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.