Forest Fitness Adds Fun To Outdoor Exercise

Forest Fitness brings outdoor experiences of getting fit and enjoying fresh air to new levels on its 30-acre forest site near Carrickfergus, on the Causeway Coastal Route.

From personal training to team activities, there is a full range of activities suitable for all levels of fitness, including assault courses, combat sports, inflatables, mud mayhem obstacle runs, bushcraft classes, boot camp experiences and more besides, with many specially crafted together for great value, package experiences.

Founded by Lea Vaughan, he believes that the variety of entertainment and fitness activities available can benefit everyone.

“I’ve always been an outdoor exerciser,” he said. “I originally started my business in Carrickfergus town centre to bring people outdoors, to introduce people to a different type of fitness class using, for example, logs or tyres for weights.”

“With gaining access to the forest, many more different outdoor activities were born, and my business could be fully realised.”

There are six different purpose-built forest assault courses, including a new inflatable assault course for 2021 with 100 meters of inflatables, offering various levels and types of activity depending on fitness and interests, plus personal training on a one-to-one basis or with a small group.

Besides the fitness aspect, he wants to encourage both children and adults to experience the great outdoors as it is beneficial for both physical and mental health.

There is also a growing group of people who head to Forest Fitness for Mud Mayhem. Popular Tv shows like Ninja Warrior peak people’s interest in trying out these more extreme activities.

“Obstacle course racing is big right now,” Lea explained. “It’s tough like Spartan
racing and people travel all over for them.

“I’ve had people come here from Omagh, Dungannon and elsewhere in the province to take part in our mud run, which uses one of the assault courses.”

A feature of the combat sports on offer is Skirmish 51 Airsoft, created by a team of veteran-airsoft professionals with the training and first-hand experience to deliver the ultimate combat simulation to their customers, whether you are an experienced airsoft veteran or completely new to it.

“We create live scenarios with regular briefings and Intel updates as the missions’ progress with the outcome dependent on the players,” Lea explained.

To make scenarios more lifelike and to further immerse players, the Airsoft range features a double-decker bus called Everest. Players will also be surprised to find an abandoned tank in the middle of the forest.

“The aim is to provide military combat scenarios in a safe and controlled environment and ensure the maximum enjoyment for participants.

“I’d love kids to get off their Xboxes and Playstations and do it for real because when they come along, they have a true life experience where they’re getting to exercise and not glued to a screen or sitting on their rear ends.”

“We take them through the skills and drills in the forest and show them how to do it for real using a fully-licenced, non-lethal firearm.”

Other combat sports on offer include archery tag, Nerf and Nerf wars, plus soft archery. In addition, there are bushcraft classes, with children’s bushcraft camps regularly available.

Families and groups can enjoy fun activities as part of team building sessions or packages. They can book the Airsoft, have some outdoor fitness, or even learn about bushcraft. The activities centre has several party packages available, like Nerf Wars Party Package, Hunger Games The Viking, The Punisher and several kids packages.

Itineraries can be selected by individual or group interests and can be tailor-made to fit any group size, including families, friends, schools, churches and community groups alike. They also cater for parties, hen and stags and team building. 

Staff are fully trained to make sure all activities operate within strict safety requirements and guidelines.

Breaking a sweat has never been so fun! For more information and bookings, visit Forest Fitness NI on

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