Fun on Foot Running Walking Trails, Clubs, Events
The New York City Five Bridges Run
by Warwick Ford

As an interesting option for a long training run, runners can put
together routes that combine traversals of multiple of the city’s bridges.  
In this article we describe a route that traverses five major bridges – the
Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Queensboro bridges over the
East River plus the Pulaski Bridge that links the boroughs of Brooklyn
and Queens.

We describe an 11.5-mile route starting on the Hudson River in Tribeca
and finishing in Central Park.  If you want a longer run, you can easily
tack on a piece of the Hudson River trail at the start or some running in
Central Park at the finish.  The trail traverses parts of Brooklyn and
Queens and includes a roughly 5-mile piece of the NYC Marathon route
from Williamsburg through Queens and across the Queensboro
Bridge.  There is a detailed printable map of this route, including public
transit connections, in the Fun on Foot New York City downloadable
map set available for a nominal charge at www.funonfoot.

Start at the Hudson River trail at Chambers Street and West Street in
Tribeca.  Cross West Street via either the pedestrian overpass or the
street-level pedestrian crossing.  Immediately on the left is a park with
restrooms in the left corner.

Continue along Chambers Street, switching at your convenience to
Warren Street, the next parallel street south, to the intersection of
Broadway and Warren Street.  Continue along the line of Warren Street
into the park by City Hall. Exit the park at the intersection of Park Row
and Centre Street. Cross the street to join the walkway onto the
Brooklyn Bridge.  The Brooklyn Bridge is steeped in history (see the
book Fun on Foot in New York) and the only problem with it now is the
enormous number of tourists who flock there and congest the walkway.  
Fortunately, most of them do not go far and the crowds thin towards the
Brooklyn side.
The Unforgettable Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Way
The Spacious Williamsburg Bridge Pedestrian Path
As you approach the Brooklyn end of the bridge the pedestrian trail
forks.  Take the left ramp which leads down to some stairs which exit
onto the sidewalk of Prospect Street under the bridge. Go left along
Prospect Street, right into Adams Street, and left along and across
Sands Street to the entrance to the pedestrian walkway of the
Manhattan Bridge.  This bridge crossing is uncrowded and exhilarating
and you can run as fast as you wish.

The pedestrian ramp terminates at the intersection of Canal Street and
Bowery.  Cross Canal Street and go one short block to the right to
enter Chrystie Street and follow the little “greenbelt” between Chrystie
and Forsyth Streets along the edge of Chinatown.  It is not so pretty
these days, but offers reasonable running conditions for such a highly
populated area, and there are restrooms along the way.  Turn right
along Delancey Street to the Clinton Street intersection where the
Williamsburg Bridge walkway starts.

The Williamsburg Bridge walkway is another excellent place for
running, with plenty of room for all and bicyclists separated from
pedestrians on their own pathway.  Use the pedestrian pathway on the
south side of the bridge. Complete the crossing and exit the bridge
down the right-side ramp and stairs to Bedford Street. At this point you
start following the route of the NYC Marathon.  
Go left along Bedford Street through the heart of Williamsburg. You
can use restrooms at the Metropolitan Pool and Recreation Center and
in McCarren Park.  At Lorimer Street go straight ahead.  The NYC
Marathon course goes left into Manhattan Avenue here but that is a
very busy, congested street so we suggest going a further short block
east and going left into Leonard Street. Go right into Greenpoint
Avenue to rejoin the marathon course and then left into McGuiness

Cross the spacious Pulaski Bridge, passing the halfway mark of the
NYC Marathon and entering Queens.  Go left into 48th Avenue and
then right into Vernon Boulevard.  At 10th Street bear right and enter
eastbound 44th Drive.  Before reaching Jackson Avenue go left into
Crescent Street.  This brings you to the point where the NYC Marathon
would enter the road ramp onto the Queensboro Bridge.  However,
without the streets closed we cannot go there.  Instead, go right one
block to 27th Street where there is a pedestrian crossing allowing you
to cross to the northern side of the bridge approach.  Go left and you
will find the entrance ramp to the Queensboro Bridge pedestrian and
bicycle walkway.

The Queensboro Bridge crossing is exhilarating and little different from
the experience crossing this bridge in the marathon (except for much
less traffic on marathon day).  The walkway ends beyond First Avenue
but you are forced to loop back and exit the ramp at the intersection of
First Avenue and E 60th Street.  Go right under the bridge to E 59th
Street and go right along that street westward to Central Park for a
total distance of 11.5 miles at the Avenue of the Americas park

(C) Copyright, Warwick Ford  
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