Considering that 56% of NYC households don’t own cars, you can bet that there are quite a few bikers on the streets of Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. Sometimes taking a quick ride around the city (or out of it!) can be the perfect activity for clearing the mind and feeling invigorated. We know that's the case with these seven bike routes throughout New York City—if you’re looking for a spot to ride, check 'em out!
Best of NYC Bike Paths: Hudson River Greenway (Financial District to Hell’s Kitchen)
The Hudson River Park Bikeway is one of Manhattan’s nicest rides and also one of its busiest, welcoming bicyclists, skateboarders, and rollerbladers to join in on the fun. The path runs along the west side of Manhattan, making for a cool ride with bountiful Hudson River breezes. Thanks to its smooth terrain and scenic views, Hudson River Bikeway is a must for all NYC bicyclists, local and visiting! Battery Place to W. 59th St and Riverside Park South., 212-757-0981, hudsonriverpark.org
Best of NYC Bike Paths: Governors Island (Governors Island)
Image: Shinya Suzuki/Flickr
Hop on one of Governors Island’s free ferries or rent a bike form one of the kiosks on the island and then get to riding! With a car-free bike trail, you can ride for miles around the island while taking in a breathtaking view of Manhattan’s Financial District. Also, if you find yourself free on a weekday between the hours of 10am and noon, make sure you take advantage of Governors Island’s Free Bike Mornings and borrow a bicycle for one full, free hour! Governors Island, 212-825-3045, govisland.com
Best of NYC Bike Paths: Central Park (Upper Manhattan)
Central Park isn’t just for rowing and horse carriages. In fact, it’s one of NYC’s best biking spots! Bikers can choose between a 6.1 mile, 5.2 mile, or 1.7 mile routes, or cut it even shorter by cutting across various paths. Set your sites on the likes of Strawberry Fields, the Great Lawn, and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir while you take in Upper Manhattan in all its glory! Central Park, 212-310-660, centralpark.com
Best of NYC Bike Paths: Randall’s Island (Randall’s Island)
Image: Global Jet/Flickr
Head up to Wards Island Bridge at East River Drive and East 103rdStreet to make your way onto Randall’s Island where approximately 8 miles of pathways lay in wait of bicyclists. This motor-free zone takes you through Randall’s Island’s Park along the breeze-filled waterfront. A wonderful connector between Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, you can enjoy spectacular views of all three boroughs during your bike ride through the island. Randall’s Island, 212-307-7171, randallsisland.org
Best of NYC Bike Paths: Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
Closed to motor vehicles on weekends and selected weekday hours, Prospect Park offers a 3.35 mile loop for bikers. While the ride might be short, that doesn’t have to stop you from making a few loops in one go, enjoying the rolling hills, smooth roads, and breathtaking setting as you ride. The largest entrance can be found at Grand Army Plaza, but there are multiple smaller entrances throughout the perimeter of the park. Prospect Park, 718-965-8951, prospectpark.org
Best of NYC Bike Paths: Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk (Staten Island)
Image: Shannon McGee/Flickr
There’s a lot more to Staten Island than meets the eye, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk is one of its many gems, especially for bike riders wanting to enjoy a scenic beach path. The boardwalk runs for 2.5 miles along the sandy Atlantic oceanfront. Park your bike onboard the Staten Island Ferry and make your way over for a refreshing ride when you’re needing a break from the NYC bustle. Father Capodanno Blvd., nycgovparks.org
Best of NYC Bike Paths: Bronx River Parkway (Bronx)
The Bronx River Parkway is an 807-acre park that extends 13.2 miles into Westchester from the New York City border, so if you choose to take a ride here, you’re literally be “getting out of the city.” You’ll get eyefuls of ponds, wooden footbridges, native trees, bushes, and flowers while bicycling along this path, as well as some fresh, non-city air. Everybody needs a break from NYC once in a while! Bronx River Parkway, 914-723-4058, parks.westchestergov.com
Where to Find a Bike in New York?
Bike and Roll NYC offers great guides, great equipment (for kids, too), and several convenient locations. For more info on tours click here. For reservations click here. Note that Bike and Roll NYC operates on a seasonal schedule and is closed during the winter months. Check their website for current hours.
Citi Bike is a citywide bike sharing program that's accessible for locals and visitors alike. (There are currently 8,000 bikes in the system, soon to expand to 10,000.) 500 stations for dropping off and picking up are spread across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Jersey City. In addition to annual memberships, you can get a Day Pass for $12 for unlimited 30-minute rides in a 24-hour period or a 3-Day Pass for $24, good for unlimited 30-minute rides in a 72-hour period.