New York gets a reputation for dirty streets, aggressive drivers and a lack of personal space (from both pigeons and fellow humans). Despite all this, the city also features some of the best places for a long run or leisurely walk. Even when you’re mid-distance run, the picturesque scenes can distract your mind and lessen the burning in your calves.
Through my own running experience and exploring the city for real estate purposes, I’ve found some of the best locations for exercise enthusiasts to hit the pavement.
Central Park (Reservoir Loop)
When someone thinks of a good place to run in New York, Central Park is inevitably the first thing that comes to mind. Any part of the park is great for a morning or evening workout, but the rolling hills can provide a challenge for some runners. If you’re looking for a flat route with a beautiful view of the reservoir, I’d recommend taking Central Park’s 1.58-mile loop around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. One important note: cyclists aren’t permitted on the loop.
At 3.68 miles, the outer loop of Prospect Park is almost half the length of Central Park’s full loop. However, it has similar terrain. The park has the perfect mix of nature scenes and city backdrop. You’ll also come across the Prospect Park Lake and a host of recreational activities. After your workout, you can grab a meal or check out some of the local shopping.
If you’re up for an early-morning weekday run, the Brooklyn Bridge offers a beautiful view. It’s common for people to run over the Brooklyn Bridge and into Brooklyn Bridge Park. Throughout the trip, you’ll have views of the bridge’s historic architecture, as well as some waterfront views of lower Manhattan. Just try to avoid the bridge during weekends because it is much more crowded.
East River Running Path
If you begin at Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to make the most of the East River running path. In addition to catching a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, you’ll also have gorgeous views of Brooklyn’s waterfront and the South Street Seaport. This path also offers easy access to Brooklyn.
Every New York runner has their own favorite running paths throughout the city, but I hope these locations give you some inspiration for changing up your workout. The city is full of incredible running routes for anyone who takes the time to go out and explore them.