New York’s Central Park is the most popular destination in this city for picnics, trail walking, and trail biking. Although its opening times is not 24 hours, it still enjoys a lot of visitors all year round.
Mind you, Central Park is not any other park that you can just walk around in one day. It features 800 acres full of lush greenery, artificial lakes, picnic areas, restaurants, outdoor gym equipment, and playgrounds. There are so many things to do around Central Park, and it can be a challenge if you intend to explore the entire place. It is easy to get lost, too.
When walking, it will take you weeks to go on and off the park to explore its entirety. However, with biking, traveling becomes manageable. You get to visit more sites in a short amount of time, and you are given more freedom to explore given that you can bring your bike anywhere.
If you intend to bike Central Park, which route should you take? Do you need to sign up for Central Park bike tours available in the area? If you can do it yourself, why not!
Before we get to the recommended route, let us first give you a rundown of the basic rules in biking around New York.
New York’s biking rules
1. By law, children under 14 years old must wear their helmet at all times. However, for safety reasons, it is highly advisable that everyone must wear their helmet while biking.
2. When biking, always go in a counter-clockwise direction.
3. Always use the bike lane; never go biking on pedestrian lanes.
4. The road must be shared with cars where cars are allowed.
5. A bike is considered a vehicle. Therefore, pedestrians always have the right of way.
Now that we’ve given the basic biking rules, here is a route you can take when biking around Central Park. There are other routes available, but this is an excellent choice for first-time explorers of the park:
1. Start your ride at the Grand Army Plaza entrance. It is an attractive area to retrace your steps back to because it is a prominent site in the park.
2. Ride towards East Park Drive which allows you to get into one of the loops of Central Park.
3. Connect to Park Drive where you get lovely views of the park. Go along this route until you get to 110th St.
4. It is going to be a bit of an uphill along this route, but continue cycling until you get to the northern end of Park Drive.
5. Since by law you have to bike in a counterclockwise direction, turn to the south until you get to the west area of the park.
6. Continue along this route which provides a pleasant reprieve from the uphills you’ve experienced at Park Drive.
7. You will reach the Grand Army Plaza at this point, and you’ve now finished your bike trail.
Without stopping, this route takes 2-3 hours. However, it is a waste to just pass by all the stops if it is your first time exploring Central Park. Feel free to get off your bike to grab a snack and drink, take pictures, and visit sites. It is going to be a fun activity even if you do it alone, with your family, or friends. And also, if you get lost just ask for the Grand Army Plaza, and you will, for sure, trace back your way.