New York City’s oldest standing span, High Bridge, may be one of the most iconic fixtures in Washington Heights, but the park that holds its Manhattan end is similarly as picturesque. Operated by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Highbridge Park occupies 119-acres and sits on banks of the Harlem River, near the northern tip of Manhattan.
Like the span it’s named after, the recreational green space is a popular attraction for New Yorkers and visitors alike. With a history dating back to the mid-1800s, it also happens to harbor a few secrets — many of which remain unknown to locals.
Hidden Gems of Washington Heights
Learn more about Washington Heights and High Bridge Park in our upcoming virtual tour of the neighborhood’s hidden gems!
10. Exposed Manhattan Schist Can Be Found in Highbridge Park
Although much of Manhattan’s natural landscape has been flattened, there are still places to see glacier-carved Manhattan schist — the second oldest of New York City’s bedrocks, formed 450 million years ago.
Next time you visit Highbridge Park, keep an eye out for huge boulders piles and the glittering surface of schist in the approach of High Bridge. You can also check out remnants of the Croton Aqueduct — the 32-mile gateway that brought a steady supply of clean water from Upstate New York to downtown Manhattan.
For more, read about other places you can see Manhattan schist up close.