A few days ago, I did a photo essay on the High Line in NYC. While beautiful and embraced by locals and tourists alike, the High Line is not an original concept. The first-ever elevated-railway-turned-park was the Promenade Plantée in Paris, also known as Coulée Verte. Paris inaugurated this park in 1993, yet it does not get the fanfare or attention that the High Line has obtained. Which is probably completely fine to the Parisians!
Both provide an excellent escape from the busy city streets below and are full of beautiful trees, plants, flowers, and art exhibits. However, the Promenade Plantée is also a great place to run. The elevated path takes you from the center of Paris, near Opéra Bastille, out of the city through a series of beautifully designed foot bridges, parks, and tunnels. Once the elevated park ends, a large park called Bois de Vincennes is only a few blocks away. This park is full of trees, running paths, ducks, geese, and other birds, a lake, and a series of streams. It can be reached within 20-30 minutes depending on your pace. The park leads you to the 14th century castle Château de Vincennes. Plan ahead and bring money or a ticket for the Metro as the Château de Vincennes stop on the M Line is nearby and will take you back to central Paris.