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The High Bridge

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

The High Brg, New York, NY, USA

Opening Hours

24 hours

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit The High Bridge later in the day when the crowd thins out and you can enjoy unobstructed views of the Harlem River, especially enchanting during sunset. Also, try to spot the old High Bridge Water Tower—it's an underrated gem that offers unique historical context to the area!"

What is The High Bridge?

The High Bridge is a historic pedestrian bridge connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City. It's a timeless emblem where the bustling city meets the tranquility of natural landscapes, and it hovers gracefully over the Harlem River. As someone who has strolled across it countless times to take in the serene views and the gentle hum of the city, I can attest to its subtle charm that escapes the attention of many New York visitors.

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Originally built as part of the Old Croton Aqueduct, it is the oldest remaining bridge in New York City. The bridge has a lengthy pathway, flanked by sturdy railing and historic lampposts, that invites leisurely walks, jogs, and pauses to enjoy the expansive views of the river and city skyline. The sense of history and tranquility one feels when wandering across The High Bridge is a unique experience that's deeply rooted in New York's narrative.

History of The High Bridge

The construction of The High Bridge dates back to the mid-19th century, completed in 1848, and it stands as a testament to New York’s ingenuity in solving the pressing water needs of an expanding city. As a vital component of the Old Croton Aqueduct, it was designed to carry fresh water to Manhattan, and indeed the structure played a crucial role in the development of the city throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Throughout the years, The High Bridge has undergone several modifications. Originally featuring a series of 15 stone arches, a steel arch was added in 1928 to ease navigation on the Harlem River. In the mid-20th century, the bridge was closed to the public; however, due to its historical significance and potential as a public space, it underwent a major restoration and reopened in 2015, allowing New Yorkers and visitors alike to rediscover its beauty and importance.

Why is The High Bridge Important?

The High Bridge is important not just as a piece of New York's infrastructure, but also as an emblem of the city's commitment to public spaces, historical preservation, and urban connectivity. It bridges more than just two boroughs—it bridges past and present, offering a quiet escape from the clamor of urban life and a place where history can be contemplated amid the modern cityscape.

It also serves as a tangible connection to the city’s early efforts to build an efficient water supply system, marking an engineering achievement of its era. By promoting walking and outdoor activities, The High Bridge further contributes to the health and well-being of city residents and visitors, underlining the importance of non-vehicular bridges as green infrastructure within urban environments.

Things to Do & See at The High Bridge

Striding along The High Bridge, visitors can engage in a variety of activities. Photography enthusiasts can capture stunning shots of the surrounding landscape, including the Harlem River and the Palisades in the distance. For those inclined towards history, informational plaques provide insights into the bridge's story and its role in New York City’s development.

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Those seeking leisure can find a peaceful retreat for a picnic or simply to lounge and read a book on one of the benches. During the warmer months, the nearby Highbridge Park presents more options with its recreational facilities—like swimming pools and basketball courts—and natural areas ideal for bird watching or exploring wooded trails. Regardless of your interests, The High Bridge offers a unique vantage point on the city—a quiet monument to New York’s past, and a cornerstone of community life in the present.

Frequently asked questions

What is The High Bridge?

The High Bridge is the oldest standing bridge in New York City. Originally completed in 1848 as part of the Croton Aqueduct, it spans the Harlem River and connects the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights to the Bronx.

How can I access The High Bridge?

The High Bridge can be accessed from both the Bronx and Manhattan sides. The entrances are located at Highbridge Park in Manhattan and at University Avenue/West 170th Street in the Bronx.

Is there an admission fee to walk across The High Bridge?

No, there is no admission fee to walk across The High Bridge. It is a public pedestrian bridge and open to everyone free of charge.

What are the opening hours of The High Bridge?

The High Bridge is typically open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily, but these hours can change seasonally or due to special events. It's best to check the NYC Parks website or local postings for current hours.

Are there any tours available for The High Bridge?

Yes, there are occasionally guided tours available that provide historical insights into The High Bridge and the Old Croton Aqueduct. These tours are sometimes provided by the NYC Parks Department or local historical societies.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

The High Brg, New York, NY, USA

Opening Hours

24 hours

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps