There’s nothing more exciting to a New Yorker than a sunny spring day that allows them to head to the nearest park for a picnic, read a book outside or take their bike for a ride. To cater to their active lifestyle, New York City provided its residents with miles and miles of scenic bike paths. If you want to get your spin on, here are some of the best rides through the city you can take today:
Hudson River Greenway
This is a ride for more serious riders. While you pedal more than 12 miles from Battery Park City to the George Washington Bridge, this greenway will provide you with smooth pavement and stunning views of the river. You will have to share your route with pedestrians and joggers, but near Chelsea, you’ll get a more open road. When you reach the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park, you’ll find a perfect place to rest. This path is the longest and the busiest one in the city so you mustn’t miss it.
With almost no motor vehicles to be found, this well-paved path of 2.1 miles will take you around Governors Island in NY Harbor. You won’t believe the waterfront views of Lady Liberty and the Lower Manhattan from this path. No matter how many times you’ve seen the view of the city, it will take your breath away from this new perspective.
Ocean Parkway Bike Path
Ocean Parkway is the first bike path in the nation, constructed all the way back in 1894. While a part of the original track was removed in the 70s to build an expressway, most of the route is intact from Prospect Park to Coney Island. Start your ride in the Cobble Hill-Carroll Gardens and prepare for a lazy brownstone sailing until you hit the pavement. The entire ride stretches for about 5 miles, starting at Ocean Parkway, going across Brooklyn and ending in Coney Island.
Central Park Loops
Central Park is the city’s biggest attraction and this giant park is perfect for discovering by bike. This 843-acre giant offers riders three bike paths perfect for all fitness levels. There’s a more serious 6.1mi (9.8km) path, intermediate 5.2mi (8.4km) and easy 1.7mi (2.7km) ride perfect for families with kids. If you don’t have bikes for every member of your family yet, you can choose affordable bike rental in New York and rent wheels for a day. From regular bikes for women, men and kids to electric bikes, tandem bikes, tag-a-longs and trailers, everyone can find the one that fits the best and enjoy a comfy ride through Central Park.
East River Greenway
This 4.4-mile ride (one way) is scenic, car-free, traffic-light free and very relaxing. It will provide you with vistas you just have on Instagram and you can expect to stop frequently and snap photos of New York’s most iconic bridges: Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn. Here’s a pro tip to follow when taking the East River Greenway bike path: it extends beyond 37th Street to East Harlem, but one part of the route is shared with traffic. Be careful how you ride during this 1.3-mile gap before you continue on the bike path.
Bronx River Pathway
Just next to the Bronx River Parkway is placed a natural, woodsy bike path that runs from the northern border of the city to Westchester. The ride starts at Oak Street in Mount Vernon and takes you on a 1-mile loop through bridges and along the river. From there, you can also take a ride from Bronxville to Scarsdale and from Hartsdale to Valhalla.
Pulaski to Williamsburg Bridge
Pulaski-to-Williamsburg-Bridge ride will take you through Brooklyn and Long Island City to the Lower East Side. The fun starts at Manhattan Avenue, and from there, you can do two things: go to Lorimer and ride to McCarren Park for a nice little loop ride or bypass the park and take the Kent Ave bike path to the bridge and into the Lower East Side. No matter which direction you choose, you will get to soak up amazing views of Manhattan.
Old Putnam Trail
If you want to get away from concrete and ride on dirt, take the Old Putnam Trail. This tree-covered, dirt and grass trailway will take you from the Bronx to Yonkers via the two most beautiful miles in the city of New York. It’s so wild and scenic that you’ll completely forget you’re in the city! This path is not paved, so make sure to check the weather forecast before you embark, otherwise, you will get muddy up to your chin. However, any road bike can take this path when the weather is nice, so you don’t need any special equipment. Here’s another pro-tip: the route begins in the middle of Van Cortlandt Park, but if you enter the park from the southwest, you can ride to the start of the trail. Experienced riders recommend you enter Van Cortlandt Park South and John M. Collins Place.
This ride is perfect for intermediate riders looking for a chill ride. It starts at the B/Q stop at Sheepshead Bay and it provides users with about 7 miles or 11 kilometers of quiet bike path down a residential street and bike path along the beach. Take a deserved rest when you hit the end at the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge. Once you recharge your batteries, you can head left after the bridge and spend some time in Jacob Riis Park.
Shore Parkway Greenway to Coney Island
This 6.5-mile ride (one way) will take you down a concrete bike path along the Harbor, under the Verrazano Bridge and to Gravesend Bay. Make sure to reach the American Veterans Memorial Pier where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the harbor and the bridge. Since you can find many sights along the way, you’ll be at Coney Island in no time, so make sure to spend some time exploring vintage amusements.
Many more amazing bike paths in NYC await you, but these ten definitely deserve the attention. So, set a day aside and see if they live up to the hype.