Friday, January 02, 2009

PARADISE! (THREE); Fort Lee and Palisades Interstate Park

Fort Lee and Palisades Park
Even if you don't have a lot of time or a car, you can still achieve winter paradise by taking a bus to Fort Lee and walking over to Palisades Park. When it snows or even when it doesn't you can walk from the first bus stop just over the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey to several trails and other roadways without ever touching the interior of a car!

The buses from 177th st are inside the interior downstairs area, called the Spanish buses. It costs $1.25 to cross the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey, and you get off at the first stop: just say "puente" or "Bridge Plaza" to the driver. All the buses will stop there, and they run every 5 to 10 minutes.

When you get off you walk north on Lemoine Ave. (Rte. 9w) past the Fort Lee high school about 1/2 mile on the east side of the street. When you come to a little staircase, head right up and through the park. As the path winds around towards Hudson Terrace, right before it ends there is a staircase to the left that leads to an overpass over the Palisade Parkway. Go over the parkway and down into the upper area of the park.

There the path splits north and south. If you are going north, you can walk or ski about 2.5 miles uninterrupted all the way to Dyckman/ aka Palisades Avenue in Englewood Cliffs, which is also the middle entrance to Palisades Park. There you can continue north along the top of the cliffs for another 5 miles (though I have never done it) or take the road or path (two separate things) down into the park.

If you take a right (south) at the split, you will soon come to steps that will lead you down directly into the park and to the water's edge. It is very steep, so in the winter, make sure the conditions are good for climbing on steep rock steps, or don't attempt it. Walking or skiing along the cliffs is really sufficient in that case, or using the Dyckman entrance.

Here momma and I took a nice walk as the light was failing, and we saw Fort Lee for the first time in a beautiful sunset light! This is paradise!!!!

Now for a little advertising, there is an organized hike for dogs (and their owners) that are accessible by foot through the offices of the Palisades Interstate Parkway commission. You can get to this by following the directions we gave you originally and walking down to Ross Dock by taking the southern split, and walking down the rock staircase. It will be about 2 miles to the start point of the hike, so if you are the type of dog that tires easily I would stick to hiking on your own, or bug your owner to take you by car to Ross Dock. And please, wear a tick collar--winter, summer, spring or fall, those Palisades Interstate Park ticks are voracioussssss!

Here is the info:
Hikes for Dogs: “Ross Dock”

On Saturday, January 10, Christina Fehre, who supervises the park’s trail crew, will lead a hike intended for dogs and their owners, though non-dog walkers are also welcome to attend. The short hike of about 3 miles round-trip distance, over relatively easy trails, will meet at 11 am at the park’s Ross Dock Picnic Area on the Hudson River in Fort Lee, just north of the George Washington Bridge (directions). Dogs must be leashed at all times during the hike, and dog owners need to clean up after their pets. The hike will take about 2 hours.

No comments: