Located along Manhattan’s West Side on the shore of the Hudson River, the expansive Hudson River Park stretches five miles from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan to 59th Street, and is the largest park created in Manhattan since Central Park. The park incorporates many renovated piers on the Hudson and provides something for everyone: athletes, lovers of the arts, eco and history enthusiasts, and those simply looking to relax. Connecting the city to its harbor, Hudson River Park is an ideal spot to enjoy many types of active recreation or to simply take in magnificent river views, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and New Jersey waterfront.
Hudson River Park is the southern-most connection of the New York State Greenway. Its wide, picturesque paths are surrounded by landscaped lawns and piers that are ideal for jogging, cycling, skating, and strolling. (For the unequipped, bike rentals are available at Pier 84, West 44th Street.) Additionally, yoga and other fitness classes are regularly taught beside the water. For those visitors looking to get into the harbor, Hudson River Park offers many opportunities to test and improve paddling skills of all levels; just stop by Piers 40, 66, 84, or 96 to rent a boat or make use of one of the free public programs.
Hudson River Park rose in 1998 from the ashes of the ill-fated Westway proposal. Today, the partially completed waterfront park encompasses 550 acres and four miles of uninterrupted bike path. Starting just north of Chambers Street, the park runs north all the way to West 59th Street. In the Greenwich Village section—the first to be completed—a thin strip of manicured, dog-free lawn separates cars zooming down the West Side Highway from a wide, stone path offering breathtaking views of the water. Joggers and pugs on leashes fill the path in the late afternoon. As the sun sets, canoodling couples and smirking teenagers flock to grass-covered, 900-foot Pier 45. Further north at Pier 96, free yellow and red kayaks bob on the river. Pier 54 in the Chelsea section has more of an On the Waterfront vibe, with its enormous iron archway, rusting cleats and fences topped with barbed wire.
Hudson River Park, the longest waterfront park in the United States, has transformed four miles of decaying piers and parking lots along Manhattan’s West side into a beloved, urban recreational paradise. Attracting 17 million visits each year, the Park offers a myriad of recreational and educational activities for local residents and visitors alike, and plays a critical role in protecting the Hudson River environment itself.
Today, people visit Hudson River Park to cycle the busiest bikeway in America, to sunbathe on green beaches, and to connect with the river. More than 135,000 people enjoyed free concerts, movies and dances here last summer. Over 400,000 people of all ages play on the Park’s beloved athletic fields and courts. And 7,500 children participate in free educational programming each year.
Hudson River Park is deeply loved and appreciated by New Yorkers not only for the magnificent open space it provides, but also because it serves so many needs.