Walking along the Palisades, views on the Washington Bridge
Fort Lee Travel Blog› entry 825 of 1090 › view all entries
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.
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.
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!