Tuesday, November 4, 2014

George Washington Bridge and the New Jersey Palisades Interstate Park

George Washington Bridge, as seen from New York
Autumn is a beautiful time in New York City, and even more gorgeous if you can get out of the city. This past October, my sweetheart and I took a day trip to the state of New Jersey...by foot! Did you know that you could walk across the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey? And what better way to use the day off on Columbus Day?! We decided  to walk across the GWB and explore the New Jersey Palisades Interstate Park.

From my Brooklyn apartment to the George Washington Bridge it was about an hour train ride to Manhattan's West 175th Street, and then a quick walk to the start of the bridge.

The roughly mile-long bridge plus the 4 hours (and who knows how many miles) we walked around the Park added up to 10 miles of walkin' and talkin'. It was a lovely day, and the overcast weather did not stop our fun! I was hoping for more fall colors and was actually surprised by the minimal colorful foliage. The Palisades Park offers several trails so we opted to walk along the Shore Trail which runs along the Hudson River.

Trails, ruins from the early 1900s bathhouses, views of the Hudson River as well as the Manhattan skyline, are just some of the great offerings of the Palisades Interstate Park. Looking at the park map, it seems only greater things are in your grasp the further north you go. It is definitely a place to explore again (though maybe driving there would be quicker and would allow for more nature time). 

The George Washington Bridge (See my end note)

The GWB as seen from New Jersey!
We were very excited to have walked into another state via a huge bridge!
Pointing out the colorful foliage.
Oh, the greenery. Life is good.
We walked along the Shore trail just past the Englewood Picnic Area to Undercliff Beach and Bath House Ruins/

The Shore Trail

Bloomer's Beach Bathhouse

The ruins of the Undercliff Bathhouse in the Palisades Interstate Park. 
Built in 1922 for the bathers of Undercliff Beach. 
It was very popular for a short while, but ultimately closed in 1941.
The ruins of the Undercliff Bathhouse in the Palisades Interstate Park.
The ruins of the Undercliff Bathhouse in the Palisades Interstate Park.
What a big leaf! Anyone know the name of the tree this bad boy fell off of?

My, what a gigantic leaf you have there!
Can't even see the NYC skyline in this mist.
We're back in the state of New York. Nightfall over the George Washington Bridge.


An important note I wanted to share - Crossing the George Washington Bridge by foot, it was my first time seeing so many suicide prevention signs. I wouldn't want to ignore the subject and not share with you the facts, but it did not seem right to do it while discussing fall colors and nature. The George Washington Bridge has a sad legacy in that many people have attempted or completed suicide off this bridge as only a handrail protects people from jumping into the Hudson River. So I will add in here that if you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255 (TALK). Your life matters.

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