The best park stairs for the perfect uptown workout

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

Fall in New York is for exercising outdoors. Sunny days accompanied by cooler temperatures mean that conditions are ideal for putting sneaker to pavement.

And if you live uptown–an area known for its many neighborhoods with the word "Heights" in them–you're never too far from a hilly park crisscrossed with some serious stairs (many have more than 100).

So here's an idea: go find the nearest set and get ready for a major workout. A good rule of thumb is to start at the bottom and run up and down for 30 to 45 minutes.

You won't just be getting in shape, you'll be enjoying the fall foliage to boot.

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

Morningside Park

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

St. Nicholas Park

Although you'll find plenty of stairs at either end of this long park–near 131st Street as well as on 141st Street–the most scenic option is to take the stairs at 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue and run straight up to St. Nicholas Terrace.

Jackie Robinson Park

Parts of this leafy, historic park are currently undergoing renovations, but you can still run up the extra-wide set of stairs that start near the bandshell at Bradhurst Avenue and 148th Street.

Fort Tryon Park

Possibly the steepest of the bunch, Fort Tryon's Grand Staircase starts just north of the Anne Loftus Playground, connecting Broadway near Dyckman Street with the Met Cloisters at the top of the hill. Go ahead, reward yourself when you're done with some medieval art.

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