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Inwood Hill Park

Glaciers in New York City - Inwood Hill Park

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

Inwood Hill Park now contains the last natural forest and salt marsh in Manhattan, but the land once lay beneath a huge sheet of moving ice. The most recent ice age began about 1.5 million years ago, at the advent of the Pleistocene Era, and lasted until around 10,000 years ago. At the beginning of the Pleistocene, global temperatures dropped dramatically. Huge masses of snow and ice formed in the Arctic, sometimes as thick as two miles. The tremendous weight and pressure of the ice sheet caused the snow underneath to solidify, providing a surface on which glaciers could travel. During the Pleistocene Epoch, there were four glacial advances - the most recent being the Wisconsin ice sheet, which had the greatest impact on the land beneath New York City.

The Wisconsin ice sheet began its southward journey from the Arctic around 100,000 years ago, reaching what is now New York roughly 50,000 years later. By this time, it had lost some of its bulk, although it was still 300 feet thick and stretched from Massachusetts to Montana. As the glacier moved through this region, it deepened the bed of the Hudson River, carved out such geologic features as the Great Lakes and the Finger Lakes basins, and left its mark on the Adirondack mountains. The glacier also deposited tons of gravel and pebbles, moving boulders from the Palisades to Central Park, plowing up topsoil, leveling the earth, and filling in depressed areas with glacial till. This glacial activity sculpted the characteristic terrain of Inwood Hill Park, with its dramatic caves, valleys, and ridges.

Directions to Inwood Hill Park

Know Before You Go

There are currently 2 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

Baseball FieldsInwood Hill Park

Reconstruction work at the Little League Baseball field will correct existing uneven ball field elevations and will provide a sod infield and outfield. A Scorekeeper’s Box will be installed, player dugout areas will be enlarged and will received new concrete floors, and a clay ‘warning track’ will be installed along the perimeter of the outfield fence to assist playing conditions and maintenance mowing in this area. New bases, clay storage boxes, skinned playing areas and painting and reconstruction of perimeter fencing and backstop areas will also be provided. A metal container will provide secure storage for playing and maintenance equipment with an enclosed player’s warm-up area nearby. New ADA accessible bleachers and an elevated turf viewing area are also being installed to provide seating and viewing areas for the playing field.
Anticipated Completion: Summer 2014

Nature CentersInwood Hill Nature Center

Due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, this facility is closed until further notice.

Inwood Hill Park Weather

  • Fri
    Mostly Cloudy
    44°F
  • Sat
    Partly Sunny
    40°F
  • Sun
    Slight Chc Rain/Snow
    43°F
  • Mon
    Chance Rain
    45°F

7-day forecast

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