In New York walking let alone trail running is bad enough.
If you’re looking for a quieter run around the Big Apple, forget the Central Park Reservoir and Hudson River Park.: when the only other New York residents you want to see are plants, birds and squirrels, check out these 3 less frequently traveled trails. But first:
New Yorkers Get Inspired by Watching the video and hit the trails
Old Croton Aqueduct Trail
Back in 1839, the Old Croton Aqueduct was New York City’s major source of drinking water. Starting at the Croton Dam and reservoir in Westchester County, it ran all the way to 42nd Street in Manhattan. Though it no longer carries water, you can still run the 41-mile Old Croton Aqueduct trail. This trail highlights the remains of the aqueduct and provides a sense of the complex engineering and difficult labor that was required to build it. Our resident triathlete assures us that this is a winner. For bonus points, jump off the trail for lunch, or head to Tarrytown and see the Castle at Lyndhurst.
Getting There: Pick it up near W. 86th Street in Central Park or take the 4 to Mosholu Parkway and catch it along the northern edge of Van Cortlandt Park.
Inwood Hill Park
To really get away from it all, you don’t even have to leave the city — just lose yourself in the maze of trails that comprise Inwood Hill Park. As the only “undersigned” park in New York City (meaning that Frederick Law Olmsted didn’t get his grubby paws on this one — just kidding, we love you, Fred), it comes pretty close to what New York must have looked like before Henry Hudson’s arrival, minus a few paved paths. The park also gets credit for a salt marsh, and the site of sale of the island to the Dutch. Just be careful — though the park stays open until dusk, bathrooms close at 4:00. By the way the park is one of the best places to spot a bald eagle in the City, after the Urban Park Rangers launched a bald eagle release project in the park in 2002.
Getting There: Take the A train to Inwood – 207th Street Station and grab one of the many trails that line Payson Avenue. You can run several miles here.
Fort Tryon Park
Just south of Inwood Hill Park lies Fort Tryon Park, built by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. Although daddy got to play with Central Park, junior left this hidden gem as his own mark on the city. Both paved and unpaved trails wind through carefully manicured gardens, and the sea dogs among your group can drink their fill of river views. If you get tired of running, head to the Met’s cloisters to check out medieval armor and weaponry. Between Inwood and Fort Tryon, you can easily plan a seven-mile run.
Getting There: Take the A Train to Inwood – 207 Street Station. Enter the trailhead off the roundabout.