Walking along the Palisades, views on the Washington Bridge

Fort Lee Travel Blog

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The New Jersey Arch of the Washington Bridge

The Palisades, the beautiful cliffs in New Jersey, right across the Hudson. Everybody who travels over the George Washington Bridge will see them, pass over them, and pass through them. These unique 90-meter (300-ft) high almost vertical cliffs were formed 200 million years ago, when molten magma intruded sand layers. The sand was gradually washed away over time, leaving the harder rocks behind. An East Coast, and much bigger version of the California Devil's post pile.

Nine out of ten times when I drive to the north I drive via the Palisades Interstate Parkway (see here), the beautiful 62-km (38-mile) long road along the cliffs. I have stopped uncountable times to enjoy the views, but I actually never took a closer look what lies beneath.

Composition photo, taken below the Washington Bridge
And that is a shame, because the whole region is a park, the Palisades Interstate Park. So, time to change that today!

I hiked the majestic 1450-meter (4760 feet) long George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. Just like I did several years ago (see here). A very impressive hike, 65 meters (212 feet) above the surface of the Hudson, with views on both New York and New Jersey.

I started at the most southern tip of the park. To get there I had to walk outside of the park and descend from 90 meters (300 feet) to Hudson level. At the beach-like banks of the river it is almost impossible to imagine that you are so close to one of the biggest cities in the world as well as close to one of the busiest road segments in the US. Surrounded by cliffs, forest, and the slowly streaming Hudson it looks more like a deserted forest.

Great sunset walking back to Manhattan

Of course the views in the distance take you back to reality, but in a pleasant way. Great views on Manhattan, the Washington Bridge, the famous Little Red Lighthouse, and a bit more to the North, the Cloisters and the Henry Hudson Bridge (at the most northern tip of Manhattan, see here).

I walked as far as Englewood Cliffs, about 4.5 km (2.8 miles) to the north, where I had to climb back to the 90-meter (300-feet) level via a nice trail alongside a waterfall. The return route was hiked with mixed feelings. The views were spectacular, but the proximity of the Palisades Parkway was noisy and annoying.

Right before reaching the Washington Bridge again I spotted several deer. Amazing, so close to the urban jungle. 
While walking back to Manhattan the sun set, painting the sky above the bridge beautifully orange. 

More pictures below!

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The New Jersey Arch of the Washing…
The New Jersey Arch of the Washin…
Composition photo, taken below the…
Composition photo, taken below th…
Great sunset walking back to Manha…
Great sunset walking back to Manh…
The Washington Bridge, just before…
The Washington Bridge, just befor…
The Washington Bridge, just before…
The Washington Bridge, just befor…
The Washington Bridge
The Washington Bridge
View on Manhattan from the Washing…
View on Manhattan from the Washin…
More of the Washington Bridge
More of the Washington Bridge
Looking down along the New Jersey …
Looking down along the New Jersey…
The New Jersey pillar
The New Jersey pillar
View on the Washington Bridge from…
View on the Washington Bridge fro…
View on the Washington Bridge from…
View on the Washington Bridge fro…
Looking up along the New Jersey pi…
Looking up along the New Jersey p…
Below the Washington Bridge
Below the Washington Bridge
The Palisades cliffs
The Palisades cliffs
The Cloisters, across the Hudson
The Cloisters, across the Hudson
The trail looked like being far fa…
The trail looked like being far f…
The Washington Bridge and Manhattan
The Washington Bridge and Manhattan
The Henry Hudson Bridge at the tip…
The Henry Hudson Bridge at the ti…
More of the Washington Bridge
More of the Washington Bridge
Even more of the Washington Bridge
Even more of the Washington Bridge
A deer, a few feet away from the b…
A deer, a few feet away from the …
Great sunset walking back to Manha…
Great sunset walking back to Manh…
Great sunset walking back to Manha…
Great sunset walking back to Manh…
A rather unusual height profile of…
A rather unusual height profile o…
GPS profile (rendered by GPSVisual…
GPS profile (rendered by GPSVisua…
Fort Lee
photo by: cimtech