Fort Tryon Park – Hidden Getaway in Upper Manhattan

New York City is far more famous for its towering skyline and much less for its outdoor green space, even if it contains some of the most famous parks in the world.  From Central Park to Prospect Park, the city is home to beautiful spaces of forests and meadows constantly featured in movies and TV shows.  While most flock to these world renowned parks, there are many other outdoor areas within the city that hold just as much magic and palatial views within their borders.  One park in particular boasts some of the most beautiful views in all Manhattan, fantastic gardens and grounds, and a historic past that would rival even Central Park which most New Yorkers don’t know exists.  Fort Tryon is a treasure in upper Manhattan that houses breathtaking views, wonderful walking paths, and even a world renowned museum and is a must see for anyone looking to experience something beyond New York’s concrete streets.

Construction at Fort Tryon Park started during the great depression and was finally completed in 1935.  The land and the money for the park was a gift from John D Rockefeller who purchased all of the land in 1917 and gave it to City of New York to use as a park.  Rockefeller also wanted to preserve the breathtaking views the Fort Tryon area provided so he also purchased all the land on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River to ensure the land would never be developed and the uncompromised landscape would remain.  The second park would be the Palisades and comes complete with views of cascading cliffs and treelined hills that still remain undeveloped.  If curious about the park name, it dates back to the Revolutionary War in which the Americans were defeated by the British in the Battle of Fort Washington and an outpost named after Sir William Tryon was created in this area.

The park is also probably the hilliest place you are going to find anywhere in Manhattan as the terrain goes from exceedingly flat in some areas to steeply inclined in others. Although this provides what some might say are the best and most beautiful views that you will find anywhere in Manhattan rivaling any cityscape views. Although lower Manhattan is hardly visible so far up in Washington Heights, the Palisade’s provides more than enough magic on its own to delight even the most experience traveller. Getting to the park is also easy enough by taking the A train north and following it to one of the last stops in Manhattan. Due to its not so central location it often is much less crowded than its better-known counterparts allowing someone to truly escape from the surrounding city.  The park also has one of the best views of the George Washington Bridge that you are likely to find anywhere on Manhattan and with the green background of the Palisades makes for an additional wonderful view.

New Yorker Tip: Beyond the amazing views and pristine gardens, Fort Tryon Park has two rather unique features located within its expansive borders.  The first is the Cloisters, which is apart of the MET museum and built out of of 5 European monasteries taken brick by brick with money funded by Rockafeller from across the ocean to its current location in northern Manhattan. The other is an amazing restaurant called New Leaf which is run by Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project and is an fantastic place to grab brunch when visiting the park