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The Best Park Stairs for the Perfect Uptown Workout


This staircase in Fort Tryon Park leads to the Met Cloisters
The Grand Staircase in Fort Tryon Park leads to the Met Cloisters.

A set of long park stairs is the perfect place to get a serious workout.

 

And if you live uptown, you're never too far from a hilly park crisscrossed with an impressive staircase—many have more than 100 steps.

 

So here's an idea: Find the nearest and get ready for a major sweat session. A good rule of thumb is to run up and down for 30 to 45 minutes. (Yes, you can walk instead.)

 

From south to north, here's where to find the best:

 

Central Harlem

Although practically the entire park is filled with stairs, one of the longest sets (150-plus steps) starts at 120th Street and Morningside Avenue and goes all the way up to Morningside Drive.


This wide set of stairs in Jackie Robinson Park can be accessed at Bradhurst Avenue and 148th Street
The extra-wide stairs in Jackie Robinson Park are ideal for running.


Central Harlem

Scenic stairs abound at this park—including the set running along the James Baldwin Lawn at 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. It's also hard to beat the steps at 141st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, framed by the neo-Gothic towers of City College and founding father Alexander Hamilton's historic yellow home.


Central Harlem

Run up the extra-wide set of stairs that start near the bandshell at 148th Street and Bradhurst Avenue, then leave time to explore the renovated paths of this leafy, historic park.


Steep wooden stairs connect the Highbridge Water Tower with the High Bridge.
Steep wooden stairs connect the Highbridge Water Tower with the High Bridge.

Washington Heights

This long park has two impressive sets of stairs: the historic John T. Brush Stairway, bridging Edgecombe Avenue at 158th Street and the site of the former Polo Grounds ballpark (today a massive public housing project). Further uptown the wooden staircase connecting the Highbridge Water Tower Terrace and the historic High Bridge has close to 100 steps—guaranteed to get your heart pumping. To find it, enter Highbridge Park at Amsterdam Avenue and 172nd Street and head to the overlook just south of the 200-foot tower.


Washington Heights

Fort Tryon's Grand Staircase takes you from just north of the recently-renovated Anne Loftus Playground all the way up to the beautiful Met Cloisters at the top of the hill. Enter at Broadway near Arden Street.


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