workout zones, each of which focuses on a different type of movement. Together, the seven zones provide a full-body workout. The zones include core, squat, push, lunge, pull, agility and bend.

Fitness court users can

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