Pat Ramsden moved to Scotia Village seven months ago. When she arrived, she was determined to make staying fit a top priority. Fortunately, the community’s walking trails are perfect for staying active and engaged — and for walking off the Magnolia Dining Room’s scrumptious desserts.

“I didn’t want to gain the Scotia 10,” she says with a laugh. “When folks move here, they’re so happy that the food is so good and they don’t have to cook that they gain 10 pounds.

“So I set about walking.”

Known for its natural beauty, plentiful gardens and shady pine woodlands, Scotia Village’s campus provides the perfect setting through which residents can enjoy a casual stroll or an invigorating workout. The full trail route takes Pat all over the community, giving her much scenery and people to see.

Pat prefers to get an early start, knocking out 8,000 to 10,000 steps before she moves on to a senior aerobics class in the wellness center. If the weather is bad, no problem. The community developed an indoor trail that flows through Scotia Hall to allow residents to safely exercise out of the elements.

In the afternoons, Pat enjoys another walk to make sure she hits her goal, which typically means she logs up to 20,000 steps in a day. She changes her path to mix things up, taking advantage of the trails’ shortcuts — not to shorten her walks, but to make them longer.

With all that walking, one might think Pat would get tired of the same old trails. After all, just beyond the community’s boundaries are the lovely walking trails that line the campus at St. Andrews University. But so far, she’s perfectly happy sticking to her community trails. “There’s such a beautiful variety from the houses and villas to the gardens and woods,” she explains. “And they are well maintained and paved. I haven’t gotten bored yet.”

Having moved to Scotia all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee — without knowing a single person in the community — Pat’s walks have also served another purpose. “I meet all different people and I meet all the dogs!” she says, joyfully. “I’ve gotten to know people quickly and the staff made it so easy… Even the wait staff in the dining room introduced me to different people.”

Pat, a retired Presbyterian pastor, lives in a one-bedroom garden apartment with her cat, Katherine Elizabeth, also known as Her Majesty. “I never imagined it would be able to have the amenities and activities and still be affordable,” she adds. “Scotia Village has been its own little miracle for me.”

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