10 Best Places To Run In New York City

10 Best Places To Run In New York City


New York is a great city for passionate runners, regular marathoners, and total newbies. You can have a run while enjoying views of the river and skyline. You can choose the hustle and bustle of the busy roads or the beauty of the green parks and peaceful trails of New York.

While most think of Central Park and Prospect Park when it comes to running, there are many other scenic routes that offer breathtaking views of the city. Check out the 10 best places to run in New York. I've covered all the necessary details on the routes and some safety tips. I'm sure you'll find a new favorite spot to diversify your running routine and stay motivated. Happy running!

1. Hudson River Park


Details About the Place

  •  Hudson River Park offers a tremendous variety of exciting and unique activities throughout its 500-acre footprint. You’ll find things to do here that you can’t do anyplace else in Manhattan. From mini-golf to carousel rides, and from historic walking tours to boat building, Hudson River Park has something for everyone. 
  • Run the entire length of Hudson River Park! The park maintains esplanades with beautiful views of the river. Until the entire park is completed, runners may also use the fabulous bikeway bordering the park.
  • As you take on the pedestrian path which parallels the Hudson River, you can get inspired by all the other activities going on: think paddleboarding, kayaking, recreational sports, and even outdoor boot camp classes.

Safety Tips

Park Hours:

  • The Park closes at 1 am
  • Play areas close at Dusk
  • Dog parks close at 1 am
  • Restrooms close at Dusk

Runners should exercise caution, stay to the right, and run in a single file. The bike path links to Riverside South at W. 59th St.

It is hard to beat the crisp morning miles with the sun peacefully rising over the bustling city, peaking through the towers, but there really isn’t a bad time to enjoy this route.

2. Central Park


Details About the Place

  • Central Park, with a variety of terrain and excellent scenery, is the ultimate runner's dream. With its many paths that range in level of difficulty, Central Park allows a runner to experience clarity and freedom in this picturesque urban oasis. It's easy to understand why the famous New York Marathon has its final miles in Central Park every year.
  • Those looking to go the distance (and the elevation) can take on the 6.1-mile loop, which features rolling hills (and one really, really steep hill!) circling the entire park. For a shorter, flatter route, loop around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, a roughly 1.5-mile dirt path with great views of the city.
  • Central Park contains a little-known nod to Fred Lebow, creator of the New York City Marathon. Look for a bronze statue of Lebow staring at his stopwatch at Engineers’ Gate at Fifth Avenue and 90th Street (where runners enter the Park on race day). Because the statue is temporary, it must be moved at least once a year — appropriately, it is moved to the finish line of the marathon each race day.

Safety Tips

For your safety and the safety of others, please run only in a counterclockwise direction around the track. 

If you get lost while running in the Park, lampposts can help you find your way. Check the four numbers on any lamppost base — the first two numbers indicate the nearest street (“60” would mean 60th Street) and the last two numbers designate whether you’re on the west or east side (odd number means west, even number means east).

Keep an eye out for leashed dogs and horses at the bridle path.

3.Prospect Park


Details About the Place

  • The best place to jog in Brooklyn is without doubt Prospect Park. It’s sort of a mini Central Park. Numerous paths and roads allow you to run continuous stretches of almost 4 miles in one of the quietest and cleanest areas in the city. The roads, paths, fields, and allées offer a nice variety.
  • Prospect Park's features include Brooklyn's last remaining forest and only lake, as well as rolling meadows, seven playgrounds, and walking and hiking trails. Prospect Park has numerous recreational facilities, such as the LeFrak Center at Lakeside for year-round skating (ice and roller) plus boating and biking, the Tennis Center for indoor and outdoor tennis, ball fields, basketball courts and more.
  • There are plenty of choices available at the park: you can hit the road on the main loop for a run, hop onto some gravel paths for a break, or even slip on to some of the less-traveled trails to give your brain a break from the pavement. The primary loop is about four miles, but crisscrossing through the park can add in a few extra. 

Safety Tips

BEST TIME TO RUN: Early morning or early evening. During the day, there is limited shade and lots of foot traffic.

Remember to stay in the isolated running lane as there are cyclists and pedestrians in the park, so stay alert.

It’s a short subway ride from Midtown (just take the 2 or 3 to Grand Army Plaza) and well worth the trip.

