This page includes route maps and basic details for all Zwift routes on the New York City course.
Astoria Line 8
New York’s “Astoria Line 8” is named for NYC’s first subway line. This route covers all the ground-level roads in Central Park. Created from GPS data of the actual park roads, this route accurately reproduces the Central Park ride experience. Dave Chauner (photo at right), who raced Central Park back in the late 60’s/early 70’s, had this to say after riding the roads on Zwift:
Rode the new Central Park course this morning. It’s been a long time but I recognized every meter of the circuit, like this one, a mile or so from the base of Cat’s Paw Hill. But I couldn’t come close to the 13/14 minute lap times we routinely did way back when (’68, ’69, ’70, ’73) during the springtime Central Park Series. Great job Eric and the NYC boys at Zwift!
(“Cat’s Paw Hill”, by the way, is the small leading up to the start/finish banner.)
Central Park’s ground-level roads are best understood as three interconnected loops of continuously rolling, curving roads. To the north you have a small loop which includes Harlem Hill. In the middle you have a large loop which covers approximately 50% of the park and includes the start/finish banner and start pens. Lastly to the south you have another small loop which includes the sprint point. This route covers all three loops in a figure 8 fashion.
New York’s “Everything Bagel” is the longest route on the NYC course, and the perfect route for a hard ~1-hour effort. It covers nearly every road section, many of them in both directions. Looking for a challenge? You’ll get several chances to test your legs against the leaderboard as you hit the KOM and sprint sections in both directions.
Be warmed up before you start a race here because the route takes you almost immediately onto the reverse KOM. Cool down as you cruise for a loop around Central Park at ground level which includes a sprint, then get ready to push again as you return to the glass roads for a go at the forward KOM before descending and hitting the sprint in the opposite direction. Hope you enjoy your bagel!
Distance: 34.2km (21.3 miles)
Elevation Gain: 525m (1722′)
Strava Forward Segment
New York’s “Gotham Grind” was created in January 2019 and is currently only available as an event route (no free-riding).
This is figure 8 route which stays on the ground-level roads of the lower and middle Central Park loops. It avoids the upper loop (and thus Harlem Hill), giving this route a rolling profile with no substantial climbs.
The lower ground-level loop includes a sprint section, making this route ideal for events which include sprint efforts.
There are forward and reverse versions of this route. The reverse version travels north from the start pens, which means you do not ride through the start/finish banner until the end of the first lap. Therefore, we’ve created two Strava reverse segments: one beginning just after you exit the pens to cover your first event lap, and the other beginning at the start/finish banner for additional laps.
Grand Central Circuit
New York’s “Grand Central Circuit” is a butt-kicker, plain and simple. It has more elevation gain per kilometer than any other course in New York City, and if that’s not enough, the short “recovery portion” of the loop takes you over the sprint section. Ouch!
Named after Grand Central Station, the loop keeps you on the southern end of Central park, beginning and ending at the sprint banner. It covers a mix of Central Park’s ground-level roads and the elevated roads including the KOM and sprint. Beginning at the sprint banner, you are quickly taken onto the reverse KOM (1.14km, 5.9% grade) before descending down onto ground level for a go at the sprint in the downhill direction. Then it’s back up the KOM again for the next lap!
With riders turning in sub-12 minute times on a loop with 137m of climbing, you can expect to get a lot of elevation packed into your ride on this route.
New York’s “Knickerbocker” covers the same roads as the Astoria Line 8, with the KOM thrown in for good measure. (A Knickerbocker is simply a New Yorker, although the word itself has a long and interesting history.) This is the second-longest route on the NYC course.
On ground level, this course is rolling, curvy, and scenic, allowing riders to enjoy the classic sites of Central Park. But don’t get too comfortable, as Zwift has thrown the forward KOM (.8 miles, 6.4%) into this idyllic setting. Get ready to push up gradients that top out at 17%!
New York’s “Lady Liberty” route is named for NYC’s most famous landmark, the Statue of Liberty. The overall elevation gain on this route is more than twice her height though, so be prepared to work!
