Parks & Gardens

Highbridge Park

At a Glance

Park Size
119 Acres
1 to Dyckman St, walk east on Dyckman St
Points of Interest
Highbridge Recreation Center and Pool, The High Bridge (under construction), Highbridge Tower, Natural Forest, Rugged Outcroppings, Scenic Views of the Harlem River
Baseball, Basketball, Biking, Hiking, Off-road cycling, Playgrounds

Highbridge Park straddles a rocky cliff, featuring a series of rugged outcroppings that offer sweeping views of the Harlem River, immediately below. The park also encompasses a wide variety of trees, creating numerous glens and woodlands that provide a unique urban habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Highbridge Park’s many miles of pathways welcome pedestrians and its terrain is an increasingly popular draw for off-road cyclists. In addition, the Highbridge Recreation Center and Pool has remained a favorite summer’s day respite among New Yorkers for decades.

Today, NYRP supports NYC Parks by actively maintaining the northern half of Highbridge Park. A dedicated crew of NYRP operations and horticulture staff work full-time to manage and restore the remarkable forests in the park; clearing tons of trash each year; replacing invasive, non-native species like Norway maple with oak and dogwood; and planting shrubs, groundcover and wildflowers. In addition, NYRP keeps access points into the park clear, beautifies entrance points to encourage visitation and – with the help of corporate and community volunteers – continually clears encroaching vegetation.

A footbridge connecting Upper Manhattan to the Bronx gives Highbridge Park its name. The High Bridge – built during the construction of the Croton Aqueduct, the city’s first access to a reliable and clean water supply – has stood since 1848 and is the oldest bridge in New York City. The bridge was designed exclusively as a pedestrian walkway atop the 138-foot-high Aqueduct where it spans the Harlem River. Closed in the 1970s, the bridge is currently under renovation and is scheduled to re-open in 2014. The park is also the site of the 125-foot, granite Highbridge Tower – a former water storage facility perched above the High Bridge and river, where it has been one of the city’s most visible landmarks since 1872.