Empire State Trail bike ride day 5: Elmsford to New York City

Wow, this was an easy way into Manhattan!

We got back on the South County Trail (even found a better route from our hotel — the La Quinta in Elmsford — than the one we’d taken to get there) and then just pedaled gently downhill, traffic-free, to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

We wondered what it would be like after that. Perhaps dumped unceremoniously into New York craziness?


Even before we left the park we were seeing signs for the Empire State Trail (and the East Coast Greenway! The routes overlap from here to Battery Park). We crossed Broadway to get on some quiet streets until we had no choice but to get back on Broadway so we could cross a bridge and get into Manhattan. (Maybe the sidewalk would have been the smarter option.) Then more sane streets to reach the Hudson River Greenway.

Down the Hudson River Greenway we pedaled, with a small detour to acknowledge yet another president at Grant’s tomb, another National Park site that is still closed. We gave a distant tip of the hat to Teddy Roosevelt, who was born in Manhattan, for all the national parks sites he created.

We also detoured into Midtown because I needed proof that my favorite kati-roll cart had survived the pandemic. It has! It was in its usual place a block from the office. I couldn’t resist.

Here’s our route.

All this talk of New York, and Midtown in particular, being dead? Hogwash! It’s not as insane as before COVID, but it was humming, and the tourists were in Times Square. I was excited to see the protected bike lane in Sixth Avenue that now extends to Central Park and the new Citibike stations near the office.

There’s one other addition to Manhattan that you must see: Little Island, the $126 $260 million park in the Hudson funded by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg. Just stunning. Architecturally, it has me thinking of lily pads or tulip-like flowers, perhaps a mix of Gaudi in Barcelona and Frank Gehry, well, everywhere.

Note that you need a timed ticket (free) to enter after noon.

And check out the light-filled ticket hall and waiting area of Moynihan Station (the old post office now part of Penn Station). Another great addition to New York.

Author: alliumstozinnias

A gardener (along with the Brit) who has discovered there is more than hybrid tomatoes. And a cyclist.

3 thoughts on “Empire State Trail bike ride day 5: Elmsford to New York City”

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