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NYC’s 5 Best Running Spots

November 4, 2011 2:00 PM

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Running in Central Park

Feeling inspired by this weekend’s New York City Marathon?

Or maybe you’re just looking to explore a new part of New York City, find a way to spice up your exercise routine or simply want to enjoy a change of scenery – running is a habit that will help you with any of these goals.

NYC has running trails across all five boroughs that will inspire you to go further.  Remember to look out for bicyclists and remember that running in the city often means sharing the road with many others. Check out the NYC Road Runners Club for great overall information about running in the city and training programs, and always get a clean bill of health from your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Here are our recommendations for the best places to get a runner’s high in the Big Apple.

By Rebecca Levy.

Central Park Reservoir

central park resevoir NYCs 5 Best Running Spots

(credit: nycgovparks.org)

Central Park from East 86th Street to East 96th St.
centralpark.com/guide/attractions/reservoir.html

Perhaps one of the most famous running tracks in all of New York, the 1.5 mile loop encircles the idle reservoir and allows runners to pace themselves and keep track of their distance easily. With the large pool of water on one side and the beauty of the park on the other, it’s easy to see why this is a favorite.

Hudson River Park

hudson river park NYCs 5 Best Running Spots

(credit: hudson-river-park.com)

West Side from the Battery to the George Washington Bridge
hudsonriverpark.org/index.asp

Whether heading north towards (and over) the George Washington Bridge or south to Battery Park, the tree-lined stretch along the Hudson River is one of the city’s most picturesque and well traveled running routes. Above 96th Street the fences give way and you are running right along the grassy banks of the Hudson. The southern end is dotted with playgrounds and sprinklers until you reach the gorgeous oasis of Rockefeller Park. While running, be careful to look out for bikers, roller bladers and the cars and trucks in the midtown stretch.

Inwood Hill Park

inwood park NYCs 5 Best Running Spots

(credit: nycgovparks.org)

Dyckman Street, Hudson River, Harlem River Ship Canal
nycgovparks.org/parks/inwoodhillpark

For the best trail running and much fewer crowds, head up to Inwood Hill Park. There are great hills and miles of paths. The park is safe but you may want to run with a buddy since the park feels more remote than other more open trails. The trade-off is the ability to run in nature without the need to either jockey for position or avoid other outdoor exercise enthusiasts.

Prospect Park

prospect park1 NYCs 5 Best Running Spots

(credit: Prospect Park)

Prospect Park West, Flatbush, Parkside, Ocean Avenues
nycgovparks.org/parks/prospectpark

The jewel of Brooklyn, Prospect Park has various loops for running – each spanning a range of miles from 1.5 to 3.7. As in Central Park, runners share the roadway with cars, cyclists and bladers. The paths are hilly and well paved . They are also usually quite crowded. However, there are no tall buildings in sight and the park has numerous water fountains and benches for breaks or post-run cool downs.

Staten Island Boardwalk

staten island boardwall NYCs 5 Best Running Spots

(credit: StatenIslandUSA.com)

The boardwalk is approximately two-and-a-half miles long and runs from Miller Field (an old WWII recon airbase turned into soccer and baseball fields) all the way to the base of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. To get there from the ferry, take a cab or S51, S52 or S81 bus to Father Capodanno Blvd. and walk towards the water.


Where’s your favorite running spot in New York City? Leave us a comment and let us know.
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