Things to Do Near the High Bridge

The High Bridge, New York City's oldest standing bridge, is now open after closing for more than 40 years! The bridge connects Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood and the Bronx's Highbridge community. The bridge offers cyclists and pedestrians a chance to explore many fun and historic sites near the High Bridge. Use the map below or view the list of places to see some suggestions.



1. The Highbridge Water Tower
The 200-foot water tower sits at the foot of the High Bridge on the Manhattan side, and rises above all of Highbridge Park. It has been around since 1872 and was used in sync with the Old Croton Aqueduct and the Highbridge reservoir (now Highbridge Pool) to help supply water to northern Manhattan neighborhoods. The tower is no longer in use and was designated a New York City Landmark in 1967. Today, the water tower serves a marker for reaching the High Bridge.

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2. The Highbridge Pool
Take a swim in the Highbridge Pool—the largest public pool in Manhattan. The pool was built on the site of the old Highbridge Reservoir and opened to wide acclaim in the hot summer of 1936. There are two pools here—an Olympic-sized pool and a wading pool. All New York City pools are free and open to the public after school ends in late June. More information about Highbridge Pool

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3. Yankee Stadium
See the Bronx Bombers take the field at Yankee Stadium or enjoy a stroll along the Babe Ruth Plaza (just outside the stadium).

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4. Macombs Dam Park & Heritage Field
Up for a game? Head across the street to Macombs Dam Park and play baseball in the footprint of the old Yankee Stadium with the new stadium as your backdrop. There's also a running track and a soccer field in the park. More information about Macombs Dam Park

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5. Mullaly Park
Whether you're looking for some place to relax before or after the game or looking for a nice day out with the family, the beautifully relaxing Mullaly Park (just north of Yankee Stadium) is the perfect destination. The park comes alive in the summer with kids running through the playgrounds and spray showers, family picnics on the lawn, and fun at the pool. There are handball courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, and a skate park, here too! More information about Mullaly Park

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6. Cedar Playground, the birthplace of Hip Hop
It was the night of August 11, 1973. DJ Kool Herc was set to DJ at a party for his sister Cindy Campbell. The hand-drawn invitations went out on index cards, inviting the "ladies" and the "fellas" to a Back to School Jam inside the "Rec Room" at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. But the party got so crowded that Herc and Cindy had to take the party across the street to Cedar Park, also known as Cedar Playground. It was here, at this party, DJ Kool Herc's turntable skills, breakbeats, and "toasting" (talking over the beat) became the birth of hip hop. Visit Cedar Playground

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7. Bennett Park, Manhattan's highest point
Explore Manhattan's highest point, at 265 feet above sea level, in Bennett Park! You can still see parts of the Manhattan schist, bedrock formed some 450 million years ago. The park was also the site of the Revolutionary War's Fort Washington in 1776. In 1871, the land was purchased by James Gordon Bennett who launched the New York Herald in 1835. More information about Bennett Park

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8. Fort Washington Park & The Little Red Light House
Escape to this beautiful gem across the way from Highbridge Park on Manhattan's west side. Take the 181st Street overpass and follow the path heading south to Fort Washington Park's waterfront. Capture awe-inspiring views of the Hudson River glistening under the majestic George Washington Bridge. At the end of the pathway, the park expands into a beautiful lawn with picnic tables by the waterfront. Enjoy the vista of Fort Lee Historic Park (across the way) and the towering New Jersey Palisades, and look south to see iconic Manhattan landmarks as far south as One World Trade Center.

Be sure to check out the Little Red Lighthouse just under the George Washington Bridge. You may remember the lighthouse from the children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. The 40-foot tall lighthouse is no longer in use but you can step inside for a tour on select weekends during the summer. More information about Fort Washington Park and the Little Red Lighthouse

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9. Hudson River Greenway
The High Bridge now offers Bronx residents easy access to the Hudson River Greenway, an 11-mile bikeway and pedestrian walkway along Manhattan's west side. Bike to other parks, including Fort Tryon Park, Inwood Hill Park, and Riverside Park, while enjoying the view. View NYC's bicycle map

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10. Harlem River Speedway
In the 19th century, this two-mile path between 155th Street and Dyckman Street was used by horse-drawn carriages and early motor vehicles to access the area. Later on, a thoroughfare at 178th street was build to connect the Triborough Bridge on the east side of Manhattan to the George Washington bridge on the west side.

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11. Harlem River Park
Run, bike, or take a stroll along this beautiful waterfront park, south of Highbridge Park. Access the park from 135th Street and Madison Avenue or 142nd & 139th Streets and Fifth Avenue. More information about Harlem River Park

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12. Sugar Hill
Harlem's Sugar Hill (145th to 155th Streets between Amsterdam and Edgecomble Avenues) was home to many black artists, musicians, performers, writers, and politicians who lived here during the New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s. Notable residents include W.E.B Dubois, Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr., Paul Robeson, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, and Thurgood Marshall. In 2002, Sugar Hill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. More information about Sugar Hill

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13. Morris-Jumel Mansion
The mansion, Manhattan's oldest surviving house, was George Washington's headquarters during the Battle of Harlem Heights in 1776. By 1810, it was known as the home of the wealthiest woman in 19th century America—Lady Eliza Jumel. Eliza is famous for being in the same social circles as Napoleon, and for her second marriage to Aaron Burr in 1833. When she decided to leave Burr, Eliza hired Alexander Hamilton's son as a divorce lawyer. Aaron Burr died on the same day of the divorce. Lady Jumel continued to live in the mansion until she passed away in 1865. Some believe the mansion is haunted by Lady Jumel. Today, the mansion is open to visitors, who can also see the preserved row houses of Sylvan Terrace across the street from Roger Morris Park. Learn more about the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Roger Morris Park

