Pelham Bay 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
Know Before You Go
Pelham Bay Park
Raccoons in Pelham Bay Park have tested positive for canine distemper virus. Although the virus cannot be transmitted to humans, it may be transmitted to dogs. Keep your pets safe in the park.
Please avoid wildlife and make sure your pets have up-to-date distemper and rabies vaccines. We strongly recommend keeping your pet on a leash, especially during dawn and dusk.
Please call 311 or notify an on-site Parks employee if you see a sick or injured animal.
If you are bitten, wash the wound with soap and water immediately. Call your doctor to see if you need tetanus or rabies shots, and call 311 to report the bite.
The Health Department will continue to monitor this condition.
Anticipated Completion: Fall 2018
- NEW YORK CITY’S 14 MILES OF PUBLIC BEACHES OPEN THIS WEEKEND
- SPRING BREAK: NYC PARKS’ URBAN PARK RANGERS OFFER SCHOOL RECESS FUN FOR KIDS ACROSS THE CITY
- NYC PARKS OPENS OUTDOOR GYM AND NATURE WALK AT PELHAM BAY PARK
- Survival Series: Wilderness Navigation
- NYRR Open Run: Pelham Bay Park
- Black Friday Hike: Hunter Island Hike
- The Pelham Bay Super Hike (Vigorous)
- Birding: Owls
- Barbecuing Areas
- Baseball Fields
- Basketball Courts
- Bicycling and Greenways
- Bocce Courts
- Dog-friendly Areas
- Football Fields
- Golf Courses
- Great Trees
- Handball Courts
- Hiking Trails
- Historic Houses
- Horseback Riding Trails
- Kayak/Canoe Launch Sites
- Nature Centers
- Roller Hockey
- Running Tracks
- Spray Showers
- Tennis Courts
- Wi-Fi Hot Spots