I was looking to share a fun run that is easy to access.
I realized that I’ve written about heading to the Bronx, enjoying Van Cortlandt Park, but that I hadn’t gotten you to New Jersey!!
So for this month, here’s our route up and over the George Washington Bridge.
Before you conjure up images of Frogger crossing traffic, let me do that for you.
Here’s the course map of our run over the George Washington Bridge, which would be the only pedestrian way to get to New Jersey.
No, I won’t be running in any tunnel any time soon.
It only now occurred to me that the George Washington Bridge has been the focus of months of media coverage, and that I’m just writing about it now.
From the Upper West Side at 96th Street, it’s about 7 miles to the other side of the Bridge itself.
Just like on the trip up to the Bronx, you can scoot along Riverside Park, for the most part.
Water fountains, shade, river, and flats.
Lots of nice all the way up.
It’s about 4 miles, then you’ll see a backtrack around what’s equivalent to 172nd Street.
This is a footbridge right before you hit tennis courts.
If you see the little red lighthouse, you’ve gone too far!
Backtracking isn’t super obvious, and frankly, is poorly marked.
Take the footbridge before the tennis courts, then veer right up a small hill, take a left, up some stairs, and then head East.
You need to know you’re heading East by Southeast towards New York Presbyterian.
You actually end up on the local access road near an entrance to the West Side Highway, on the sidewalk,
But then, heading South for 4 blocks on the sidewalk, you’ll hit 165th Street.
The hills begin in earnest.
You head East up 165th and take the left on Fort Washington Avenue.
Good spot for a bathroom break, fyi.
At 7am all the nurses and doctors are beginning shifts, so be thoughtful of that timing.
Importantly, there is a coffee truck that sells Gatorade and water across from the Armory at 168th Street.
You have the choice
to wind along Haven Avenue, which is seeing some tall tower construction for the hospital.
You can see on the map that we take Haven option
on the way back.
I’d stay on Fort Washington until you hit 178th, and take a left.
Once you’ve taken that left, the road simply puts you to the footbridge to the Bridge itself!
Here’s a link to Port Authority’s info on the Bridge.
There’s a little video that shows a speeding cyclist making the trip.
Keep your eyes open for cyclists. It’s not that they are rude (they are), or sometimes too fast (can happen), but it’s just a busy path.
We have never had an issue, in years of running the Bridge, but we are watchful.
While you’re keeping your eyes open, the Southern views on a clear day are spectacular.
You can see all the way to the tip of Manhattan.
Take it in, and enjoy the mile or so of bridge.
It’s a joy!
Once you’ve reached the NJ Side, congratulations!
You’ve dodged Hospital vehicles at NY Presbyterian, wayward construction cranes on Haven Avenue in Washington Heights, cyclists, and bridge pollution, and you deserve a quick break!!
Want more than just turning around?
Another fun fact is that
you can extend it on either side of the Bridge.
You can continue the run into Palisades Interstate Park.
The PDF is in the link here.
What’s funny is that at the very bottom of the map, you can run an additional 3 miles to the river’s edge, and that’s about 2 inches of this map!
Beware, it’s steep coming back.
Perhaps we’ll cover that in a few months.
Enjoy the runs and we’ll see you in September!