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.

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.

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4 thoughts on “The Top 10 Secrets of Highbridge Park in Washington Heights, NYC

  1. This is my father’s and grandparents’ old neighborhood, so I spent a lot of time as a kid there, visiting the latter two. I was just there two days ago for an event for the New York Giants Baseball Historical Preservation Society with present-day Giant relief ace Mark Melancon, who is interested in the team’s New York history. He was fascinated, his agent provided pizza, a good time was had by all, and next day, Mark went on the disabled list, doubtless from having to deal with me.

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