Inwood Hill Park

Inwood Hill Park Fishing

Inwood’s dense urban core, with blocks of apartment houses and other buildings, is complemented by extensive parkland that encompasses approximately half of the land area of the neighborhood. The 196-acre Inwood Hill Park is the neighborhood’s back yard and all-purpose recreational and cultural space. We can’t do full justice to this amazing public resource, but we’ll try. Besides the aforementioned Native American historic sites, it provides fields for baseball and soccer, courts for basketball, tennis, and handball, trails for hiking, biking, and running, dog run, picnic areas, and playgrounds. It’s also a waterfront park with shoreline along the Hudson River and Harlem River Ship Canal and an adjoining cove that once formed part of Spuyten Duyvil Creek. It also includes a restored marshland. With all these natural resources, the park attracts wildlife, birdwatchers, and fishers.

Much of the park’s namesake hill is covered by a forest that has evolved naturally since the times before colonial settlement. The hiking trails on the hill are beautiful but so isolated from the City that visitors may feel more comfortable bringing a companion along for the journey.

Inwood Hill Park Hiking Trail

Inwood Hill Park also hosts a multitude events, including baseball leagues, a volunteer-operated open run on Saturday mornings, and guided nature walks.

Swindler Cove at Sherman Creek Park

Swindler Cove at Sherman Creek Park is a bit off the beaten path, but more than worth the effort to find. Besides the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, visitors can explore its walking paths, children’s community garden, freshwater pond, restored wetlands, and sandy beach. The park is teeming with a range of plants and animals; it’s also known for its bird watching.

We have Bette Midler and her New York Restoration Project to thank for leading efforts over the last two decades to transform this former illegal dumping ground into a green and blue oasis. It is located along the Harlem River east of the junction of Dyckman Street, Tenth Avenue, and the Harlem River Drive, and next to a public school. The closest subway stop is Dyckman Street on the 1 train and it is also accessible by the Harlem River Bike Path.

The inspiration for this project came from Billy Swindler, an actor/musician and community gardener who introduced Bette Midler to the site. He died aged 39 from HIV/AIDS in 1997.

New York Restoration Project, which partners with the City, State, various foundations, and community groups, is currently developing a new educational pavilion which will allow for expanded programs to promote environmental stewardship, so that more can follow in Bette’s and Billy’s footsteps.