Best Running Routes – NYC

Author: Elizabeth deSimas Schuellein, Store Manager, City Sports 48th Street, NYC

  1. Central Park
    Central Park is accessible from the Upper East and West sides of Manhattan. We use the park on each of our Run Club evenings here at 48th Street! Its flexibility is amazing. You can run a 3 mile loop, 5 miles or keep chugging for 18. The run to and from the store via 6th Avenue is an easy 3 miles with rolling hills.

The scenery is beautiful as you run past the Reservoir, The Great Lawn, Tavern on the Green and The Central Park Zoo. You can even go on a movie tour of the park to see countless places where films have been produced such as: Ghostbusters, Maid in Manhattan, Home Alone, Elf and many more!

This is the location of many runs through New York Road Runners (NYRR) especially the famous 18 Miler! You can warm up for the ever challenging TCS New York City Marathon as well.

  1. West Side High Way/ Hudson River/ Battery Park
    This is a beautiful and challenging run any time of the year! We have participated for the last 3 years in “Run 10 Feed 10,” which has their course on part of the West Side Highway near Pier 84! What a great place for an easy and flat up-and-back. This route goes the distance from Battery Park all the way up the West Side which allows you to run for days with the beautiful and scenic route of The Hudson. Be careful though, there is not much shade and that head wind off the river can be a challenge.

Personally, I love running this in the spring and late fall where the temperature is just right. As you leave or arrive at Battery Park you can see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty across the river.

  1. Brooklyn Bridge/Williamsburg Bridge

This route is only about 1 mile. It’s great to connect into Brooklyn and travel through Williamsburg as you explore outside Manhattan. If you are up for a challenge, run the 5 Bridges Route (59th Street, Pulaski, Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges). It’s a great training route for the NYC Marathon at just under 17 miles. Want the mini tour? Take the 3.5 mile route between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. (Start at Borough Hall and head directly over the Brooklyn Bridge. Cut Across to the Manhattan Bridge and back to the starting point.)

  1. 5th Avenue

Home of the 5th Avenue Mile Race, it’s the best run for early in the morning (Saturday/Sunday 6-8am). Home to amazing sunrises and tons of historic landmarks, 5th Avenue spans almost the entire length of Manhattan and can easily get you from Central Park down to SoHo. Depending if you are heading Uptown or Downtown will determine the elevation. The downtown run is much easier, but both directions offer amazing views of the Waldorf-Astoria, Trump Tower, FAO Schwartz, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, The Empire State Building, and the Flatiron District.

  1. Prospect Park, Brooklyn

A great place for training and home to many 5K and 10K races via NYC Runs, Prospect Park is a great place for multiple 3-4 mile loops. A key part of the Brooklyn Half Marathon, the park has beautiful views and consistent terrain which makes it a favorite for most runners. The Botanical Gardens are close by and a must see for those visiting NYC during their tour of Brooklyn.

What are your favorite places to run in New York City? Tell us in the comment below.

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