Governors Island, one of New York City’s most stunning, large open spaces, will reopen to the public on July 15th. While full-scale operations will not be happening, the island will be open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM for “passive recreation” which includes hiking, walking, running, biking, and birding. A advance ticketing platform for the ferries will be launched Friday on the Governors Island website to ensure proper capacity for social distancing on the island — the first time that advance ticketing has been possible on the ferries to Governors Island.

Governors Island ferry dock

Ferry rides to Governors Island are free on Saturdays and Sundays. On weekdays, the ferry rides cost $3 roundtrip but the Trust for Governors Island is doing outreach to NYCHA residents and community organizations, offering free ferry rides to those groups. The ferries can be taken from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan or from Atlantic Basin in Red Hook (not at Brooklyn Bridge Park like in previous years). Ferries are also free for Governors Island Members, IDNYC holders and current and former military service members. Masks will be required on the ferries and when social distancing is not possible on the island. You can also get to Governors Island on NYC Ferry, which will have additional connections to Governors Island through a dedicated shuttle from Wall Street/Pier 11 every 30 minutes on weekends.

Governors Island slide

Governors Island Hills

Places of interest that will be open include The Hills on Governors Island (the slides too!), Hammock Grove, and the Urban Farm. Art installations from 2019 will be viewable, including Shantell Martin’s The May Room inside the military chapel and Rachel Whiteread’s Cabin, a permanent installation on Discovery Hill. Bike rentals are available through Citi Bike and Blazing Saddles, which also offers pedal cars, surreys, and scooters. Increased cleaning procedures and frequency of cleaning will be implemented on the island’s restrooms, aboard ferries, and in high-touch, high-traffic areas, with new hand sanitizer stations  and handwashing stations installed throughout the island.

Shantell Martin May Room

Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island announced that “Equitable access to open spaces in our city has never been more important, so we’re thrilled to welcome New Yorkers to Governors Island in just a few short weeks. This summer, Governors Island will be an affordable, local getaway for New Yorkers who need it most. We’ve focused on a plan to make the Island more accessible to New Yorkers in areas underserved by parks this season, and have taken important steps to ensure the health and safety of our visitors. We look forward to seeing everyone on the ferry!”

Untapped New York will host a virtual tour of the Hidden Gems of Governors Island for Insiders on August 6th with Mandy Edgecombe, a former National Park Ranger on the island! Stay tuned for registration on our upcoming events page. Next, discover the Secrets of Governors Island.

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