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New York City's East River Greenway offers views of the East River, Queens, Brooklyn, and the iconic bridges that connect these boroughs to Manhattan. The paved pathway traces the waterfront on one side and parallels the FDR East River Drive (a highway-like stretch of road) on the other side.
The trail is currently open in two disconnected segments with about a mile-long gap in the middle. The southern section of the greenway begins at the Governor's Island Ferry terminal (near Battery Park) and runs north along the East River for about 4.4 miles to E. 37th Street. A highlight of this section is Stuyvesant Cove Park, a former brownfield that now offers a great place to take in the scenery with native plantings, wildlife habitat, and picnic benches.
The gap in the trail begins at E. 37th Street (near the United Nations Headquarters) in Midtown and continues to E. 60th Street, though street bike lanes and sidewalks provide alternatives. The northern section of the trail spans about 5 miles, picking up at E. 60th Street and continuing north to 125th Street in Harlem with views of Roosevelt Island and Randall’s Island. Along the way, you'll traverse picturesque Carl Schurz Park and have access to Thomas Jefferson Park with its athletic fields, recreation center, and sprawling playground. A section of the East River Greenway here is also referred to as the John Finley Walk and, farther north, another section is called the Bobby Wagner Walk.
The East River Greenway is part of the larger Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, which also incorporates the Hudson River Greenway and the Harlem River Greenway. Together, these trails comprise a 32-mile path that circles the island of Manhattan.
As parking is limited in Manhattan, you will most likely want to take public transportation to the trail. Visit the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for information on the local bus and subway systems.
On the north end of the trail, Carl Schurz Park (between E. 84th and E. 90th streets) offers restrooms and drinking fountains.
When you don’t normally bike in the “big city” it can be both exciting and daunting. There are two popular bike trails in the City, The Hudson River Greenway and the East River Bikeway. The ladder of the two runs along the east side of Manhattan. The views are breath taking. Biking under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges is cool to say the least. Some of the trail is truly awesome with large areas to accommodate everyone. The problem is the rest of the trail. For locals who know the trail it can be a route to take to work or a great way to exercise. For first timers it can be anything but fun.
When you look at the pictures of the trail you find a beautiful, divided, landscaped work of art. When you ride the trail you find a different story. More than once we found ourselves, along with other bikers, rolling into parking lots or other areas that were not part of the trail. There is virtually no signage. It always amazes me how we can spend the kind of money we do on trails however cannot post a few signs. Signs should all be the same color and size so everyone, even our friends from overseas, may enjoy the ride.
It should be noted some sections have you face to face with vehicles. I came across too many areas that could be a potential risk to bikers. I understand this is a situation on many trails however, at the very least, signage should be prevalent here to both motorists and bikers! If this is your first time on the path you need to be cautious. If you have children with you on their own bikes you need to find another trail. This trail is far from “family friendly”.
In my opinion, it is a trail in the works and far from complete. Dangerous areas and lack of signage take any joy you would otherwise receive from what one day maybe an awesome ride. If you are a tourist renting one of the City Bikes it may be cute if you are careful and only going a very short distance before turning around. Otherwise its trail you may want to consider passing on.
Enjoy the ride, it goes by fast …
"The trail does end at the Triboro Bridge, and as of late, does have the funding to extend north to the Bronx. (The Fulton Fish Market way south has moved so bicycling through their parking lots near the South Street Seaport is much easier).
details the soon-to-be reopened High Bridge, the oldest bridge in NYC, built in 1841 to bicycles, wheelchairs and pedestrians. The entire bridge will be rehabbed along with parks and access on both sides. Further funding of $2.6 million will expand the trail by the Harlem River north to the Bronx."
"The Hudson River Greenway on the west side of Manhattan connects to the East River Greenway through Battery Park. Unfortunately it's not clearly marked in the park but it does connect. The trail starts around the Staten Island Terminal and then turns into a very thin sidewalk with a huge jersey barrier blocking the sidewalk. There are others used as buffers. The one blocking the sidewalk has been there for months and it's taking the DOT orever to move it.
The trail then moves you through some fish markets on the docks and it smell kind of bad and the trail does seem to interfere with vehicles but only for a shortwhile. Then it continues on through the South Street Seaport.
Note: what this trail says on the main review has not really been updated unless the Parks Department hasn't been riding on it yet. The trail continues interrupted until 34th Street. There are some water spots that are deep and haven't been filled in and they pass a lot of parks and ballfields and past a great bandshell that you can traverse around if you choose.
You do go under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges with spectacular views and especially many historical markers full of the past.
It ends abruptly at a fence around 33rd or 34th Street. It ends at a fence in front of you just after you pass a seafood restaurant and the pier runs out and the FDR begins. (I illegally jumped the barrier on my side with my bike and ran 30 feet to the back of the fence and was only able to go another 200 feet until the pier officially ran out.)
They are planning to do an off-street route from here to 63rd Street where the Greenway picks up. You have to pick up a 2003 NYC cycling map to see the on-street routes in the five boroughs as well as all the greenways.
The Greenway picks up around 63rd Street and continues until the Triborough Bridge entrance around 125th Street. Access is on 121st Street to get on the Greenway. That bridge is bike friendly as are all the East River bridges. From the Triborough Bridge there is also access on Randall and Ward Islands into Queens and the Bronx and it's very scenic and secluded. I've ridden that on their NYC Century Ride that happens every September (www.nyccentury.org).
The Greenway around Manhattan is about 90% complete. From 125th Street as per the cycling map it is expected to connect diagonally through Dyckman Street and then connect to the west side of Manhattan near the little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. I'm guessing total mileage for both the Hudson River and the East River Greenways is about 25-30 miles.
But...as per the Spring Issue of Transportation Alternatives (T.A.) for 2003, they have a five borough map of completed and yet to be completed greenways. From 125th Street and up on the map it appears to go up to the tip of Manhattan past the Broadway Bridge near Spuyten Duyvil and back to the GW Bridge."
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