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Hello NYC friends! I am a local long distance runner. I obviously mostly run on roads, but I just completed my first ultramarathon last weekend and it has got me thinking about local trail running options. I have run in the Palisades a bunch of times, but I was wondering if anyone has any other ideas that are relatively accessible by public transit. Thanks!
I am definitely going to sound like a broken record on these message boards, but I guess that's true to my real-life self.
Staten Island has the best trail running around, I am telling you!
There are trails accessible from a train or bus ride away, but it's also possible to run straight from the ferry through to "the woods" with fewer than 3 miles on the streets/not in or alongside a park.
I posted as much elsewhere, but when I'm really in shape there's a 12-15 miler I do starting from the ferry and ending at a beach in Great Kills. The whole time has less than 5 miles on streets, the rest of the time you're on trails. Huge variety in terms of setting, elevation, how "technical" the trails are, etc.
@StatenIslander I'm not afraid of Staten Island! Where are the trails? What park are they in? Access from the SI ferry is good as I would be comnig via public transport. I'll be doing lots of long runs this summer as I am training for a September 50k, so the advice of where to run is appreciated! Thanks!
MollyG, the bulk of the trails are in the Greenbelt, which is a collection of parks that all have their own names but probably nobody would know them by those names (Bloodroot Valley? Deere Park? Both are in 'the greenbelt').
The conservancy that cares for the trails has an interactive map:
However, I also have put together a number of routes from the ferry to/through a lot of parkland on SI, including big pieces of the Greenbelt. Here's one from the ferry that is ~15 miles, only ~4 of which are strictly on the street (not even alongside a park).
You'll see at mile 10 or so in the run mapped is the middle of the greenbelt so you can mix and match trails as you like them. Also, you can leave the run I linked to a bit earlier to meet up with the one train line on SI, so that a 10 miler or so from the ferry can bring you to the train that brings you right back to the ferry.
I also really, really encourage you to ask REI SoHo for more events on SI. They do stuff in the other boroughs, upstate and in Long Island, but (to my knowledge) not yet anything on SI!
@StatenIslander How do you get back to the ferry from Fresh Kills?
I moved back to NYC from SF and am sorely missing my trail running.
@Saetta The straight answer to your question would be to take the s62 down Victory Boulevard. However, I suspect you don't mean to go to Freshkills. That is not a park for another decade at least, it's currently being transformed from the world's largest landfill into a park.
The Greenbelt that I described elsewhere in this thread basically surrounds it, but it's not open to the public except for select events throughout the year (maybe 4 days annually).
It will be awesome when it's open!
I can offer two other long running options: the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail and the North/South County Trail!!!
The Aqueduct Trail running 26.5 miles from Lawton St. in Yonkers up to Croton Dam Road in Yorktown. Dirt, grass, and gravel trail is popular with runners and bikes that can take a lumpy trail. Tree shaded in the sections I've done, I can't reccomened this enough for local trail running.
The South County Trail starts in Van Courtlandt Park in the Bronx, goes north 14 miles, changes names to North County at Tarrytown, and continues on for another 22 miles. This is a popular trail for cyclists, walkers and runners. This is a mostly paved rail trail with good shade.
Both are relatively accessible by public trans.
Have fun exploring and let me know what you think of them!
Hey! My favorite place in the area is South Mountain Reservation in NJ - You can take NJ transit to Millburn and there is a great trail system right off the train stop. Also places like Beacon, Cold Spring, and Bear Mountain are all accessible by public transit! I run a local trail group for women called Trail Women BK, check out our instagram for group trail runs @trailwomenbk. Congrats on your first ultra!!