New York Running Routes:
Best New York Running Routes: Overview
Midtown and Central Park
For other running routes, see Route List.
Any trip to New York has to include a tour of downtown NYC, and what better way to do it than a good run through the main sights. There is a beautiful, park-lined waterfront, Ground-Zero, and the city's most historic buildings.
|Ground Zero Memorial days before the opening|
We'll start out at the Ground-Zero World Trade Center site. This site is still being built upon, so it will continue to change in the next years. The centrally-placed memorial with the fountains plunging into the foundations of the old WTC buildings just opened, as of my last visit.
The Downtown NYC Running Route
The route begins at the corner of Liberty Street and Greenwich. This borders on the construction site of new buildings going up along the east side of Ground Zero, where you can view across the site to the memorial on the other side. This is also the location of the impromptu memorial to the NYC firemen who lost their lives at the 9/11 attack, set up on the side of the fire station closest to the site. There are normally flowers placed on the sidewalk and patches from visiting firemen and policemen from around the world.
|Firemen cleaning up firemen's memorial|
The waterfront Esplanade is also tree-lined: a pleasant stretch with views out to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the gleaming new buildings of Jersey City across the way.
|Along the Esplanade|
Now run southwards towards Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan. You'll run along a cove, with the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. You'll also pass the pyramid-shaped Holocaust Museum.
|Esplanade at South Cove|
|Castle Clinton in Battery Park|
Run northwards along South Street for another block. Now cross the street to the left at Broad Street and run to the first corner, at the Fraunces Tavern. George Washington held a farewell party for his officers in this historic tavern.
|Old Buildings along Stone Street, off of Pearl Street|
Now turn left and run the 2 blocks along William Street to Wall Street, as the street curves to the right.
|Wall Street with Federal Hall and Trinity Church|
Wall Street ends at Trinity Church, one of New York's most interesting buildings, with its old graveyard. Just running by the graveyard, I saw the graves of Alexander Hamilton and Samuel Fulton (Fulton built the first steam ships and the first submarine).
At this point, we are almost back at the starting point, but let's do a short extra loop to add a few interesting downtown sights.
Turn right on Broadway, in front of Trinity Church. In a couple of blocks you will pass St. Paul's chapel on the left side. This chapel was built for the people who lived north of the wall. George Washington went here to pray, it is said. The church also became the main sanctuary for Ground Zero rescue workers, and has become an impromptu memorial to the victims.
|NY City Hall Park seen from porch of St. Paul's|
When you get to the city hall, turn left and exit the park, which is bounded by Broadway on the left side. Now, turn left and run back southwest down Broadway, past St. Paul's again, until you get to Liberty Street, where you turn right and run the last 2 blocks back along Zuccotti Park (location of the Occupy Wall Street encampment) until you reach the starting point again.