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East River Esplanade
This long, thin pathway between the East River and FDR Drive from 125th to 63rd Sts. is still a work in progress. Since 1996, the City has been busy extending it all the way down to Battery Park. It’s a long-term project that may be completed by 2020 and may eventually link with West Side pathways too, giving New Yorkers one continuous trail around Manhattan. Until then, the East Side path attracts joggers and amblers with its paved 62-block stretch. There are some hurdles for visitors to overcome, like steep flights of stairs and the blare of traffic, but the breeze coming off the water and the views of the river, the Triborough and Queensborough Bridges, and Roosevelt Island, make up for any aural discomfort. It's also a great path for biking and on good days the path is littered with cyclists. The Esplanade can be reached via 63rd, 70th, 78th, 81st-88th, 96th and 111th Streets and the path links up with several parks along the way, including John Jay Park (76th St.), Carl Schurz Park (84th St.) and Thomas Jefferson Park (111th St.-144th St.)
John Finley Walk
From 81st St. to 90th St., the Esplanade rises above the FDR Drive and merges with Carl Schurz Park. The paved promenade lined with benches along the river includes small flower gardens and a dog run.