New York County High Point Trip Report

Date: April 23, 2000
Author: Dan Case

The rain here in the Northeast and repairs to my backpack have kept me from doing any CHPs for over two weeks now. But Easter weekend, and brunch with some of my family on the Upper East Side was scheduled, and I saw the opportunity to get some of the NYC borough HPs.

You can quite easily do them using public transportation. However, it's hard to do this if you have something else scheduled for the day as they are in outlying areas on different subway lines and thus going between them requires taking trains back toward midtown Manhattan at least a bit, then transferring.

1 point 1,000 ft south of The Cloisters (260+ ft) - better known as Fort Tryon Park

"Take the A Train" to 190th Street. After the turnstiles, bear sharply right around to the elevators to Fort Washington Ave. At the top, go out the doors and follow the stairs to the right. When they come out on Fort Washington, you will be at Corbin Plaza and the entrance to the park. Follow the promenade through the flower garden about 0.2 mile and the overlook will become very obvious, atop a stone battlement that is the remnants or recreation of the fort the park is named for. As this is manmade (it seems to me), I'm not sure it entirely counts, although the view north over the Bronx is splendid (you can see the Bronx HP quite clearly). The highest point of natural ground, which seems to fit the contours on the map, is in a little fenced-off island just to the southeast of the overlook that can be reached by the walkways that leave the promenade just before it climbs the steps to the fortifications.

Bennett Park (265 ft)

Walk back out of the park and continue down Fort Washington. After a brief dip along the ridge line, the park will be on your left around 185th Street or so. Walk up the stairs at the first entrance, and the rocky summit is visible across it, just above treeline ;-). The "highest natural point in Manhattan" stone marker is set in it near one of the walkways, a few vertical feet below it.

For your return, the subway entrance to the 181st Street station is just opposite the entrance you came in. If coming this way, go the north end of the platform and follow the signs to the elevators to 184th.

Total distance on foot: about 1.25 miles from subway to subway.

Vertical: maybe 60 ft from top of elevator at Fort Washington Ave.; 15 ft at best from 184th. But sort of meaningless here because the elevators go so far underground. (I think one of the stations up here is the deepest in the entire NYC subway system ... I wouldn't be at all surprised.)