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14. The Great English Elm
The English elm that you see today is the same one that George Washington stood under on the night of September 21, 1776, as he watched most of Manhattan became engulfed in flames during the Great Fire of 1776. The 78-foot tall tree no longer stands in the mansion's Roger Morris Park; you can see it at 163rd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. More information about the English Elm

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15. Holcombe Rucker Park
Watch today’s streetball athletes play on the same court as many of basketball's greats. Now famously called "The Rucker", the basketball court is the park's main attraction. Local groups, nationally recognized basketball players, and famous entertainers play in tournaments, and it was here that the Rucker League was first formed in 1947. The Rucker's basketball clinics and the Rucker Tournament helped launch basketball careers for many area teens and professional athletes we know of today. More information about Rucker Park

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16. Mitchel Square
Mitchel Square stands at a busy crossroad where Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue intersect in Washington Heights. On its south side is the famed Audubon Ballroom, where black activist Malcolm X was murdered. To the west is the Columbia-Presbyterian medical facility. At its northern apex stands the Washington Heights-Inwood War Memorial, a poignant bronze grouping of soldiers by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney that honors the 357 local heroes who died in combat in World War I. In the middle of the park, a great outcropping of Manhattan schist is a vestige of geologic upheaval eons before there was a Manhattan. More information about Mitchel Square

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17. Crotona Park
This park is a popular destination in the Bronx during the summer. There's a free outdoor pool with spray showers for kids; our park rangers host canoeing and fishing events on Indian Lake; and you'll find barbecuing and picnic areas, gardens, a recreation center, sports fields and courts, and a new state-of-the-art tennis center (opens on June 15). More information about Crotona Park

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18. Heinrich Heine Fountain
This beautiful fountain in the Bronx's Joyce Kilmer Park honors German poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), author of an ode to Die Lorelei—a siren from German mythology who lured sailors to their deaths on the Rhine. The sculptural group, carved out of white Tyrolean marble, depicts Lorelei seated on a rock in the Rhine River among mermaids, dolphins, and seashells, and is sometimes known as Lorelai Fountain. More information about the Heinrich Heine Fountain

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19. Running/hiking the High Bridge Access Path
The High Bridge's access paths afford lovely views of the park's foliage year round, especially in the fall when the leaves change colors. From the Manhattan side, enter at 165th Street and Edgecombe Avenue or 172nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue. From the Bronx side, enter at the High Bridge and continue on the path heading south.

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View the 172nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue entrace to the High Bridge Access Path on the map

View the Bronx entrance to the High Bridge Access Path on the map

20. Mountain biking at Fort George Hill
Get your workout in at one of the city’s three public mountain bike trails. Bike down the 150-foot tall elevation at Fort George Hill on the freeride trail, riddled with drops, berms, and steep lines. View the map

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21. Highbridge Rec Center
Looking for an indoor gym facility? Check out the Highbridge Recreation Center, near the Highbridge pool. The center opens from Mondays through Saturdays and offer programming for adults, kids, and patrons with physical disabilities. There's an indoor basketball court, fitness room, computer resource center, playground, accessible fitness equipment, and a performance space. More information about the Highbridge Recreation Center

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22. Coogan's Bluff & John T. Brush Stairway
Just like the High Bridge, the John T. Brush Stairway is re-opening in 2015 after a long period of disuse. The Brush Stairway is the last known remnant of the Polo Grounds, the majestic former home of five of New York’s professional sports teams—the Yankees, Mets, Jets, and both the football and baseball Giants. Walk down the restored stairs to see the original plaque presentation to the city by the New York Giants, and picnic at the tables found at the base of the stairwell, or head to the top of the stairs to look out at Yankee Stadium from Coogan’s Bluff. More information about Brush Stairway

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23. Bridge Park
Enjoy amazing views of the Harlem River bridges at this ribbon park north of the High Bridge. There’s a greenway and seating areas along the park, perfect for taking in the view. Visit Bridge Park

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24. Mill Pond Park
Have you visited Mill Pond Park? This waterfront park has lovely barbecuing and picnic areas with views of East Harlem. Enjoy a jog along the Harlem River on the half-mile long, ADA-accessible esplanade. The park is well known for its tennis center. The center has 16 outdoor Deco Turf tennis courts. During the colder months, the tennis center transforms into an indoor facility. Visit Mill Pond Park

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25. Old Croton Aqueduct Trail: Aqueduct Walk/University Malls/Morton Playground
The Old Croton Aqueduct was New York City's first water supply system. At Aqueduct Walk in the Bronx’s Morris Heights neighborhood, a raised embankment runs from West Kingsbridge Road, past Burnside Avenue to Morton Playground. Water flowed through the aqueduct only by gravity, and the tunnel was engineered with a continuous slope, dropping 13 inches per mile as it traveled south. Wherever the Croton Aqueduct crossed a steep natural valley an earth and stone embankment was built to maintain the gradual slope. It continues to the south past the University Malls. Learn more about the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

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26. Highbridge Park, Bronx
The park, located just at the foot of the High Bridge on the Bronx side, is a great spot for relaxing after exploring the bridge. There are picnic tables and benches with shade. Enjoy a lovely view of both the bridge and water tower from here, and stick around for a beautiful sunset over Manhattan! More information about Highbridge Park, Bronx

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