Today’s route takes you down the other road in Pelham Bay Park to the northern edge of the Bronx. And if you aren’t familiar with Pelham Bay Park, it is the largest park in New York City – three times larger than Central Park in Manhattan. On the Saturday morning when I ran this route (what I consider prime weekend recreation time), I was surprised to see few people bike down this route and no one running along it!
In my opinion, it is a hidden gem of a long run for folks who want to get away from it all without really getting away from it all.
Here is a snapshot of the entire route – 5 miles long. Out-and-back for a 10 miler.
(Run 8/28/17) This route starts at the driveway of 1935 Eastchester Road, near the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and Eastchester Road.
Head south to Morris Park Ave. and make a right.
About 400 meters later, make another right on Seminole Ave. and follow the street around the western side of the Jacoby/Einstein campus to Pelham Parkway South.
Make a right on Pelham Parkway South and continue past Stillwell Ave. until you pick up the bike path adjacent to Pelham Parkway South.
Follow this bike path across the five highway transition roads (be careful!) over the next half mile until you reach Pelham Bay Park.
Turn left and follow the bike path over the Pelham Bridge.
Here is a closeup of the first/last two miles of the route.
Here you’ll see the route from the left turn at the park, over the bridge, to the intersection of City Island Road and Pelham Bridge Road. Please exercise caution on the bridge as bikers, pedestrians, and runners can often bunch up on the narrow sidewalk while traffic moves quickly by without much of a safety buffer.
At the other side of the bridge, continue across City Island Road and then make a left immediately across Pelham Bridge Rd. then right to continue on the bike path.
Here is a closeup emphasizing the crossover you need to make at the intersection of City Island Road and Pelham Bridge Road around mile 3/7.
Continue north on the bike path for about two miles. Except for the entrance to the golf course and the crossing at the Orchard Beach traffic circle, this will give you a total of 4 miles of car-free running space.
You’ll know you’ve reached the turnaround point once you’ve reached the end of the bike path (the border for Pelham Bay Park and the Bronx) and entered a very nice neighborhood in the Village of Pelham. Run about five housing lots into the neighborhood to get to five miles and turn around and go back the way you came.
Ten miles round-trip or five miles each way. For those of you who would prefer to head straight to Pelham Parkway South from the starting point instead of going around the campus first, this makes the run 4.25 miles each way or a 8.5 mile round-trip.
Pretty flat with a minimum elevation of 0 feet to a max of 69 feet.
0 hills for a ratio of 0.00 for the 10 mile run.
0.0. Running mostly along parks and parkways has its advantages in terms of avoiding smokers.
0.8. The Hutchinson River Parkway and I-95 mixed with the unique tidal geography in this part of the Bronx make it hard to get too far away from major freeways. Only two miles of this route are outside of the half-mile range of a major freeway.
Safe after dark?
Safe during the day in terms of both traffic and crime. Night running is not recommended without a headlamp, rear-LED light, reflective vest, and a running buddy or two. Much of the route along Shore Road and the portion leading into the Village of Pelham are unlighted at night.
The majority of this course is clear of foot traffic. The only area you’d be concerned with is in front of Jacoby Hospital along Pelham Parkway South. Of course, be on the lookout for bikers on this path as they tend to move quickly since it is so lightly used.
Sidewalk and asphalt.
There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms.
Points of Interest:
This route takes you along Pelham Parkway to Pelham Bay Park, with views of the Hutchinson River and the Pelham Bay/Split Rock Golf Course. It’s also nice to check out how the other half lives in the Village of Pelham. The neighborhood looks like something straight out of a movie with perfectly manicured lawns and stately mansions on either side of the road.
The bike path that runs from mile 3 to 5 and back to 7, is also very peaceful and shady. For parts of the path, its like you’ve entered a forest.
Good for Groups:
Narrow sidewalks and bike paths along the course make this ideal for 2 up to 4 runners.
Safe from Cars:
Most of this course runs safely along low-volume sidewalks and recreational paths that are well-insulated from traffic, but you do have to cross some freeway transition roads and be wary of foot and bike traffic on the narrow Pelham Bridge path.
Prospects for a Break-Free Run:
In total, you’ll find seven roads that you’ll likely have to stop at during your run one-way, so 14 potential cross streets/on-ramps to contend with round-trip. Five on-/off-ramps will be concentrated between mile 1.5 and 2.25 (mile 7.75 and 8.5 on the way back). Then you also have the intersection of Pelham Parkway South and Eastchester Road and the Orchard Beach traffic circle.
Though it seems like a lot, the breaks are pretty concentrated and the rest of the run is peaceful enough to allow you to run without much stress from worrying about on-coming traffic.
Friends Run Into During Run:
Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.
© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.