Whether or not you have explored Manhattan’s High Line Park before, you and your whole family should consider a visit this fall. For those not familiar with it, the mile-long ‘High Line’ is one of the most innovative urban, linear public parks around! It was built upon an elevated, historic freight rail line, also known as the High Line, and runs from Gansevoort Street through Chelsea to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.
The original tracks were laid in the 1930s as part of an enormous project aimed to lift freight traffic 30 feet in the air, to rid the street level of the constant accidents caused by these trains, in what was formerly a very industrial and congested part of the city. If fact, 10th avenue became known as Death Avenue and brought in the advent of men on horses in the neighborhood, called the West Side Cowboys. They would ride in front of trains waving red flags to caution local traffic.
The High Line trains ran until 1980.
Today’s High Line Park allows visitors to appreciate an enormous range of plantings, residential and commercial architecture abutting the park, great vantage points to other city sites including the Hudson River, people watching and numerous vendors selling savory and sweet foods.
Despite several previous trips, I find that the High Line continues to evolve dramatically between each visit. Not only has it been completed in stages but the neighborhoods through which it passes, are undergoing amazing and continuous redevelopment.
Worth noting, the landscape designers chose several plant species that grew on the elevated tracks during the decades after the trains stopped running. If the plantings are your primary interest, you can even find a listing of what will be in bloom each month! (http://personal.crocodoc.com/TwS5oEV?embedded=true)
There are many locations at which you can enter or exit the park, located in several popular neighborhoods such as the old meatpacking district and Chelsea. Their big name and boutique retailers, restaurants, bars and hotels will add interest to your visit.
High Line access/exit points:
- Gansevoort Street (elevator access)
- 14th Street (elevator access)
- West 16th Street (elevator access)
- West 18th Street
- West 20th Street
- 23rd Street (elevator access)
- West 26th Street
- West 28th Street
- West 30th Street (elevator access)
The High Line is owned by the City of New York and is free. It is maintained and managed by the Friends of the High Line. The Friends of the High Line was formed in 1999 when the railroad tracks were threatened with demolition.
Please note that bikes, scooters and skateboards are not permitted.
Plan your visit soon!