Located on the west bank of the Hudson River, Albany is the capital of the State of New York. The scenic highlight is downtown’s Empire State Plaza, bookended by the 1800s New York State Capitol, the New York State Museum, and The Egg performing arts center. Albany is a mix of interesting historic buildings but also some mistakes of the urban renewal movement, including some stark brutalist architecture. But there’s a good mix of running in Albany, ranging from scenic multi-use paths to some pleasant parks and preserves in the area. Pro Tip: Tulip Festival in May – 100,000 flowers!
The best places to run in central Albany are the 5-mile waterfront section of the Mohawk Hudson Hike Bike Trail, and a ‘runseeing‘ tour that hits Albany’s Capitol, other important buildings, and Washington Park. For parks and preserves, we love running at the Crossings of Colonie, Peebles Island State Park/Erie Canal Lock, and even the Albany Rural Cemetery. For gentle trail running, head to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and Schodack Island State Park. There are several multi-use paths in the area, including the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail and, further out, the Zim Smith Trail.
Note: Albany’s winters can be very cold and snowy. This could affect the running conditions of some of the area trails. Come prepared! Also, for more running in the area, we have extensive guides for Saratoga Springs, a half-hour drive to the west, and the Berkshires, an hour to the east.