Untapped Cities is excited to announce the launch of our new tour for the summer, The Secrets of Governors Island! This guided walking tour will be led by Mandy Edgecombe, a trained naturalist and former National Park Service Ranger who worked on Governors Island. In addition to learning about the known history of the island, which dates back over 400 years, guests explore the natural resources such as the modern gardens (2016) and the habitat they provide, enjoy public outdoor sculpture spread throughout the Island, and many bring bicycles or rent them there which is our favorite way of experiencing the 172 acre park! Use the “Book Now” button below to grab your tickets!


  • Discover the islands history, from Henry Hudson and Dutch settlement to the French and Indian War to Frank Sinatra! Governors Island was actually the first true New Amsterdam!
  • Find out how the Dutch used the Island in the 1600’s and the conflicts that arose between the two vastly different cultural groups of colonists and natives
  • Learn about colonial and native archaeology
  • See the present and future of the Island after our tour of the entire historic district by going into some of the old military homes, many of which house art exhibitions or pop-up museums! Then traverse the beautiful native plant gardens cared for by the Trust for Governors Island and stroll or ride past the Urban Farm and Earth Matter to see some of the sustainable efforts of organizations that call the 172-acre park home
  • Learn the military history of the Island’s 3 forts, military housing and administration buildings. Governors Island was the longest running military base in U.S. history, from 1794 to 1996. Fort Jay and Castle Williams specifically hold many secrets that will be revealed on this tour!
  • Explore the Hills! The Hills were designed by a Dutch firm in 2016 and provide sweeping views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and lower Manhattan.

The Secrets of Governors Island Walking Tour


Price: $38 (Price includes round trip ferry ticket)
What to wear: Bring comfortable shoes
What to know: The tour is 2 hours long; please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes. This tour is only available between May 1 to October 31st, due to the Governors Island ferry schedule.


The history of Governors Island spans from the days of early European explorers, through Dutch colonial times and the twentieth century to the present day. This tour begins as soon as you board the ferry to Governors Island, on the ferry you will have ten minutes of free time to enjoy taking pictures aboard the top deck of the ferry where you will observe views of Lower Manhattan and New York Harbor. Aboard the top deck of the ferry you will take in views of Lower Manhattan and New York harbor. Once on the island, the extensive military history of the site will be revealed while visiting the National Monument, Fort Jay, Nolan Park and the former houses of commanding officers along with Castle Williams which was built as a fort for the war of 1812 and also served as a confederate prison. As the tour winds southward to it end, the focus shifts from the 20th to 21st century. The Southern portion of Governors Island is constructed of landfill from the Lexington Avenue Subway and therefore newer than the rest of the Island. Here you will see a park of today and tomorrow and what the possibilities are for a decommissioned military base turned to a gorgeous urban oasis. Take the flower lined paths built by the Trust for Governors Island on your way to the Hills, passing by playgrounds and hammocks while in a lush natural setting right next to the greatest city in the world. The hills was created from the landfill of demolished military housing and offer some of the best views of Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty and are the perfect place to reflect on the past, present, and future of Governors Island.

The Secrets of Governors Island Walking Tour


The Secrets of Governors Island Walking Tour

See our full list of upcoming tours!