Saturday, May 19, 2012

Running Central Park

I get lost very easily, so when I am running in a new spot, I try to keep it simple (and carry my iPhone). The first time I ran Central Park, I stuck to the loop road that runs all the way from the south end of the park at 59th Street to 110th Street to the north. (Stay on the loop road by following the bike path. Bikes are not allowed on any other path in the park.) This long loop is 6 miles.

As I became more adventurous, I started adding loops to my loop road route. I discovered that there are a series of “cross town trails” (my term) that connect with the loop road, each of which makes a smaller loop. There are 7 smaller loops within the big loop. Plus there is a bridle trail that roughly parallels the loop road, most of the way. 

Map adapted from Central Park app for iPhone. This is a simplified map; there are many more side trails.

The southern-most cross town trail goes by the Carousel (1). 

The next loop goes around Sheep Meadow (2).

The Sheep Meadow on a gorgeous spring Sunday afternoon.

Then the next by Belvedere Castle and The Lake (3).

The Lake

Then around the Great Lawn (4).

Then the Reservoir (5). The Reservoir itself is loop of 1.58 miles. This is my favorite place to run in the park and is probably the most iconic run in NYC. From the northern edge of the Reservoir, there is an epic view of the NYC skyline.

Skyline from the Reservoir.

Then the North Meadow loop (6).

And finally the North Woods loop (7).

Wander freely, add loops, and you won't get lost!

Getting there: I usually find the main loop road by entering the park at 59th St. and 8th Ave. But you can find it from every single point of entrance in to the park.


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