There are some iconic routes to run while in New York City—routes that offer amazing views of the city while keeping you close to the hustle and bustle. But, there are also some hidden gems on the outskirts of the city that provide peaceful trails and nature’s scenery to log your miles.
Below are five places—some urban, some trail—to run while in NYC:
No trip to NYC is complete without a run in the world’s most iconic park. The sheer size of the park (843 acres) can be intimidating, so it’s best to become familiar with the layout before you head there. There is a paved road that circles the park—if you stay on that route, you will run just over 6 hilly miles. But, there are some beautiful places to run within the park as well—most notably, around the Reservoir (which is between 85th and 97th streets), which offers amazing views of NYC. If you ever get turned around while running, just take a look at the lampposts on the inside part of the park; they provide your current location! If you run early, be cautious of the cyclists; if you run later in the day, be on the watch for vehicles and tourists.
Hudson River Path
One of the best ways to explore New York City is by running the Hudson River Path. Located along the western edge of Manhattan, the paved path begins at the southern tip of the city (by the Staten Island Ferry) and extends to the Bronx. For a scenic point-to-point run, start at the Ferry and head north. You’ll get to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, 1 World Trade Center, the New Jersey skyline, Chelsea Piers and the USS Intrepid (to name a few!). This route is extremely flexible—you can start anywhere throughout the city if you just head west. And if you are feeling like a longer run (about 11 miles), you can even continue north to the George Washington Bridge (which you can run over).
Staten Island Greenbelt
If you are looking for some off-road running, Staten Island is the place to go! The Staten Island Greenbelt is a chain of parks located in the center of the city’s greenest borough. The Greenbelt is comprised of six primary trails and is over 2,800 acres, making it the second largest public park in New York City. The trails range in distance from 2.6 miles to 12.3 miles (one direction) with a mix of terrain so it is suitable for a first time trail runner as well as a seasoned one! (You can find more information on the trails here.)
Brooklyn Bridge and Prospect Park
Prospect Park is a beautiful park nestled within Brooklyn. Similar to Central Park, there are various hilly loops for running. But if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is a great (and close!) option since you won’t see any buildings during your run. One way to get to Prospect Park (and to see another iconic part of NYC) is to run over the Brooklyn Bridge. After running over the bridge, you will want to take a left on Tillary Street and a quick right on Flatbush Avenue (which leads you to the Park). You’ll get views of the Barclays Center and Grand Army Plaza during your 2.5-mile run through downtown Brooklyn!
Inwood Hill Park
Head north of the George Washington Bridge along the Hudson River and you will find Inwood Hill Park, the largest remaining forest land in Manhattan. Although a public park, much of the park remains untouched and non-landscaped, giving it a natural feel. There is a great network of paved and dirt trails which offer stunning views of the GW Bridge.
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