Behind the farmstead from Anspach in the Rhine-Main ensemble… that is where you’ll find the trim trail, which was opened on 8 July 2017. This installation is Hessenpark’s first attempt to capture part of the social developments and zeitgeist of the 1970s.
The term “trim trail” (Trimm-dich-Pfad in German) not only applies to fitness equipments along forest trails or in parks but also stands for the 1970 campaign of the same name initiated by the former German sports association Deutscher Sportbund. Engaging people in grassroots sports and counteracting the lack of physical exercise in the life of an average German were the campaign goals. The campaigners aimed to make physical exercise enjoyable and easily accessible for everyone – regardless of age, sex, and fitness level. As a consequence, hundreds of so-called trim trails were constructed, many of them in Hesse. These public exercise trails and the accompanying campaign were extremely popular; that’s why many people still remember their own adventures in physical fitness on trim trails from when they were young.
The museum’s trim trail has been constructed using original plans issued by the association Deutscher Sportbund from the year 1973. The trail consists of ten exercise stations made from robinia arranged along a loop trail. All in all, the trail offers 14 different physical exercises. Each of the stations is equipped with detailed exercise instruction signs, which have been developed in cooperation with the department for sports medicine of the institute of sports sciences at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Before having someone use the equipment, it had to be updated to be in line with current safety standards and new developments in the field of sports medicine – all the while adhering to the historical guidelines. In addition to the trim trail, the eager visitor might enjoy a run on the trim track, a training track meandering along partly hidden paths exploring the Rhine-Main ensemble. The trim trail can either be visited on your own, following the instructions on the stations’s signs and according to your physical ability, or in a group. Certified trainers offer tours for groups or accompany the keep-fit group, a regular gathering open to all.
During the second phase of this project, an exhibition on the history of the keep-fit movement will be available starting from spring 2018 in the Rhine-Main ensemble. Written and pictorial evidence will allow you to relive the history of grassroots sports from the 1970s to the 1990s.
The construction of the trim trail has been supported by the local savings bank Taunus Sparkasse, the sponsor’s association Friends of Hessenpark Open Air Museum, and the German Olympics Sports Confederation.