Reaching your favorite running destination can be an act of self-inflicted frustration in central Long Island traffic. Here’s a better idea: Grab your running shoes and hit the pavement without joining the bottleneck by hopping on the Bethpage Bikeway.
The Bethpage Bikeway is a paved, 13-mile pedestrian trail that runs north-to-south, connecting residential neighborhoods at each end of the island. The bikeway provides a vehicle-free greenway to escape the grind (though at times you’ll parallel roads and encounter some crossings). But wait, it gets better. The bikeway passes through three of central Long Island’s favorite open spaces: Trail View State Park, Bethpage State Park, and Massapequa Preserve. So, no matter which end provides closer access, you can jump on the path with minimal drive time.
For road runners, the paved path offers a marathon-length out-and-back. For trail runners, the bikeway is a treasured onramp to miles of dirt trails within each of the three state parks—notably so at Trail View and Bethpage parks, the largest network of greenspace along the route. The bikeway and other park trails adjoin at numerous points, providing endless loop options right in the heart of Long Island suburbia. And to top it off, the bikeway is accessible year-round, though snow or ice could be present depending on local weather. Runners should factor path conditions, as it does not receive winter maintenance after storms, consider traction devices and outfit accordingly.