Running in Central Park
Running in Central Park


Offering both hilly and flat terrain and a combination of surfaces, Central Park is a runner's paradise.

The site of the New York Marathon's final 3.2 miles, Central Park offers many scenic distractions while providing a challenge to all levels of runners. There are three optimal places to run in Central Park:

Park Drives: Circling the entire Park, the drives provide three long distance routes - 6.1 miles, 5.2 miles, or 1.7 miles, or shorter distances if you cross the Park at a number of scenic locations.

The Reservoir: A soft surface, the Reservoir track is a 1.58-mile loop offering some of the best skyline views in the Park. In spring, cherry trees alongside the track are in bloom.

Bridle Paths: There are three conjoined soft surface bridle paths to choose from. The Reservoir loop, adjacent to the Reservoir Track, totals 1.66 miles; the North Meadow loop totals 1.1 miles; and the southern spur totals 1.5 miles. The best time to run on the drives is when the Park is closed to traffic: Monday through Friday, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm, and weekends from 7:00 pm Friday to 6:00 am Monday.

When the Park is open to traffic a runners' lane is always available, but we do not recommend using the Park drives when they are open to traffic. The Park is officially closed from 1:00 am-6:00 am. New York Road Runners is the premier sponsor of running events in Central Park. Visit for a list of upcoming events and for information provided by the Central Park Track Club.


Central Park South between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

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