Visitors are often surprised that there is any space to go running in the busy, bustling, sardine can of a city that is New York. But the truth is, New York is a running city and New Yorkers love to run. Every time I’m out running in New York City, I’m frequently met by other runners on the trails. Seeing them out there gives me a sense of acknowledgment - I’m not the only one who loves to see the sights of the Big Apple on her own feet.
Whether you’re in New York or Rome, running outside is one of the best ways to soak up the atmosphere of a place. For those visiting the city, here are 3 popular trails for runners who want to experience a local’s version of New York City.
1. The best views: Central Park
If you want to be accompanied by lush greenery in the heart of the city, look no further than Central Park - probably the most popular running spot in the city. The Central Park loop also serves as the track for many races in the city, including the final miles of the New York Marathon. The best part of running in Central Park is the landscape, you are sounded by lakes, trees, and an abundance of birds. All of this scenery is set against the backdrop of stunning New York City. The versatility of the Central Park loop is also appealing, making it ideal whether you want to go for 5K, 10K, or a 15-miler.
2. The most iconic route: Brooklyn Bridge
There is nothing that screams New York more than the Brooklyn Bridge. In fact, there is, at least, one running group who runs the Brooklyn Bridge weekly. I confess that I’ve never attempted to run the Brooklyn Bridge since sharing the narrow path with bikers and an overwhelming number of tourists makes it a very busy route, but there is nothing more stunning than the views of New York that this route offers. For those who want to rack up more miles, add the Manhattan Bridge to your run. For example: go across the Brooklyn Bridge and come back via the Manhattan Bridge. All the while, Manhattan is at your feet.
3. Local’s favorite route: Westside Highway
Westside Highway is my go to spot for running in the city. It has several advantages over other routes - not only can it be accessed from several points in the city no matter if you’re uptown or downtown, it is normally uncongested, and the highway is flat. Yes, very flat! In addition, the waterfront view makes it a particularly good option for running in the summer.