Manhattan is a bigger island than people think when they’re compressed like sardines in subway cars or on midtown streets. In November, a group of us went hiking in Fort Tryon Park and Inwood Park, which are just around the corner from each other. Fort Tryon Park is best known for the Cloisters–a medieval-style castle which has cool stuff to check out. We weren’t interested in paying the $20 suggested donation though, so we wandered around and found the Heather Gardens and Allison’s Walkway, both of which are plenty scenic. While leaf-changing season is probably long over in Vermont and New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey are in full transition, leading to some spectacular views across the river.
Inwood Park is just a few blocks over from Fort Tryon Park. While the latter is moderately populated with folks wandering around post-Cloisters, Inwood Park is virtually empty. Its trails loop for miles, and provide for old-school fun activities, like stick jousting.
For everyone who has been craving a day to get out of the city, this is about as easy as it gets. Both Fort Tryon Park and Inwood Park are accessible via the A Train or the 1 Train. We took the A Train up to 200th Street, which was perfect for both parks. If you walk the length of Inwood Park it kicks you out on the northern tip of Manhattan, near the 215th street stop on the A line.
It’s a real treat that New York is full of little gems like Fort Tryon and Inwood that tend to fly under the radar, in addition to the more popular Central Park and Prospect Park.
Janos Marton is the founder of LivingtheDream.org and is currently running his annual single elimination music tournament for Best Song of All Time.