Top 10 USA Walks - Manhattan and Central Park

Central Park, New York City
Central Park, New York City. Wendy Bumgardner ©

New York City consistently ranks as one of the most walkable cities in the USA. The walkers of the American Volkssport Association often vote these Manhattan walks into the top 10 walks in the USA. They offer mapped walking routes (year-round walks) that explore Midtown, Central Park, Greenwich Village and Lower Manhattan.

To enjoy these walks, visit the ASICS Shoe Store, 51 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10024.

Check their web site for hours. You should return to the store before closing. Go to the desk by the trolley car and ask for the walk start box (a large blue file box with the letters AVA on the side). Sign the log, pay for IVV credit or give a donation and take a map to enjoy one of the routes.

Getting There: The store is located in easy walking distance from the Times Square subway station and from the Port Authority bus terminal.

Midtown Manhattan Walk

The Midtown Manhattan walk is 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) long. It is rated easy, but it's likely to take three hours to complete due to all of the sights you will be seeing. Even if you bypass anything you should really stop and savor, it will take a minimum of two hours at a brisk walking pace (and everyone walks fast in NYC) due to the street crossings.

The route includes Lincoln Center, Times Square, the Broadway Theater district, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, and the United Nations Headquarters. The walking directions may change from year to year but still include the major highlights everybody wants to see on their first or 50th visit to Midtown.

Central Park Walk

If you want to stretch your legs in NYC, walking in Central Park is ideal. This is a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) route if you take the subway from the ASICS store, or just add a kilometer (0.6 miles) to it by walking up to the 57th St. subway station. The route includes the walker/jogger path around the Jackie Kennedy Reservoir and it passes by Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums.

Greenwich Village Walk

You'll also have to take a short subway ride from the ASICS store to start this walk. This route changes for each half of the year. From January through June, you tour Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, and Washington Square. From July through December it includes Chelsea and the High Line trail. It's a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) walk.

Lower Manhattan Walk

While you pick up the map for this walk at the ASICS store, you'll need to take the subway to where the walk starts. It includes one of my favorite fitness walking routes on the Hudson River Esplanade with views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

See Wall Street, the Financial District, Ground Zero and the construction of the new World Trade Center. You'll visit the shops and dining opportunities at South Street Seaport and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Visit our New York City for Visitors site to plan what else to do and see in New York City.

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