4. Coney Island Boardwalk


Details About the Place

  • Coney Island is an awesome running destination, especially if you love running on the beach. The full stretch is nearly three miles, and beach runners know that three miles of beach are about the same as running five on the road.
  • The boardwalk is approximately 2.5 miles from end to end or about 5 miles run out and back in each direction.
  • The fun atmosphere at this quintessential destination will keep you entertained during your run—you may not even not your music! 
  • Coney Island is the quintessential New York attraction, from the beach to the boardwalk to the rides at Luna Park. The scenery and atmosphere are what make this run special. For a stretch, there’s a carnival atmosphere with all the smells that bring back memories of childhood.

Safety Tips

If you hit the boardwalk after the beach, don’t do it barefoot: while parts are modernized, there’s still a lot of splintery wood just waiting to snag your already blistered flesh. 

In the off-season, Coney Island is eerily empty, but during summer especially the crowds can get insane.

Take the D, F, N, or Q Train to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. If you are taking the train or parking in the lot near the Coney Island attractions, you’ll be starting this boardwalk run in the center of all the action.

5. Brooklyn Bridge Park


Details About the Place

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park is a world-class waterfront park with rolling hills, riverfront promenades, lush gardens, and spectacular city views.
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park is an excellent pick for all experience levels. Waterfront runs offer stunning views of Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, and more, making for a scenic sweat session. Beginners can run around the park and its piers for a breezy two-mile (3.6-kilometer) run, while more experienced athletes can easily extend the route by running into adjacent neighborhoods.
  • Check out the view from the top at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. You can reach the Brooklyn Bridge near Front Street or Camden Plaza. The bridge is only 1.1 miles long!
  • The waterfront is only 1.3 miles, but you can make your run longer by circling the piers or incorporating hill intervals. And if you’re still not satisfied, you can run across the Brooklyn Bridge for an extra 1.1 miles.

Safety Tips


Parking near Brooklyn Bridge Park is very limited. We highly recommend taking public transportation, biking, or walking to the park. BBP is accessible by bus, subway, and ferry.

Lockers are available to store your possessions while you play at Pier 2. Pier 2’s lockers are accessible for 25 cents.

6. Astoria Park


Details About the Place

  •  Although widely known for its beautiful pool, the oldest and largest in the city, Astoria Park offers more than aquatic pleasures. Outdoor tennis courts, a track, a bandstand, multiple trails, basketball courts, and playgrounds lure visitors from the five boroughs and beyond. And the views! Sitting on the edge of the East River and resting between the Triborough Bridge and Hell Gate Bridge, the park offers shoreline sights and sounds that make the benches along its perimeter popular spots year-round. 
  • Astoria Park is a wonderful resource for Queens runners and those Manhattanites willing to cross the Triborough Bridge. You’ll experience the wonderful view of the city skyline and Triborough Bridge and the ambiance that park running provides.
  • A lap around the perimeter of the mark measures around a mile and a half, and features a waterfront trail with beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline and the towering RFK and Hell Gate Bridges. Add an extra few miles to your route with the park’s nifty running track.
  • There's also a running track just on the other side of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge if you're trying to squeeze in some drills.

Safety Tips

There are lots of people casually strolling along the sidewalks here, so as the runner speeding by, stay alert, and be prepared to run around folks.

Open Hours: 6am-9pm.

7. The Highline


Details About the Place

  • The High Line is one of New York City's newest and most imaginative public parks. 
  • The linear park offers a 1.5-mile route, with plenty of transportation options at either end and spots to refuel with a post-workout snack. It’s known as a good option for beginning runners—who can easily stop for a breather at one of the built-in benches—as well as those who like their runs with a side of stunning Chelsea views.
  • There are water fountains and even a bathroom available without having to leave the High Line, making this a weirdly awesome spot for an interval workout, especially if you’re there at a quiet time of day.
  • Walk 3 miles round trip for a full tour of the High Line or use the numerous access points for something shorter.
  • At 14th Street, the High Line splits into two sides at different elevations, the Diller-Von Furstenberg Water Feature (opened in 2010) is on the lower side, and a sundeck is on the upper side.

Safety Tips

The High Line is open daily, and hours vary by season.

Spring hours: April 1 through May 31

7 am – 10 pm

Summer hours: June 1 through September 30

7 am – 11 pm

Fall hours: October 1 through November 30

7 am – 10 pm

Winter hours: December 1 through March 31

7 am – 7 pm

The park opens at 7 a.m., and to go to the High Line at that hour is to enter a peaceful, even solitary atmosphere that is a world away from the throngs that will arrive in a few hours.

