Have you been wondering where the serious triathletes go to train in NYC? The answer is Riverside Park. My sweat-stained tank top and off-brand running shorts don’t quite fit in, but at least my shoes won’t draw too many stares or snide looks.
What Makes It Great
This park has everything—from a 1/8 mile run track at 73rd Street to massive stretches of long, flat, well-maintained pavement.
Running along the Hudson River from 72nd Street to 158th Street, this is a great park to do a serious interval workout during the week or on the weekend—it’s almost entirely flat and straight, so keeping up speed is a breeze. Speaking of breeze, it also has the benefit of being cooler than somewhere like Central Park, where heat is trapped. Here, you get a nice breeze off the river, with the benefit of not feeling as trapped as you might in some of the parks nestled in the middle of the city.
In addition to public restrooms (yay!), the park has some cool features like a skate park, marina and playgrounds. Want to get in some pull-ups? There’s even fitness equipment up on 110th Street.
And if you’re a bit of a workaholic like me, the Park has one other major bonus—free wifi on the Hudson River Greenway sections (so most of the right-on-the-water areas) in case you need to get some business done mid-run.
In fact, you can go straight from the park to a business meeting if necessary—just head to 76th Street, where you can find spray showers at the playground for a quick clean-up… This is also good when meeting friends for brunch at Trattoria nearby post-run, but more on that later. On the way to Trattoria though, definitely check out The People's Garden, a community garden located between 90th and 91st street. It’s gorgeous when in full bloom! And if you want to sneak in some historic landmarks, check out Grant’s Tomb at Riverside Drive and West 122nd Street or the Joan of Arc statue at 93rd, right in the park.
Still not enough reason to visit? Riverside Park has the prestige of being one of only eight officially designated scenic landmarks in the city, for good reason: most of it was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the same man responsible for designing Central Park.
Who is Going to Love It
It’s a great spot to bring your dog for a jog, or the kids for a serious workout with the baby jogger before hitting a playground. But more than that, this is where the serious athletes go to get their serious training sessions in.