This route travels south from the start pens, then takes you up onto the reverse KOM (.7 miles, 5.9%) in short order. You’re then taken down for an uphill sprint followed by a rolling loop around most of Central Park at ground level, only missing the northernmost portion of the park.
Distance: 12.3km (7.7 miles)
Elevation Gain: 197m (648′)
Strava Forward Segment
New York’s “LaGuardia Loop” is named for famed NYC mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947, photo at right). LaGuardia was energetic, charismatic, and short: he was only five feet, two inches tall! Like the mayor, this route is quite short–but the constant turns and rollers keep things interesting. This course is perfect for crit-style races with a high number of laps.
This is Zwift’s first official “event only” route, so you can’t pick it for a free ride from the routes list–you have to join an event which uses this route. (Tip: want to search for events that use this route? Visit the ZwiftHacks events page and search for “laguardia loop”).
This route travels south from the start pens, then stays on Central Park’s ground-level southern loop for as many laps as you can take. The lap banner is the sprint banner, so for events you have a “lead-in” section from the start pens to the banner. We’ve created a Strava segment for this lead-in, as well as the laps. There is also a reverse version of this loop, but we haven’t yet created that segment.
New York’s “Mighty Metropolitan” is one of the longer routes on course, taking riders past the largest museum in the US, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Interesting note: “The Met” is the largest structure on the Zwift NY map. Apparently, this was never the plan, but it helps give us an appreciation for the footprint of the real thing.)
After passing the Met, you’ll ride over the Reservoir with its “Manhattan Megadome” on your way to the reverse KOM (1.14km, 5.9% grade). Come down from those heights to ground level and up Cathill Climb through the start/finish banner and your first lap is complete.
NYC KOM After Party
New York’s “NYC KOM After Party” was created in February 2019 and is currently only available as an event route (no free-riding).
Distance: 37km (22.9 miles)
Elevation Gain: 440m (1444′)
Strava Segment (Pens to Banner)
Park Perimeter Loop
New York’s “Park Perimeter Loop” takes you on the outermost ground-level path around Central Park. Looking to grab an orange lap leader jersey? This is the only timed route on NYC’s course!
Every inch of this route is taken from real-world GPS data, so riders acquainted with Central Park will find these roads familiar. The course’s rolling profile is rarely flat or straight, and a few punchy pitches including Harlem Hill to the north mean you must stay vigilant when racing.
Along the way don’t miss the fall colors and many sights of Central Park: hot dog vendors, pedestrians, wildlife, water features, and of course the NYC skyline.
Start and Finish Points
This course travels north from the start pens, which means you do not ride through the start/finish banner until the end of the first lap in an event. Therefore, we’ve created two Strava forward segments: one beginning just after you exit the pens to cover your first event lap, and the other beginning at the start/finish banner for additional laps and free rides.
The main start/finish banner is the finish line for this route.
New York’s “Rising Empire” route is a climber’s delight, packing forward and reverse KOM efforts into a short span (they are only separated by less than 3km). Overall you will climb 1189′ on this route, just shy of the Empire State Building’s height of 1224′. Kind of puts the effort into perspective, doesn’t it?
This route travels north from the start pens, taking you to the north side of the park and onto glass roads to travel south over the Reservoir and onto the forward KOM. After that effort you are looped back around onto the reverse KOM, then down to ground level to go through the start/finish banner and do it all again if you’ve got the chutzpah.
The 6 Train
New York’s “The 6 Train” is the shortest route available for free-riding around NYC. Named for the most direct subway route between Grand Central Station and Central Park, this route covers the “middle loop” of Central Park’s three ground-level loop sections.
While this route is about as “flat” as NYC routes can get, it’s still best described as a rolling, curvy course with essentially no flat sections. You may be busy powering up the punchy hills, but take the time to smell the hot dogs and enjoy the fall colors. You’re in New York, baby! If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!
New York’s “The Highline” is aptly named after Manhattan’s “High Line” elevated park, since the route keeps you on the elevated glass roads of Zwift’s futuristic NYC.
Overall, this route is fairly tame in terms of climbing, maintaining a rolling profile except when it takes you over the forward KOM (1.36km, 6.4%) which tops out at 17% grade.