10 Parks and Playgrounds to Discover Along NYC’s East River Drive

FDR Drive parks-east river-Brooklyn Bridge-Manhattan bridge-NYC-Untapped Cities-Stephanie GeierA view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges from the East River Drive

With autumn well underway, it’s the perfect time to hop on your bike or go for a long walk or jog before the weather gets chilly. One of the best places to do so is along New York City’s East River Drive, which has a 9.44-mile pedestrian route running parallel to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Drive. Its pristine views of the city make it ideal for uninterrupted biking, jogging and walking.

With the exception of the section between 34th and 83rd streets, the East River Drive stretches from The Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan and ends all the way in East Harlem at 125th street. Along the way are small parks that are worth strolling around or taking a break in. Starting from uptown going south, here is a guide to ten parks and playgrounds to check out along your route.

10. Thomas Jefferson Park, Between 111th and 114th streets

FDR Drive parks-Thomas Jefferson Park-east river-NYC-Untapped Cities-Stephanie GeierA track at Thomas Jefferson park. Image via the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Thomas Jefferson Park’s story goes a while back; the Board of Alderman planned and named it in 1894, and then purchased land for it in 1897. It opened in 1905 to provide play space for the children of East Harlem and six years later, a children’s farm garden opened as a place for child laborers to be at ease. Robert Moses expanded the park’s amenities in the 1930s, and it now contains football, soccer, basketball, handball and baseball fields, grilling areas, tracks, and fitness equipment.

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