Whether you’re looking to get in shape for summer, or train for the Marathon (it’s only 207 days away!), New York offers a slew of options to satisfy every sprinter.
The Reservoir at Central Park
Central Park is full of running routes, but our pick is the Reservoir, which lies between 85th and 96th Streets. At 1.6 miles, it’s great for any skill level. Beginning runners can start slow and work up to more laps. The Reservoir offers lovely views of the city and the water also provides a cooling effect in the summer. The main entrance to the reservoir is at 90th and 5th, but it is easy to access from Central Park West as well. For those looking for a more challenging run, circling the entire park is about six miles and includes more hilly terrain.
Riverside Park and the Hudson River Greenway
Riverside Park on the Upper West Side is another great scenic route. For a three-and-a-half mile run, start around 125th and make your way down to 72nd. More ambitious runners can take the Hudson River Greenway all the way down the west side to Battery Park. (If you start at 156th, that’s about 10 miles.) Or, you can start at Chelsea Piers and run along the water to Battery Park, which is about three miles. The Hudson River and even New Jersey make for an inspiring backdrop.
The East River
If you’re an East Side person, running along the East River is a more convenient route. Start at 23rd and finish at the South Street Seaport for a three-and-a-half mile run. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can head east and cross over the Brooklyn Bridge. Just make sure you stop at the Atlantic.
It’s hard to believe that the 19th century “Welfare Island” known for its asylums, jails, and smallpox hospital is now the quaint, residential neighborhood of Roosevelt Island. The island has a perimeter of about three-and-a-half miles, and the terrain is relatively flat. It also offers a great view of Manhattan, with less of the bustle and noise. For a great change of pace, why not bring a picnic and make a day of it? Ok, at least an afternoon. Then you might run out of things to do.
Like Central Park (and also designed by the same people), Prospect Park has a number of running routes. The shortest loop is about a mile-and-a-half in the center of the park, while a full lap around its perimeter is 3.7 miles. Prospect Park is less crowded than Central Park, full of foliage and even boasts Brooklyn’s only freshwater lake – ooh ahh! The adjacent Park Slope offers lots of post-run dining and snacking options.