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 1.5 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, 10am-3pm, and from 7pm-10pm, and weekends from 7pm Friday - 6am 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 1am-6am. New York Road Runners is the premier sponsor of running events in Central Park. Visit NYRR.org for a list of upcoming events and centralparktc.org for information provided by the Central Park Track Club.