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New York Times: Jogging in Paris in the Spring

The New York Times has posted a blog article talking about good places to jog in Paris during this sunny time of year, after a long and unusually cold winter:

As blue skies finally replace wintery gray and the first spring bloom is in the air, runners start hitting the Paris streets in numbers. Whether you’re training for the city marathon, scheduled for April 11, or are just working off those croissants, Paris’s many parks, gardens and waterways make it a great place to get your heart rate up. Here are some spots to get you started. (Share your suggestions below.)

Arguably the most popular place to pound the pavement, the road along the Seine accommodates joggers, cyclists and tourists alike, with separate trails for each group along popular sections. On Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the riverbanks close to all vehicles, making room for pedestrians and bicyclists. Enter at Quai Branly or Quai Anatole France on the Left Bank or Quai des Tuileries and Pont Charles de Gaulle on the Right Bank. A great area to run any day of the week is between Pont D’Alma and Pont Neuf, about two miles one way. Along this route, you’ll catch glimpses of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre and other famous sites.

The Jardin du Plantes (2, rue Buffon; hours: 8 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.) is an appealing jogging alternative to the more touristed Jardin du Luxembourg (2, rue Auguste Compte; summer hours: 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; winter hours: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.). If you’re logging distance, Luxembourg has an almost perfect one-mile circumference. But the wide, dirt paths at the Jardin des Plantes easily allow room for both tourists and runners, and the garden is right on the Seine, if you feel like continuing your river workout.

People-watch while you work out at Parc Monceau (35, Boulevard de Courcelles; winter hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; summer hours, beginning April 30: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.). The approximately half-mile loop feels like a picturesque high school track, but set amid Parisian mansions and gilded gates. If you prefer interval training, Parc Montsouris (2, rue Gazan; winter hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; summer hours: 8 a.m. to sunset), on the southern end of the city, is filled with challenging hills.

The Bois de Boulogne (hours vary, but avoid late nights) and the Bois de Vincennes (hours vary), on Paris’s western and eastern edges, respectively, are great for cross-country runners, with countless routes in each. Better suited for longer runs, the two bois also boast popular tourist sites like the Chateau de Vincennes, a fortress from the Middle Ages. (The often labyrinthine trails make it easy to get lost so make sure you bring a good map.)

Towering trees create spacious, tunnel-like paths in the Champs de Mars (2, allée Adrienne Lecouvreur), making you feel like you’ve escaped the city — all while being in close proximity to one of the most famous steel structures in the world, the Eiffel Tower. The loop around the park is approximately one and a half miles, and even with crowds of visitors, there is still plenty of room for everyone. Unless you’re residing in the nearby vicinity, you can always reach the park with a nice jog along the Seine.

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