HEALTH & WELLNESS: The Best Running Paths Below Canal Street (6.29.17)
For those who run, whether you’re training for a half or full marathon, or simply want to get some fresh air and break a sweat, New York City is the go-to place for seemingly unlimited running routes that offer new views and experiences every time. At Life Below Canal, we’re confident that the best runs start below Canal Street, and have the time-tested running routes to prove it. By popular demand, we wanted to share our favorite running routes for early weekday mornings and those long, luxurious weekend runs.
And don’t be shy! We’re always looking for new running partners. If you’re interested in a Life Below Canal running club, let us know in the notes or email us at LifeBelowCanal@gmail.com as we’re thinking of starting one in the fall!
ROUTE 1: The Battery to the East River Running Path
Whether you live in Financial District, Battery Park or simply want to explore the east side, we like to start at Pier A (22 Battery Pl) at the Battery and follow the water. If you hug the waterway, not only will you run through the latest construction for South Street Seaport, you’ll get killer views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn’s picturesque waterfront, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, and more thanks to the East River Park (which follows along the FDR Drive). If you’re interested in crossing over to Brooklyn, you can even detour at the Brooklyn Bridge and cross over, as well as at the Williamsburg Bridge. However we tend to keep it simple, and follow the water up the East River running path till it’s time to head back. We’re also not opposed to ending our run at Pier A and grabbing a celebratory beer and massive soft pretzel while cooling down and taking in the views. The East River Greenway part of the park is 9.44 miles.
ROUTE 2: West Side Highway to the Hudson River Greenway
Tribeca, Battery Park and sunset lovers can’t get better views than the Hudson River. We start at the West Side Highway (either at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park or frankly anywhere you choose) and head North, enjoying the views of New Jersey, the constriction along the West Side Highway, and the gorgeous greenergy Hudson River Park has to offer. Helpful hints: If you need something cold along the way the inside track of Chelsea Piers has vending machines you can use. We’ve also used the restrooms at the Golf Club (main floor). Depending on how far you choose to go, you can make it all the way up to the George Washington Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse. One thing we will warn you: Parts of the West Side Highway bike path and running paths are under construction, so stay alert at the parts where they merge and overlap; the bikers can be aggressive if you’re running a popular times. However, the sunset alone is worth dealing with anyone else. We’ve clocked it from Battery Park to the Boat Basin on 72nd St to be ~6.5 miles.
ROUTE 3: Hudson River Park
If you’re looking for a shorter, well manicured run, Hudson River Park is the way to go. With plenty of grassy areas to stretch before and after your run, you get the views of the Hudson River, this is an efficiency and safe way to run. We like to end our runs at Pier 26 for a drink at City Vineyards or at Brookfield Place to grab a smoothie at Le District’s smoothie bar (tucked away at the southernmost tip of the grocery area).
ROUTE 4: City Hall to Brooklyn Bridge & Brooklyn Bridge Park
When we’re looking to (very very very rarely) change it up from the downtown scene, we start at City Hall and make our way over the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park to get a fresh view of our favorite island and downtown area. However, be forewarned that, unless you’re running this route at sunrise on a weekday, we can pretty much guarantee that you will bang into a tourist or be hit with a selfie stick. It gets epically crowded with tourists and bikers cutting them off pretty quickly, so we don’t recommend this route after 7AM and on weekends.
ROUTE 5: City Hall to Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges
Starting at City Hall again, you can do a real loop and cross the Brooklyn Bridge from the NYC side to get to Brooklyn, then take the Manhattan Bridge back to Manhattan, and finish your run along the East River.
Want to share your favorite running path below Canal Street? Let us know in the comments!