New York City’s sheer size and grandiose terrain are home to some of the most scenic views you just can’t get anywhere else. Runners are in luck, as you’ll never run out of options to add a change of pace to your routine. Each borough provides a different and unique feel that gives you the opportunity to see what suits you best. If you’re itching to switch things up a bit, you’ll be thrilled to explore the best places to run New York City has to offer! This guide will get you up to speed on where to add some spice to your running route.
The Brooklyn Bridge
Take a trek over this famous landmark while basking in the stunning architecture connecting two of the city’s largest boroughs. The bridge is nearly a four-mile run and as you come off the Brooklyn side, you have to continue along the ramp for about 0.5 miles as there’s no ‘quick exit’. Opting to go for a run in the morning is ideal to avoid slow-walking pedestrians.
Prospect Park’s 585-acre landscape is adorned with lush greenery, local wildlife, Brooklyn’s only lake, and a 3.36-mile running path loop along Park Drive. This popular park also includes dirt-running trails in the woods and fields, so you can have your pick of iconic landscapes to zone out during a workout. Start from the Grand Army Plaza entrance to get the most out of your run.
This iconic destination contains 843 acres of woodland and has plenty of options to run- from a perimeter path including two hills to the Reservoir Loop- a well-maintained dirt path that circles around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. The crowdedness of the area can make charting a route a bit of a challenge, but it is possible to run nearly the entire length of Manhattan on off-road paths. There are multiple access points from both sides of the park, but starting at Columbus Circle is one of the better options.
West Side Highway
This running route is one of the most popular in the city, located right by the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan. You’ll get astounding views of the river and New Jersey as well as the Manhattan skyline. The entire 13-mile route spans a number of stops including parks like Hudson River Park, Little Island, Pier 57, and Riverside Park, and landmarks like the Intrepid Sea, and Air & Space Museum.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Whether it’s playing sports, exploring the scenic routes, or taking in history, Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the largest in Queens and has a lot of offer visitors. The 2.2. Mile-loop wrapping around Meadow Lake is the most popular spot for runners. When you reach the Unisphere- a large, landmark globe sculpture within the park- you’ll have reached the end of the loop. If you’d like something more challenging you can also run the 1.25-mile Flushing Bay Promenade.
Van Cortlandt Park
The Bronx’s most notable park offers a plethora of running routes, encompassing winding valleys, lakes, woodlands, wetlands, and much more. There are numerous cross-country courses and trails you’ll be able to check out. Going early in the morning or evening can provide cooler temperatures than other parks around the city. The 1 train to Van Cortlandt Park — 242nd St. or the 4 train to Woodlawn will put you off close to this location.
New York City’s oldest standing bridge connects The Bronx and Manhattan by way of the Harlem River. Starting from 170th St. gives you easy access to the 4 train, giving you easy access. When you cross over onto the Manhattan side, you’ll enjoy the quiet scenery and vibrant foliage of Highbridge Park, which is especially scenic in the fall.
Staten Island Boardwalk
Go for a beach run without leaving the city! This boardwalk extends across the waterfront of South Beach, a lowkey gem great for long runs. From Miller Field to the base of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Staten Island Boardwalk provides great views of the harbor and the Atlantic. Take the S51, S52, or S81 bus to Father Capodanno Blvd. and walk towards the water to get there from the ferry.