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The Hudson River Greenway (HRG) is one of the most popular places to ride, walk, and jog in New York City. It makes up part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway loop, the cross-state Empire State Trail, and the multistate East Coast Greenway. The greenway is separated from traffic and runs through a series of parks along the Hudson River and the west side of Manhattan, offering beautiful views of the water and skyline along its two-lane, 12.9-mile paved path.
Beginning at the northern terminus in Inwood Hill Park, the HRG heads south 2 miles toward the George Washington (GW) Bridge. Before you get to the bridge, the trail takes a steep climb, 160 feet up, to Inspiration Point for views of The Palisades in New Jersey across the river and of the GW Bridge to the south. Follow the trail back down to the river, and pass underneath the GW Bridge. As you pop out from under the bridge, you will see the Little Red Lighthouse. Built in 1880, the lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was used for navigation along the Hudson River until it was decommissioned in 1948.
Along most of the route, you will notice that the trail has separated facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists. This division ensures that the thousands of HRG bicycle commuters can maintain safe speeds without negatively affecting those walking along the trail. The HRG passes through several parks along its route; each of these parks has a multitude of picnic areas with grills and benches, which are in frequent use during the summer months.
Follow the path another 2 miles south of the GW Bridge, where you will pass through Riverbank State Park and then enter Riverside Park. For the next mile, if it’s springtime, you will travel through an expanse of cherry trees lining the Hudson River. Follow the greenway another mile, past the 79th Street Rotunda and under Henry Hudson Parkway. Restaurants and restroom facilities begin to dot the trail at this point, and around mile 7, the HRG leaves the highway and becomes an open-air trail for the rest of its route south to Battery Park.
Starting at West 59th Street, the second half of the trail is more densely populated with commuters, after-work recreators, and people getting in their evening runs and dog walks. Traveling through and along Hudson River Park, you will pass playgrounds, landscaped lawns, kayaking facilities, and basketball courts. Signals and directional signage become more prevalent here to ensure safe interactions between cars, bikes, and pedestrians. Highlights of this section include the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (at West 46th Street) and Chelsea Piers (near West 22nd Street), an area with a driving range and other attractions.
Near Chelsea Piers, you will find yourself in the vicinity of the High Line, one of the nation’s best-known converted rail corridors. The High Line is not connected to the HRG, but it’s worth the detour to explore it. (Note: The High Line is a pedestrian-only facility.)
As you travel the final stretch toward Battery Park, you will pass Freedom Tower and the 9/11 Memorial. At the end of the trail in Battery Park, take a minute to look out over the Hudson River at the Statue of Liberty and take in New York City and all that it has to offer.
As parking is limited in Manhattan, you will most likely want to take public transportation to the trail. Visit the Metropolitan Transportation Authority website for information on the local bus and subway systems.
To reach the Inwood Hill Park access point from I-95, cross over the GW Bridge from New Jersey into Manhattan, and take Exit 1 for NY 9A/Hudson Pkwy. After 0.4 mile, follow signs for NY 9A N/Henry Hudson Pkwy./Riverside Dr. Merge onto NY 9A N/Henry Hudson Pkwy., and go 1.5 miles. Take Exit 17 toward Dyckman St. Continue onto Riverside Dr., and immediately turn left onto Henshaw St. In one block, you will reach Dyckman St.; the trail will be on your left in 0.1 mile. There is no public parking at Inwood Hill Park, but several public parking garages can be found near the trail access off Dyckman St.
To reach the Battery Park access point from I-478 N, take the underpass into Battery Park/Manhattan. Take the FDR Dr. exit to the left, and then turn left onto West St. Keep right to take the NY 9A/Battery Park exit, and go 0.1 mile to Battery Pl. Parking is not available, but garages can be found nearby. From I-78 E, take Exit 1 for NY 9A/West St., and merge onto Laight St. In 0.2 mile turn left onto West St. Go 1.1 miles, keep right to take the NY 9A/Battery Park exit, and go 0.1 mile to Battery Pl.
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