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The 10 Best Running Roads in New York City

Here's what you need to know...
  • When selecting a good running path, there are several characteristics to look for
  • New York City offers numerous excellent running routes, depending on your preferences and skill level
  • Popular paths include The Five Bridges Run, Prospect Park, and the High Line
  • Motorists and runners alike should follow certain safety tips and laws to make the road safe and enjoyable for everyone
  • Motorists should also be sure to make sure they have the right auto insurance at a price they can afford

When it comes to exercise, there are so many reasons why running or jogging outside is the more popular choice vs. a treadmill at the gym.

Not only is running outside healthier for you, but there are also other perks, like running with your dog, for example. You can’t take your dog to the gym.

Either way, if you’re looking for a good excuse to quit the treadmill and run outside instead, there are actually 25 reasons why you should.

And if you happen to live in the Big Apple and want to know where the best places are to run, we got the 10 top picks ready for you.  Some of them even include New York City’s biggest attractions. So let’s run with it!

If you are also looking for the best options for auto insurance in NYC, enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies today!

What makes for a good running road?

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Whether you are an avid runner or a running novice, knowing how to choose the right road for running is imperative to your safety and enjoyment. The wrong road can lead you down a path of not only boredom during your run but also injuries or danger.

  • Smooth terrain — Choose a running road that has stable and smooth terrain. Rocky and uneven terrain can lead to falls, twisted ankles, and others similar injuries. Terrain that is not smooth can also be harder on your joints.
  • Scenic views — Although safety should always be the most important factor, scenic views can go a long way into improving your time outside. Scenic views can keep your run interesting and different as well as keep you going when you feel like quitting. Whether it’s fall foliage or a sunrise over a lake, find views that you enjoy to keep you engaged in your run.
  • Little traffic — Another safety consideration is avoiding traffic. Find a running path that does not take you through traffic, or better yet, stays clear of traffic altogether.
  • Sidewalks or running lanes — The best running paths will have paved sidewalks or designated running lanes. Sidewalks and running lanes will help improve your safety; those who are enjoying a walk or a bike ride also would not get in your way or you in theirs.
  • Location — A good running road will also be in a safe location, hopefully not too far from your home or where you work.

The 10 Best Running Roads in New York City

Among many other popular attractions, New York City offers a multitude of challenging and interesting running routes.

Whether you are a beginner and prefer something scenic and comfortable or if you are a running pro and seek adventure and challenge, there is a running path for you. Here are the 10 best running roads in New York City.

#1 — The Hudson River Run

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The Hudson River Greenway is famous for its beautiful sunsets and local flavor. It also offers easy access to some of New York’s best sights such as:

  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Chelsea Piers
  • USS Intrepid
  • Art installations
  • The George Washington Bridge

You can take the nearly 9-mile long run or the 3-mile short run. The best times to take this route are in the early morning or early evening.

#2 — The East River Run

The East River Run starts at the top of Central Park, extends over the RFK Bridge to Randall’s Island, then to Queens and back again.

This run has helped many runners break out of their traditional routine and explore some new territory.

Water fountains and bathrooms can be found on Randall’s Island. This route is also one of the best if you want to avoid traffic. It is 16-miles long, or you can opt for the short route of just over 5-miles.

#3 — The Five Bridges Run

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The Five Bridges Run is a perfect choice if you are craving adventure. It crosses three boroughs and takes you across five bridges, hence the name. The bridges are:

  • 59th St. Bridge
  • Pulaski Bridge
  • Williamsburg Bridge
  • Manhattan Bridge
  • Brooklyn Bridge

The route can be a bit complicated, so you will want to bring a friend along if you are new to the city or new to running. The long run is nearly 17 miles in length, while the short run is almost 3.5 miles.

#4 — Prospect Park

If you hate crowds, Prospect Park is the run for you.

This 3.6-mile course brings you past the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch and helps you get away from the business of the city.

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#5 — Van Cortlandt Park

Located in the Bronx, Van Cortlandt Park will make you think you have left Manhattan altogether.

You won’t see any skyscrapers on this run, but you can complete a fast run on the 400-meter track or jog along the cross country trails and do some sight-seeing.

