Simply put, speed walking – sometimes called power walking, fitness walking, health walking,
exercise walking or, simply, embarrassing your children – is walking very fast without breaking into a jog or run. Arms swing in pace with the stride, and one foot is on the ground at all times. Your stride is slightly longer and considerably quicker than in a leisurely stroll. Speed walkers generally walk at a pace of 3.5 to 5.5 miles per hour.
Central Park’s 250 acres of lawns and 136 acres of woodland offer a multitude of landscapes, trails, and pathways for everyone from the serious hiker to the recreational stroller. Central Park provides an unparalleled variety of picturesque landscapes for walkers of all levels.
Location : Whether you are distance walking, hiking, taking a stroll or a Conservancy sponsored or commercially offered walking tour, you can walk on the drives, along pathways, the Reservoir, the bridle paths, or any of the pathways. Read on for more information.
Distance Walking/Speed Walking:
Park Drives : Circling the entire Park, the Drives provide three long distance routes – 6.1 miles, 5.2 miles, or 1.7 miles — or shorter distances if you cross the Park at a number of scenic locations.
The Reservoir : A soft surface on a 2º slope, the Reservoir running track is 1.58 miles around and offers some of the best skyline views in the Park, and many scenic variations. In the spring the cherry trees alongside it are in bloom, and in the summer the evaporating water cools the surrounding air.
Bridle Paths : There are three conjoined soft surface bridle paths to choose from. The Reservoir loop, adjacent to the Reservoir, totals 1.5 miles; the North Meadow loop totals 1.1 miles; and the southern spur totals 1.5 miles.
Hiking : There are 58 miles of trails in Central Park. Some of those trails can be found at the 90-acre Ravine in the Park’s North Woods and the Ramble’s 38 acres with its woodlands, wild gardens, and rock outcrops.
Strolling : In addition to the areas above, the Great Lawn’s 15 acres and its surrounding paved pathway are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Sheep Meadow, Wien Walk, the Dene, Cedar Hill, the Mall, and the Park’s six-mile perimeter also provide beautiful vistas for a walk.
When: One can walk at any time in the Park; if taking a walking tour, be sure to check the schedule. The Drives are closed to traffic Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, and from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, and on weekends from 7:00 pm Friday – 6:00 am Monday. When the Park is open to traffic, a walkers’ lane on the Park Drives is always available, but we do not recommend using the Drives when they are open to traffic. Note that the Park is officially closed from 1:00 am – 6:00 am.
Permit Requirement: No permit is required.