Running Off The Beaten Path

This Tuesday, I’m thinking about running off the beaten path – both metaphorically and literally! I haven’t been in the city in weeks, and except for the bar exam I won’t be until the autumn, but unexpectedly not being able to run for several days got me dreaming about running both in Ridgefield and in Central Park. So since it’s been a little while, I figured I’d share some thoughts on running off the beaten path in the park, and of course some gorgeous photos!

I often run on the bridle path, since it’s gravel and dirt and way easier on my joints. I’ll weave in and out to extend a loop around the park for a long run, or fit in a shorter 4-5 miles wholly on the path. Many people only hit the part around the reservoir, but it extends all the way up past 100th Street and pretty far down into the 60s.


Bridle path

Central Park Bridle Path

Central Park Reservoir



If I’m doing a gentle jog/walk day, or whenever I want a quiet place for a stroll, I’ll head to the Ramble. I love walking the twists and turns on this very hilly path – we’re talking practically vertical in places, where they’ve hewn steps into the path because it’s impossible to climb otherwise. It’s very secluded, so that even in the middle of one of the most bustling cities in the world, you can catch a moment of peace and quiet.


The Ramble in Central Park

The Ramble in Central Park

The Ramble in Central Park



And when I’m on a long run, I always enjoy looping uptown on the west to North Field and then heading back down East Drive. The fields are sometimes filled with youth baseball teams and onlookers to cheer for them, or schoolchildren enjoying recess, but early in the morning a blissfully bare stretch of terrain.


76th Street Arch

The view from North Field




You may have noticed from all my park photos over the past several months of blogging that there don’t tend to be a lot of other people in them – and I have to say, once the weather turns, it’s rare to catch a moment between 6am and 10pm when the main areas are so uncrowded. I like it best that way, because getting off the beaten path around the park can lead you to some gorgeous scenery and sights you wouldn’t believe you could behold in the middle of Manhattan. I think a lot of life is like that sometimes. You need to get off the beaten path and carve your own adventure out of the slapdash, colorful mess that is our world. And I’d like to think that in doing so, you create a pretty amazing story for yourself, just like I do every time I venture off the path in the park.



What’s your favorite place to go for a bit of solitude?





© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.


14 thoughts on “Running Off The Beaten Path

  1. This path looks lovely. How lucky you are to have such a beautiful place to run and walk with in your city. It wouldn’t bother me that there are lots of people on there. It would make me feel a bit safer. Especially in some of the areas like that little overpass/tunnel.


  2. Love this. I usually run similar routes, but in the morning if you go early enough, it’s nice to run down by the water without any traffic. The only people I see are usually walking their dogs which I’m okay with because let’s be real, puppies make us smile 🙂


  3. You have yourself some gorgeous places to run 🙂 I live right on the edge of a huge river valley that runs through our city, and I love going down there first thing in the morning when there’s barely any people around. Not only is the air wonderfully fresh and crisp, but it gives me a chance to get some of my best thinking done.


  4. Pingback: Reflections on 2015 | Renaissance Runner Girl

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