With over 14 miles of trails to explore, you could run here many times and never get bored.

#6 — Central Park Reservoir

If you are new to running or simply want to take it easy, try the 1.5-mile Central Park Reservoir.

This route is located in the middle of the park and is very scenic and easy going; it is a great place for a light morning run or jog.

Locals call this “The Res,” and it offers a flat, soft surface for your run.

#7 — West Side Highway

West Side Highway is a 6.5-mile route that runs alongside the West Side Highway.

Some people say it is one of the most scenic running routes in all of NYC; you will find picturesque views of the water and of New Jersey.

If you go in the evening, you will get a glimpse of a stunning sunset over the Hudson.

#8 — Battery Park to the East River

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Beginning at the tip of Manhattan, Battery Park to the East River running route will surely help distract you from the fact that you are exercising.

You will see the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn’s waterfront, and several bridges. If you want, you can even make time for some sight-seeing and relax in this popular area.

#9 — Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges

Also known as the “Two Bridges,” this run is nearly four-miles long. If you are looking for beautiful views, this run is for you. It is imperative to bring your phone or camera so you won’t miss any of the photo-ops that you may have on either one of these bridges.

You will, however, often experience crowds and heavy traffic on this run. It is best to go early in the morning or late at night to avoid traffic and tourists.

#10 — The High Line

The High Line is a nearly 1.5-mile linear park crafted on an elevated portion of a railroad line that is no longer in use.

Here you will breathe fresh air and have views of the Hudson River and the Meatpacking District. Early morning runs are best here for the view and for taking pictures.

Safety Tips for Runners

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While you can never guarantee that any run will be 100 percent safe, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk and to be prepared if something does happen.

Remember these tips when preparing for your next run:

  • Wear reflective gear — Always wear some kind of reflective gear so that people on bikes and in their vehicles are much more likely to see you. Typically considered a nighttime safety issue, wearing reflective clothing can also be important in all types of light and in foggy or rainy weather. Reflective gear is a simple step that can save your life.
  • Run against traffic — Although this may seem counterintuitive, running against traffic is actually a good idea; it allows you to see cars and cars to see you. Being able to see one another can go a long way in preventing vehicle vs. bike accidents.
  • Run with others — There is always safety in numbers, no matter what activity you are involved in. Not only can running with others keep you safe, but it can also help motivate you. A running buddy can make your run more enjoyable, and it can even be a bonding experience for both of you.
  • Keep your ID with you — In case something unexpected should happen, carry your identification with you at all times. This way, should you be unable to speak for yourself, you can be identified.
  • Run with your phone and some cash — You never know when you might need to call for help for someone else or even for yourself. You also never know when you might need some cash, so carry these items with you as well.

Share the Road

Sharing the road is an expectation and responsibility of any licensed driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist. Incorporating these habits into your driving routine will help make the road safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

  • Drive Responsibly — In short, always obey traffic laws. You should also be courteous to everyone using the road, whether it be other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Driving defensively will save everyone time and money.
  • Be on the Lookout — Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate any bicyclists or pedestrians anytime you are behind the wheel of your vehicle.
  • Slow Down for Runners — Although it may not be a specific law, you should slow down for runners and other pedestrians. Slowing down decreases the likelihood of an accident and also shows respect for their personal safety.

Finding the Right Coverage in New York

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Having the right auto insurance coverage is important for every driver. However, finding the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget can sometimes be a challenge, especially in New York.

One of the best ways to save money on your auto insurance policy is to do some online comparison shopping. Use a price comparison tool to help you view several carriers, policies, and prices at once.

Comparison shopping can help you get the best prices and save time while doing it.

Your auto insurance coverage needs are different than those of your neighbors, family, and friends. Not all policies need to be or should be alike.

If you are paying for coverage that you do not need or are lacking coverage you do need, you may find yourself in a financial bind. For example, if you have a financed or leased car, you should have comprehensive and collision coverage.

However, if you own an older car, you may not want or need these coverage plans at all which, in turn, makes them a waste of money.

If you are a New Yorker in need of affordable and better car insurance, enter your ZIP code below and start comparison shopping today!

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