Manhattan: East River from Downtown to the Upper East Side (Bridges Run)

Here is another in a series of after work runs for downtown to uptown commuters (or vice versa). This route is great because it is scenic, runner-friendly, and has a minimum of major intersections to break your momentum. For out-of-towners, the lower part of the route is definitely worth the hour to 90 minutes of your limited vacation time.

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Click on map to enlarge.

Route Description:

(Run 4/15/15) This route starts at the World Trade PATH station and heads east to the South Street Seaport via Vesey/Broadway/Fulton. Once at the South Street Seaport head north (left) along the East River promenade.  Follow the promenade north until 34th St and head west to 1st Ave and turn right (north). Turn right at 60th St. and head to the end and re-enter the East River promenade to continue north until Carl Shurtz Park.  Head west out of the park on 87th St. and proceed west to 86th and Lexington to take the 4/5/6 train downtown to get back to where you started.


8.2 miles.


Only three real hills to work. The first is the segment along 1st Ave from 34th St to 59th St (about 100 feet over about a mile), the second is short, but sweet as you enter the promenade at 60th St (about 40 feet over 100 yards), and finally near the end from Carl Shurtz Park to 87th St. and Lexington Ave (about 50 feet over a 1/4 mile).

Hill Ratio:

3 hills for a ratio of 0.36.


0. This is a pretty healthy stretch of land. Somewhat surprising.

Safe after dark?

On a nice day, the majority of this running path is full of people until at least 10pm.

Crowd Scene?

Lots of people on a nice day, but you can still get a great run in due to the wide promenades. Watch for the dog walkers around 60th St though. Lots of leashes to avoid.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and cinder block.

Changing Station?

If you need to freshen up for an evening out with friends, you can always stop by JackRabbits on Lexington between 85th and 84th Sts.

Points of Interest:

Starting at the World Trade Center PATH station, you’ll see the Freedom Tower, South Street Seaport, the underside of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, the UN, the Queensboro Bridge, views across the river of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island, and the Triboro Bridge (that hits all the major bridges on the East River!).

Good for Groups:

Great for group runs. A few narrow points due to construction but overall great for groups.

Safe from Cars:

Safe from cars for the most part except the beginning before you get to the South Street Seaport and at the end in the Upper East Side.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

Not bad! Maybe 6 intersections where you may need to stop (Broadway/Fulton, Water/Fulton, 34th St/East River Promenade, 60th/East End, York/87th St, 1st Ave/87th St, and 2nd Ave/87th St.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0 😦

© 2015 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.