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Pelham Bay Park

Split Rock

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

Split Rock is a glacial boulder, divided in half with a large crevice between the two pieces, and is an important part of the history of Pelham Bay Park and the Bronx. It was in this gap that Anne Hutchinson and her daughter, Susannah, supposedly hid during the attack of the Siwanoy Native American tribe in 1643. Although the Siwanoy killed Hutchinson, it is believed that the Siwanoy protected and raised Susannah. Split Rock Road was also the site of the Battle of Pell’s Point where, on October 18, 1776, Colonel John Glover (1732-1787) successfully safeguarded General George Washington’s (1732-1799) retreat to White Plains with a small band of Patriots against a large British and Hessian force. Glover placed his four regiments behind the stone walls along the side of the road to surprise the British and Hessian troops. Pieces of the walls can still be seen near the Split Rock.

Split Rock is located near the 375-acre Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary, which was designated on October 11, 1967, to preserve the natural wetlands of Pelham Bay Park. The Sanctuary and marsh are situated along the western boundary of Pelham Bay Park at the Hutchinson River, and holds both salt marsh and forested lands. Salt marshes, characterized by saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), are among New York’s least known and most valuable natural resources. Salt marshes flourish behind barriers of beach and sand, in the shelter of coves, lagoons, and bays, and along the banks of estuaries. They reduce erosion, and they provide for rich wildlife habitats.

The area is home to a variety of wildlife including raccoon, egrets, hawks, ibis, and, coyote. The border between salt marsh and forest is a good place to see yellow thistle (Cirsium horridulum) and holy grass (Hierchloë odorata), both rare in the City. The Sanctuary is named for Thomas Pell, the first European to control the land.

There is a Split Rock Trail that meanders 1.5 miles from the Bartow traffic circle through the Goose Creek Marsh, and the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary, to Split Rock. The trail runs near the former Split Rock Road, which now winds through the Split Rock Golf Course. The road was a former Siwanoy Trail between City Island and Pelham. In the summer of 1987 Parks and the Mayor’s City Volunteer Corps worked together to restore the Split Rock Trail for the public. The rock sits in the northwest corner of Pelham Bay Park at the junction of the Hutchinson River Parkway and the New England Thruway.

Directions to Pelham Bay Park

Pelham Bay Park Weather

  • Mon
    Sunny
    63°F
  • Tue
    Chance Showers
    68°F
  • Wed
    Slight Chc Showers
    61°F
  • Thu
    Sunny
    60°F

7-day forecast

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