8.  The Greenbelt Multipurpose Trail


Details About the Place

  • The Greenbelt, a City of New York flagship park located in the heart of Staten Island, is comprised of almost 3,000 acres of land dedicated to a range of passive and active recreational activities. 
  • The multipurpose trail differs greatly from Greenbelt woodland trails. This new, pedestrian-friendly trail is also the only trail on which bike-riding is permitted. The mostly flat 2.6-mile circuit has a crushed gravel surface and six-foot-wide walkways. 
  • It extends westward from Rockland Avenue along Forest Hill Road hugging the perimeter of LaTourette golf course toward Richmond Avenue. The Yellow and Blue trails intersect the multipurpose trail here. About midway, a leg of the trail branches off toward Historic Richmond Town/St. Andrews Church at Old Mill Road at the base of Richmond Hill Road (aka Snake Hill).
  • The multipurpose trail has been a boon to the running community and recreational walkers and cyclists. Segments of it are utilized for the Greenbelt’s annul Cold Feat 10K race in February.

Safety Tips

Perhaps the best access for the Staten Island Greenbelt Multi-Purpose Trail is from the Nature Center, 700 Rockland Avenue (intersection of Brielle Avenue). For more information, visit the Greenbelt Conservancy.

9. Staten Island Boardwalk


Details About the Place

  • This 2.5-mile boardwalk and beach area extends southeast from Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field’s Gateway Recreational Area, parallel to Father Capodanno Boulevard. Located on the Atlantic Ocean, it is one of New York City’s four spacious beachfront areas.
  • The Staten Island Boardwalk which runs along Staten Island’s own South Beach is one of the city’s most pristine and underutilized waterfronts. The boardwalk is great for running, especially for those trying to get long runs in with a change of scenery. It’s wide and open, giving a real sense of escape from the city.
  • This boardwalk is wider than its other New York City counterparts, and has an unobscured view of the sky, meaning New Yorkers can really feel like they have escaped the city.
  • No elevation changes make for an easy run, and you can decide how far you go before you turn around.
  • With cooler fall temperatures in the air, the boardwalk will be less crowded to make way for runners who are not deterred by a chilled ocean breeze.

Safety Tips

Hours: 6 AM-1 AM

To get there from the ferry, take the S51, S52 or S81 bus to Father Capodanno Blvd. and walk towards the water.

10. Van Cortlandt Park


Details About the Place

  • Van Cortlandt Park — more than a thousand acres atop the ridges and valleys of the northwest Bronx — is New York City's third largest park. The park is home to the country's first public golf course, the oldest house in the Bronx, and the borough's largest freshwater lake.
  • This park offers runners options including cross country courses, old aqueducts, and numerous trails.
  • It’s a less-traveled but still bustling park, and a great spot to do some combination road and trail running if you’re looking for some adventure.
  • Cross-country runners are obsessed with Van Cortlandt Park, because of the long outdoor running trails, but it's also a nice place to hike.
  • Around the Parade Ground, known to runners as "the flats," there is a track that circles for 1.5 miles (2.4 km). Another 1.25-mile (2.01 km) rubber trail and the 3.1-mile (5.0 km) cross-country trail supplement each other between 241st Street and the city border. Runners on the cross-country course typically run 6.2 miles (10.0 km). They start at the Parade Ground and passing through "the cowpath," "the runners' bridge," Cemetery Hill, and "the back hills" using the back hills to turn back at the city border.

Safety Tips

Access is via the 1 train to Van Cortlandt Park — 242nd St. or the 4 train to Woodlawn.

Parking can be found on the far side of the park off of Jerome Avenue, or limited parking near the John Muir trailhead off of Broadway. Street parking is ample though, and you shouldn’t run into much trouble.

The best time to run is early morning or early evening offer cooler temperatures while the shade from the trees can offer cooler runs in the afternoon than other locations in NYC.

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About the Author Steve Carmichael

Steve is a RRCA / USA Track and Field Certified Running Coach who has helped thousands of runners since 2010. He coaches online as well as locally in the Columbus, Ohio area. He is host of RunBuzz Running a top rated running podcast with 150+ episodes available for free on all major podcast apps. Steve resides in Lewis Center, Ohio with his wife, kids, and dog.

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