With flat terrain and nice weather most of the year, New Orleans is a perfect city for runners. Plus, with the way we eat, staying active is definitely in everyone’s best interest! There are tons of great public spaces across the city for exploring on foot. With so many options, it may seem overwhelming, but lucky for you, #FrayLife is here with our guide to the best running paths in the city. Ready… set… go!
St. Charles Streetcar Line, Downtown- Uptown
One of the most iconic New Orleans institutions, the St. Charles Streetcar, not only provides inexpensive public transportation, but also a comfortable, off-street running path for locals and tourists alike to enjoy. The grass between the two streetcar tracks is well worn by the feet of runners past, and you can follow it all the way from downtown to uptown, passing gorgeous historic homes, the ivy- covered Tulane and Loyola campuses, as well as the scenic Audubon Park.
Audubon- Loop Trail, Uptown
Speaking of Audubon, this 350-acre park nestled between Tulane and the Mighty Mississippi is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. The 1.8mi loop trail provides lovely views, shade and a few drinking fountains along the route, making it a great option for runs on warmer days.
#FrayLife Tip: Parking can be a little tough on weekends- consider taking the St. Charles streetcar which stops right in front of the trail.
Audubon- The Fly, Uptown
There are a few spots in the city where you can run along the river, but The Fly at Audubon is by far the nicest. Removed from the hustle and bustle downriver, you’ll run past picnickers and soccer players on the park side, and can race the boats sailing along on the riverside. If you run the Fly and are still feeling spry, you can connect to the paved levee trail that extends 22 miles west towards Kenner.
City Park- Big Lake, Mid City
Located right in the middle of everything, City Park is a 1300-acre oasis almost exclusively frequented by locals. It’s a great place to spend a whole day exploring, and there are dozens of areas great for running. The three-fourths mile path around Big Lake is one of the prettiest spots in the park. You can watch people paddling by in rented swan boats, see school groups heading into the New Orleans Museum of Art and watch people lounging under live oaks on the large lawn.
City Park- Wisner/ Marconi Loop, Mid City
For a less traveled City Park path, check out the paved “loop” that runs along Wisner Boulevard and Marconi Drive. Along Wisner you’ll enjoy stunning views of Bayou St. John, while Marconi takes you along the park and Orleans Avenue canal. For a smaller (around 4mi) loop, use Robert E Lee Blvd. and Harrison Ave. as your cross streets. If you’re looking for a longer challenge, you can run the entire perimeter of the park, including over the Wisner Bridge, the closest thing you’ll get to a hill in Nola.
#FrayLife Tip: The path along Marconi is best on calm days. It goes right past the City Park stables and the horses are fun to watch, but on windy days the smell isn’t the most pleasant!
Lafitte Greenway, Mid City- French Quarter
One of the newest additions to the Nola running scene, the Greenway, opened in November 2015 and has since gotten better and better with added public park spaces, as well as restaurants and shops along the way. The Greenway runs 2.6mi from Mid City to the edge of the French Quarter and is a smooth, easy path. It is fully lit at night and open 24 hours. If you’re looking for an extra challenge, try out the FitLot, an open-air, free public gym with a bunch of strength equipment to try out.
Why not extend the fun and turn your fitness day into a day trip destination in St. Francisville? Our #FrayLife guide has you covered with bike trails, haunted mansions and everything else you need know to make the day one for the books.
Where do you love to get your sweat on? Share with us in the comments and be sure to tag #FrayLife and #NOLAFray on social!