Open all day
At a Glance
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.