Best New Haven Running Routes

east rock pals

I’ve discovered that an inordinate number of Yalies are runners. Whether they make it out for a 5k a couple of times a year, savor a Sunday jog, are trying to revive their high school track star days, or simply run to shake out stress, there are plenty of students who are new and seasoned runners ready to hit the road. Running, for me, has been a great way to spend quality time with friends within our busy calendars. I’ve never regretted scheduling a run with a friend. I find that we are always so refreshed and in a great mood when we come back from a long run coupled with a simultaneous long conversation. So, without further ado, here’s a compilation of my favorite places to run in New Haven. 

Scrambling down The Steps

1. Run up Orange Street to East Rock Park 

  • Good for: views of the city and a mix of road and trail. This classic route is definitely the crowd favorite. Alternatively, you can run up Whitney Avenue, which has sidewalks just like Orange, but is a little more vehicle-heavy. If you want to work on hills once you get to East Rock, you can run up English Drive, which consists of about two miles of paved road. Or, you can climb The Steps for a steeper ascent on some boulders. 

east rock trail
Trail below East Rock

2. Bike path (Farmington-Canal Heritage Trail) 

  • Good for: if you want to do speed work, because this path is flat and paved and goes on for miles. You can also make a pit stop at Fussy Coffee on your way back to campus and get their Gingerbread Flat White in season, which is equivalent to a warm hug on a winter’s day. The London Fog is also amazing! 

bike path
The bike path in early autumn

3. Edgewood Park 

  • Good for: a nice wooded route alongside ponds and rivers within the park. Edgewood Park is located right by the Yale Bowl. You can run for about two miles from Old Campus to the farthest point of Edgewood Park. There is also a farmer’s market there on Saturdays when it’s warm outside!

edgewood park

Edgewood Park to Old Campus

4. Payne Whitney Gym

  • Good for: when it gets really cold and you can’t be bothered to run in gloves and a hat. You can run on the treadmills on the fourth floor or on the elevated 200m indoor track and watch people play IM basketball below. 

Payne Whitney Gym glowing at about 6 am the day we had to wait in line for Harvard-Yale tickets (the earliest I have ever gotten up in college) 

5. Wooster Square

  • Good for: feeling like you’re not at school. Wooster Square is a vibrant neighborhood with some of the best pizza in New Haven and a rich Italian-American history. Head not too far south and you’ll reach Long Wharf for a view of the Long Island Sound and FOOD TRUCKS with $2 tacos. 

long wharf
Long Wharf

6. Up Science Hill to Albertus Magnus College

  • Good for: hill work, of course. Once you get up Prospect Street, Albertus Magnus College has a 400m outdoor track readily awaiting your speed workout.

I hope you get to try some of these routes out for whatever your running desires may be. These days, I really miss the familiarty of running in New Haven amongst all of the other things I miss about being at school. I can’t wait to hit the pavement again with my pals and hope to see some of the Class of 2024 out there, too!