New York is a city of chaos and creation. Every year it draws in the world’s greatest minds, creators, schemers and dreamers. The result of all this dynamic action and competition is never-ending turnover; a city that never stays the same, always surprises and pushes ideas further. With so much going on It’s hard to choose what to focus on, but in our guide you can read about incredibly challenging workout studios like Tone House, daytrips out of town to epic mountain climbing range, the ‘gunks’, unparalleled dining at paleo mecca Hu Kitchen, and inspiring runs from Central Park and across the East River. Plenty to keep you busy in a city that always is.
Lower Manhattan Loop
The bottom district of Manhattan can be neatly carved into a traffic light-free, 16 km (10 mile) run. Starting in Chelsea at the Lincoln Centre (near the beautiful Highline), head south along the river, passing through Tribeca on your way to Battery Park at the island’s tip. Keep hugging the waterfront on FDR Drive through the Lower East Side and East Village until you get to East 23rd Street, which you can take all the way back to your starting point in Chelsea. Keep your eyes open for views of New Jersey, Ground Zero’s Freedom Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn.
Van Cortlandt Park
Trail running in New York City? It is possible. Just head a few minutes north of Manhattan to the Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for some enjoyable scenic running. Miles of shaded, open trails sit within a historic location that transports you back in time to the last of the verdant native woodlands which once covered New York. Take the 1 train to access the 1,146 acre site which has plenty of good 2.5 mile and 5 km trails and cross country options to choose from as well as a 400 metre running track.
Central Park Reservoir
Jogging around Central Park is one of the best ways to see New York City on foot. But at 10km long, doing the whole thing can be a stretch. Thankfully the Central Park is home to a variety of running routes, and none are more manageable – or scenic – than what locals call ‘the Res’. At just 2.5km from start to finish, the Res is easy enough for most people to run a few times before tiring, but long enough to get the heart rate up. Best of all, it circles the picturesque Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, so you’ll have the best views in the park.
Located just 90 minutes north of New York City, it’s possible for active day trippers to experience the east coast USA’s greatest climbing area, the Shawangunk Cliffs. Popularly known as The Gunks, the 19 kilometre long and 300 meter high ridge offers incredible views of the pristine, relatively unpopulated forests of the Hudson River Valley. The climbs themselves are easy to access with routes that vary from beginner to elite. It’s a world away from the frenetic, dirty streets of New York City, and that’s reflected in the friendly sociable atmosphere of the area which alleviates the intimidatory aspect for newbies and allows more seasoned climbers to gain some great insider tips. Package trips are also available.
Starting at the top of Central Park, the East River Run can be approached in two ways. The longer, regular route, spans a challenging 25 km (16 miles) taking you over the Triborough bridge to Randall’s island where you’ll then head to Queens and back again. Alternatively, find a spot to cut it short, such as heading back from Randall’s Island before Queens, reducing the run to a more achievable 8.5 km distance. Either approach takes you along the waterfront and grants soul-soaring views of Manhattan, Astoria and the Hell’s Gate Bridge. Facilities-wise, you’ll find find bathrooms and water fountains on Randall’s Island.