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 both a scenic and challenging course 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. Central Park Conservancy is renovating the Reservoir Running Track. Renovation work will occur in sections to cause as little disruption as possible. Runners will be diverted to the nearby bridle path, which has been prepared in anticipation of the increase in use. Learn more about the Reservoir and the renovation project here.
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 NYRR.org for a list of upcoming events.
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. See below for the three optimal places to run in Central Park or download our printable Central Park Running map.
Central Park South between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.