Central Park is the obvious go-to run in NYC, but for something different (and because it’s near my hotel), I jog to the esplanade that runs along the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan and head south. (Note: Hudson River Park extends 5 miles from 59th Street south to Battery Park)
As I clip along this beautiful broad walkway edged with benches, state-of-the-art sculpture, and rosy little gardens, I spy well-heeled women walking with their kids (and dogs), Wall Streeters rushing to work, cyclists, and other runners who I’m sure are locals, not tourists like me.
Here and there, grass-covered piers shoot off over the Hudson, providing idyllic spots to stop and take in the scene. As I approach New York Harbor, a glittering speck catches my eye, and the Statue of Liberty crystallizes into view. After rounding Manhattan’s southernmost tip, I give a nod to Castle Clinton in Battery Park, the city’s first fortification, and hug the East River to the South Street Seaport.
I pass grand historic ships floating calmly on the river, then stop beneath the underpinnings of the Brooklyn Bridge to absorb the long history of this great American city—from fortress-guarded trading post to world financial and cultural hub.
Then I continue on, hitting the traffic-choked, crosstown streets, to return to the place where I began.
Mileage: 4-mile loop
Best time: There’s nothing better than running along the esplanade on a nice spring day — especially at sunset.
Start: Intersection of Warren Street and River Terrace, just north of the World Financial Center
End:Intersection of Warren Street and River Terrace
- Start at Warren Street and West Streets, just north of the World Financial Center
- Go south along the Hudson River greenway to Battery Park
- Cut across the trails to the other side of the park
- Run north to State Street and turn right at Whitehall Street, then left on South Street
- Proceed north to the South Street Seaport (a great place to rest and explore)
- Continue north on the East River Bikeway and go under the Brooklyn Bridge
- Return crosstown via Dover Street, Frankfort Street, and Chambers Street, cutting through City Hall Park to your starting point