Any local will tell you that New York City is best explored on foot. Only breathtaking city vistas and glimpses of local landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty could have us lacing up in the heart of winter and the dead of summer. Here are the best running routes to get your sweat on while doing some sightseeing around the bold and beautiful Brooklyn.
For warm-weather runs, you can’t beat Brooklyn’s 585-acre Prospect Park. The foliage-filled green space provides plenty of shaded stretches (a godsend on sweltering summer days), while the short 3.68-mile (5.92-kilometer) loop offers picturesque views of Prospect Park Lake, natural scenery and creatures, and more. Tip: time your run for a Sunday when the park hosts the foodie-favorite market Smorgasburg, an ideal destination for post-run refreshments.
Overrun with slow-walking, sidewalk-hogging tourists, the famous Brooklyn Bridge is one route you have to approach intelligently. An early-morning run here will reward you with up-close views of the bridge’s awe-inspiring architecture as well as aerial glimpses of both Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Featuring a flexible route, Brooklyn Bridge Park is an excellent pick for all experience levels. Waterfront runs offer stunning views of Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, and more, making for a scenic sweat session. Beginners can run around the park and its piers for a breezy two-mile (3.6-kilometer) run, while more experienced athletes can easily extend the route by running into adjacent neighborhoods.
Eventually, the Brooklyn Greenway, currently under construction, will comprise a 14-mile (22.5-kilometer) waterfront stretch spanning the borough’s shoreline. For now, scenery-seeking runners will have to content themselves with the Greenway’s six miles (9.7 kilometers) completed to date, including the 2.5-mile (four-kilometer) Kent Avenue path. This brief route offers views of the East River, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the Williamsburg Bridge.
For a more challenging workout, Green-Wood Cemetery’s hilly three-mile (4.8-kilometer) route is sure to make you sweat. Don’t be fooled by its short distance, as this run, situated in an active cemetery, features hills varying in elevation, making it a popular pick amongst marathon trainees.