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New York City’s 10 best running routes: Well+Good readers’ picks

New York City's best running routes

Nothing says summer in the city (to us, at least) like early morning jogs before morning haze hits or sunset sprints when everyone else is at dinner. So we recently asked Well+Good readers for their favorite New York City running routes. We got back a geographically diverse, awesome set of answers.

Sure, several people cited Prospect Park or the Central Park Reservoir, but most of the routes were quirkier, revealing a passion for personal challenge, great views, and a near-spooky prescience for where the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck is parked.

Here are the city’s 10 best running routes, according to Well+Good readers:

Liz: The East River from 59th Street headed north. At the right times it’s not at all crowded, and you get a great breeze in the summer!

Shayne: For a killer workout, definitely Central Park. For an easy run, nothing beats running along the Hudson. Although I do occasionally love the video game-like challenge of dodging pedestrians on the city’s sidewalks!

Katie: I love running the Williamsburg Bridge and along Kent Avenue—great views of Manhattan, and you can never go wrong with some hill work.

CG: Madison Square Park to the East Side path all the way down to the Statue of Liberty Ferry up the West Side path and back over on 23rd Ave. Total = 10 miles.

Courtney: Nothing beats running over the Brooklyn Bridge—tacking it onto the end of any run gets you a great gradual incline to work with, a lovely decline to finish, and an amazing view to boot!

Cheryl: East River Drive, down around the tip of Manhattan, and back up the West Side. Then I get a drink/snack and walk (or take the bus) crosstown!

Ify: Running through Bed-Stuy from Hancock, up around Boys and Girls High School on Fulton, straight to Eastern Parkway and back. It’s great. There are few runners in my neck of the woods, so not only do you feel great when you’re done, you know you’re sending a message to all the kids and families you see on your route: “Running is not just for certain people. It can be for everyone!”

Nina: I love to run park to park on Staten Island. A full loop of Clove Lake Park, down Forest Ave. to Silver Lake Park, around the perimeter of the park and back to Clove Lake.

NH: The Central Park Reservoir—a loop inside and a loop outside the Bridle Path. Provides great views of the UES, UWS, and Midtown. The gravel is easy on the joints. Always clears my head and makes me appreciate living in NYC!

Jen: I run regularly in Astoria Park. The view of the city along the water is amazing. Astoria is such a runner-friendly area with a beautiful park, unique routes, and lots of motivating and friendly runners. Love Astoria!

What’s your favorite running route? Tell us in the Comments area, below.

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  1. April 29th, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I use to love the Brooklyn Bridge but only before 9am, otherwise it’s way too crowded with tourists who don’t pay attention. Now, it’s not that much fun to run over b/c of the construction – smells like paint and the walkway is really narrow.

    I like Brooklyn Bridge Park and Dumbo area for shorter runs. Love the WSH for evening runs, such a great view!

  2. April 29th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx is easily accessible (well, sort of) via the 1 train or a ~1.5 mile jog from the last stop on the A train. The hilly trails and grassy flats will make you forget you’re in NYC! The VCP Track Club hosts 5k races on Thursdays in the summer and the prize for age group winners is CARROT CAKE. Yum.

  3. April 29th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Brighton Beach / Coney Island Boardwalk or the beach shore itself! Also from there through the neighborhood and along the Oriental Blvd bike path to Manhattan Beach.

  4. April 29th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Fort Tryon Park. Start up the hill at the Riverside Drive and Dyckman (200th Street) entrance for a great warm up, stay to the West and run along the Hudson, past the Cloisters, through Heather Garden and circle back through the interior of the park. You’ll forget you’re in Manhattan!

  5. April 29th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Running on the bridle path offers a bit of solitude,is far less crowded than the paved loop and this time of year look for the wood chip path that lines the resevoir (along the west 80′s) and run under the canopy of cherry blossoms!

    If your looking for a class that combines a transitional workout of cycling into running consider trying my NYRR BRiX classes that begin next Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

    This our 8th year and this class is perfect for those looking to tap into their curiosity, potential and penchant for a great multi sport workout!

    http://www.nyrr.org/resources/classes/2011/brix_bike_run.asp

  6. May 5th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    [...] –Check out these running routes if you’re in NYC. (Well + Good NYC) [...]

  7. June 29th, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I second Van Cortlandt Park. It has:
    1) Beautiful and undiscovered running trails;
    2) A ~1.5 loop around the Parade Ground (aka the Flats); and
    3) A .25 mile running track.

    It also hosts the FREE Holiday Marathons (http://www.theholidaymarathons.com/) including the July 4th Marathon next week (http://thejuly4thmarathon.com/). You can do a 10K, Half-Marathon or Full-Marathon. Great way to discover the park.

  8. September 20th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    [...] the west-side highway. But don’t take it from me, experienced NYC runners have compiled a list. Check them out and let us know which you like [...]

  9. April 13th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Just wanted to give everyone a heads up about Mile24.com. Now that you know where to run in NYC, find someone to run with. We’re trying to organize a community of NYC runners so people can find others to run with, instead of running alone.

    For the record, my favorite run is around the Central Park reservoir when the sun is coming up….

  10. August 17th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Who’s Ify? I run that same route also!

  11. April 8th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    My favorite runs always have to have bridges. Williamsburg Bridge to 59th Street Bridge, over and back is one of my faves. By the time the NY Marathon comes around, the 59th is not as daunting as it used to be.

    Another killer run is the other way – Williamsburg to the Manhattan Bridge and back to the Brooklyn bridge and back. LOTS of hills and one of the most beautiful ways to see the city.

    I also love NYRR’s Roosevelt Island run. Spooky at dusk but fun!

  12. June 3rd, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    My pick is the brooklyn bridge. Feel on top of the world!

  13. June 22nd, 2013 at 9:27 am

    [...] Voor leuke routes, lees de tips op Well + Good NYC. [...]

  14. April 11th, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Prospect park trails with elevated middle portion

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