The East Village’s Best Running Trails

102410 Al RiverRun (2)Colleen Leung The author along the East River waterfront.

Community contributor Al Kavadlo, a personal fitness trainer, offers a regular perspective on staying fit in the East Village.

Running is one of my favorite ways to exercise. It doesn’t require a gym membership or any fancy equipment and it’s a great way to get some time alone with your thoughts. In spite of this, when I suggest that my clients try running, I hear all sorts of excuses.

Around the East Village, the most common gripe is that with so much traffic in the streets (foot, bike and automobile), it’s futile to even attempt to go for a jog. I don’t mind weaving around pedestrians and cars, but I’ll admit there are some spots that are more conducive to running for fitness than others.

If you live towards the northern part of the neighborhood, you should walk or jog eastbound towards the overpass on East 10th Street. Once you cross to the other side, there is a footpath that follows along the FDR which leads to several options, such as a quarter-mile running track located at East Sixth Street. (There’s also another overpass there, as well as one at Houston.) The rubberized surface of the track is great for anyone who is concerned about
their knees.

If you don’t feel like running in circles, you can head southbound on the footpath, leaving the neighborhood and eventually arriving at the South Street Seaport. If you’re going for a long run (it’s Marathon season!), you can wrap around lower Manhattan and come up the West Side. You may also choose to run along the East River Waterfront esplanade. Though still under construction, the Waterfront provides a solid mile of running if you head south on 10th Street.

102410 Al Run (8)Colleen Leung The author on the track at East Sixth Street.

If you’re heading north on the footpath, however, watch out – it peters out by midtown and you could find yourself running on the highway if you’re not careful!

Another option for those of you near the Lower East Side is running the Williamsburg Bridge for your workout. Up above the cars, the air is crisp and fresh. Additionally, the uphill portion of the bridge poses a nice challenge if you’re used to flat ground.

Wherever you choose to run, make sure to dress appropriately with winter on the way, stay hydrated, and most importantly, have fun.

Al Kavadlo is a personal trainer, freelance writer and the author of the book, “We’re Working Out! A Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness” (Muscle-up Publications, 2010). For more information visit

Tell us about your favorite places to run.