Bright Lights. Big City. New York City may be one of the biggest cities in the world, but it’s also an incredible place to run. There’s a huge running community( spanning from recreational runners to competitive athletes), races all-year long and running stores galore. And, as it’s the City that Never Sleeps, you’ll likely find people running at all hours of the day.

Headed to the Big Apple? Here are five great places to run the next time you’re in town.

Central Park

When you think of running in New York City, you probably think of Central Park. And for good reason. Located in the middle of Manhattan, Central Park is a runner’s oasis with a variety of terrains, hills and distances. The full park loop is approximately 6.1 miles. With a number of paths that cut across it, you can put together shorter runs from 1.7 miles, to four and five miles. For a change of terrain, head to the 1.5-mile soft path that circles the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir or to one of two bridle paths that meander through the park. For hill repeats, head to the Harlem Hills at the north end of the park or to Cat Hill on the East Side.

Hudson River Park

Enjoy gorgeous river views while running along Hudson River Park. You can run the length of the west side of Manhattan, from Battery Park to the George Washington Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse. It’s a popular path and can get crowded, especially on the weekends.

East River Esplanade

This path along the east side of Manhattan runs alongside the FDR Drive and East River. You’ll enjoy great views of the river, Queens, Roosevelt Island, Queensborough Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge. It spans from Battery Park and South Street Seaport up to Harlem and 125st Street.

Prospect Park

Roughly half the size of Central Park, Prospect Park which is located in Brooklyn, draws a wide range of runners and is host to a number of road races throughout the year. The main path around the park is 3.35 miles long, but there are a number of different loops and trails that offer a variety of mileage.

The Bridges

There’s something about running across the bridges of New York City that is special. From the Brooklyn Bridge to the Williamsburg Bridge to the Manhattan Bridge, runners can run from Manhattan to Brooklyn and back while connecting to many of the running paths along the way. For example, run down through either the Hudson River Park Bridges or East River Esplanade to reach the Brooklyn Bridge. Head across the bridge and continue your run through Brooklyn Bridge Park for an unparalleled view of Manhattan. Also, bridges are great hillwork in disguise.


By Nichols