My Favorite NYC Running Spots

Greetings from NYC!  We are here again for our spring sports classes and every time I run in this city, I remember all over again, what a great place this is to run.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite spots.  Please forgive me, as I am going to just focus on the borough of Manhattan.  There are so many great places outside of Manhattan, but seeing as I typically run here, I will let the other experts share their faves beyond this little island.

Favorite Must Try It At Least Once:  If you are going to be in the city, you have to run a loop or sections of Central Park.  It isn’t my absolute favorite place to run, but it has some great appeal.  First, one loop of the park is exactly 6 miles, which is a great distance for me.  Typically, any place I stay at is at least a mile from the park, so that is an awesome 7-8 route.

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The park is super hilly, and that presents some fun and challenging moments.  You also get a great view of both the Upper East and Upper West sides as well as some great sites within the park.  You will find yourself running amongst thousands of other runners, bikes, and horse drawn carriages.

Please do be cautious as parts of the loop are open to traffic.  Cabs can drive a little crazy, and cyclists can be quite dangerous as well.  There are many bike rental areas for tourists and they tend to roam outside of the designated bike path.  I tend to only run this during quieter hours to avoid busy traffic.

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Pictures don’t do bobcat hill justice.

Favorite Long Flat Path:  If you are looking for a picturesque and flat route, take a cab up to the George Washington Bridge and run straight down to Battery Park.  This route is about 10 miles, and you get beautiful views of the Hudson River, numerous fun piers, and skyline views.  If 10 miles is too long for you, pop in along the Upper West Side.  Start with a jog through flower lined Riverside Park and it spits you out right on the pathway.

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Favorite Escape From The City, Within The City:  I love running on Randall’s Island.  I mentioned to my husband the other day that this is where I fell in love with distance running.  A few years ago, I would only see a handful of runners on the island, but now it is busy morning, noon, and night.

The Parks Department has devoted itself to creating an athlete’s paradise on this little island with numerous ball fields, a tennis center, golf center, horse stables, and path’s galore.

A footbridge from the East River brings you over to this perfect place that allows you to be just far enough away that you feel like you left the city.  Plus, there is a FDNY training center and you might just get the chance to run alongside the recruits during their training runs!

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Get Your Tour’s Worth:  If you really want to experience NYC on a long run, I highly recommend starting on the Upper East side along the East River Path.  Take this all the way to the bottom of Manhattan and hop on the Hudson River Path.  Follow it all the way up to Harlem and take a jog along 125th Street.

You will get to see Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and New Jersey.  This route will take you by the Williamsburg Bridge (a favorite one to run over) and the Brooklyn Bridge.  You will see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island along the way too.  Running this loop will give you a serious workout and also a sneak peek into much of the city.

This might be a bit too much for one run.  Break it up into a few segments during your stay and you will experience the city in a whole different way!

You Can’t Go Wrong Here:  NYC is a great running city.  Even if you are staying in Midtown and just want to get a quick run in, all you need to do is lace up and hit the sidewalks.  Let the stop lights dictate your route and you are bound to see some fun sights along the way.

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Have you ever been to NYC?  Do you have a favorite running route in Manhattan?  Help me out with your favorite routes in the other boroughs!

6 thoughts on “My Favorite NYC Running Spots

  1. What???? No love for the other boroughs?????? hahahaha

    I agree with your assessment of the Manhattan running routes. If any of your readers are curious about running in Brooklyn: Obviously Prospect Park, which was designed by the same people who did Central Park (and they thought PP was better too), Brooklyn Bridge Park for amazing views of Manhattan skyline, and Shore Parkway in Bay Ridge (has amazing view of Verrazano Bridge). Queens – the waterfront in Astoria is lovely and though Roosevelt Island is technically in Manhattan, you can only reach it by foot from the Queens side. Spring was so late and cold this year and you might still see cherry blossoms along the perimeter.

    • I thought you’d have some good ones to share. Astoria is beautiful to run in and I definitely enjoy Roosevelt Island too. Sadly, I have yet to run in Prospect Park but have heard wonderful things. Sometimes when I see the Parks Department making changes to Central Park, I wonder if Olmstead is looking down shaking his head with the direction the park has gone or if he likes it.

  2. I love this post and it comes at the perfect time: just days before I move back to the city! I’ll be on the UWS so I am actually really excited to not only live near Central Park and Riverside Park, but I’d love to do that run from the GWB down to Battery Park. And once I get up to doing super long runs, I’ll do that one that starts on the UES. So excited to be back!

    • I absolutely love the UWS. So many awesome restaurants and stores. I’m taking the girls over there to Milk Bar tomorrow! You can totally hop on Hudson River Path and run up to the GW Bridge and back. It is such a lovely run and once you get past Riverbank the path is so quiet and forested that you feel like you left the city. It’s one of my favorite routes.

  3. It’s funny because my boss and I were just talking about running in New York City. He goes there several times a year either for work or vacation and is also a runner. I’ll have to ask him if he knows about Randall’s Island. It sounds like a great place to run!

    • If he hasn’t been, it’s great little escape. They have done a great job over there and it’s fun to explore the paths. There is also a huge track stadium over there too for meets.

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