West side Greenway path -- Manhattan

 
a section of the Hudson River Greenway, and
part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway
 

what's here

see also: Route ideas - Reports - Photos - Manhattan Greenway reports

more Routes | Getting around in NYC


Key info

This page focuses mainly on the section between the Staten Island Ferry and the George Washington Bridge.  But it connects to lots more -- see NYC Parks department page and other links below

  • Length:  The distance depends on where you start and finish.  About 12.5 - 13 miles from the Staten Island Ferry to the street access by the George Washingon Bridge.

Mostly pretty flat except the steep hill just north of the George Washington Bridge.  Between Staten Island Ferry and GWB, it's about 250-300 vertical feet of climbing in the South-to-North direction, 50-100 vertical feet in the North-to-South direction.  Round trip hill index 0.7

  • Highlights:  Long pleasant stretches of flat riding right next to the Hudson River -- grass and trees, views over the water, interesting path by the buildings of the World Financial Center. [ Photos ]  

Freedom from motor vehicle traffic:  This off-road pathway along the Hudson river puts a whole new perspective on riding in Manhattan -- especially south of 72nd St.  

  • Characteristics:  Path is paved (except for a short unrepaired section as of June 2002).  Almost all off-road, except for the access from the George Washington Bridge, the section around 132nd to 138th streets, and a few places where it crosses a driveway or street extension.  But there can be lots of non-motorized users.  Flat, except for the access from the George Washington Bridge. 

Hill climbs:  (South-to-North direction):  About 200 vertical feet of steep climbing to get from the North end of the path up to Fort Washington Ave.  A steep downhill from Fort Washington Ave to the South Walkway of the GWB.

(North-to-South direction):  No climbs worth mentioning -- except for the street from the GWB sidewalk access entrance up to Fort Washington Ave. 

Downhills:  (North-to-South direction) Some short very steep downhills on 181st St and on the paved path North of and underneath the George Washington.

Traffic -- Streets:  Typical heavy urban Manhattan motor vehicle traffic on the streets between the GWB walkway and the North end of the path, and on the required detour onto the streets somewhere around 132nd - 138th Streets.  If you are not sure you have the skills and judgment to handle this kind of traffic, then turn around before you get to these sections. 

Traffic -- Path:  The path itself is mostly off-road except for a few places where it crosses a driveway or street extension -- special care is required in crossing those.  The rest is normally free from motor vehicles -- except occasional maintenance and patrol vehicles.

But there can be lots of non-motorized users, especially on weekends and nice evenings, and especially outside the North sections:  walkers, runners, skaters, bicyclists, etc -- sometimes at high speeds, sometimes oblivious to other users, sometimes not following rules or the directions of signs.  Need to take seriously the risk of interactions and collisions with them.  

It is worth thinking about how to choose days and times to ride on it when there is less traffic. 

For hints about current conditions and openings and closings of sections of this path, see the links under Getting around in NYC with your bicycle and Trip Reports.

see also: Route ideas - Reports - Photos - Manhattan Greenway reports

back to Top | Route ideas | Reports | Photos | more Routes | Getting around in NYC


Maps

Although this route is mostly off-road, it is still good to have a map of Manhattan when doing this route (see Maps) -- for at least two reasons:  (a) currently there is at least one detour for bicyclists, and in the past there were other closed sections which required finding alternate routes on the streets; (b) to get access to the route.

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more . . . 

  • Access from Manhattan streets:  

see Reports | Links

From Staten Island:  The ferry connects with the southern end of this route.  

From the other boroughs:  See links and info on the Getting Around with a Bike in Manhattan page. [ NYC Overview Map ] 

From New Jersey:  It is straightforward to ride across the George Washington Bridge.  See the GWB to Central Park route. [ NYC Overview Map ] 

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Connections

  • North from the George Washington Bridge

The sidewalk running along the Henry Hudson Parkway has been newly paved up to where it crosses over Riverside Drive just a block south from Dyckman St (as of October 2003).  It's about another 1.3 miles to get to Dyckman St from the footbridge access at the top of the hill north of the GWB.

The path ends a block south of Dyckman St, and some steps take you back down to the street, where you can go east under a bridge on Riverside Drive, and there are signs for Bike Route and for Pedestrian Route that lead on other streets north or northeast to Dyckman St  (as of October 2003).

  • to the northern East side from Dyckman St

Signs for the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway lead east on Dyckman to other streets that go to the East side with more riding alongside the Harlem River.

But the quality of the path and access to it on much of the East side is rather different from what you might expect from riding on the West side path (as of October 2003) -- see reports on the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.

  • Tubby Hook and Inwood Hill Park

West on Dyckmen St goes underneath the Henry Hudson Parkway to the bank of the Hudson River at a place called "Tubby Hook".  There's a fishing dock there for a nice view out across and up and down the river -- of the Palisades in New Jersey, and of the GWB to the south.  Sometimes a place for drinks and food is open.

And from Tubby Hook it is possible to enter Inwood Hill Park and go north on a paved path (less than a mile) to a view point where you can see the railroad bridge at the north tip of Manhattan island, where the Amtrak trains go across the Harlem River into the Bronx near Spuyten Duyvil. 

Pedestrians in that part of Inwood Hill Park could climb the stairs nearby to a paved path which goes east underneath the Henry Hudson Bridge to a beautiful tidal cove -- and eventually to 218th St and Broadway, by the Broadway Bridge.  (about 2 miles from Tubby Hook, with a climb).  Or there's an earlier dirt path that splits off steeper from near the stairs that goes up to the pedestrian sidewalk across the Harlem River on the west side of the Henry Hudson Bridge.

  • southern East side from Staten Island Ferry

Signs for the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway lead east and north up the East side with more riding alongside the East River and later the Harlem River.

Much that route is off-street up from the Staten Island Ferry to around 34th St -- though there is lots of construction.  North of 34th St there are several sections that require riding on the streets.  Overall the quality of the path and access to it on much of the East side is rather different from what you might expect from riding on the West side path (as of October 2003) -- see reports on the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

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Links

see also: Route ideas - Reports - Photos - Manhattan Greenway reports

back to Top | Route ideas | Reports | Photos | more Routes | Getting around in NYC


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