New York County High Point Trip Report

Date: May 4, 2002
Author: Michael Schwartz

one area in Bennett Park (260+ ft)

This approach is based on a Richmond-Kings-New York-Bronx-Queens circuit. From Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, continue north on 5th Avenue about nine blocks, until you go under the Prospect Expressway viaduct. Turn left just past the viaduct and follow that road, which will go through a complicated intersection and become the service road underneath the Gowanus Expressway, very high above you. Follow the service road and look for signs for the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel ($3.50), which you want to take into Manhattan. There are toll-free crossings into Manhattan, but the approaches are trickier and more prone to traffic problems. Exiting the tunnel, follow the signs for the left exit onto the FDR Drive, which will lead back to the left, circle under the Battery (bottom tip of Manhattan), and proceed up the east side of Manhattan on a very scenic route. The FDR will become the Harlem River Drive. Eventually take the left exit for 179th Street and work your west, with a right-left jog along the way. Turn right at Fort Washington Parkway, which will lead to Bennett Park. In three trips there I've found a legal place to park each time, so there is hope. See the plaque on the west side of the park, next to a bedrock outcrop. As of late, the park has been closed, except from 10-4 on weekends, for lawn restoration. Some persons have been seen hopping the low fence directly onto the bedrock outcrop, which does not require one's feet to touch the grass. Local residents have not seemed startled or upset at such antics.

one area 1200 feet south of the Cloisters (260+ ft)

From Bennett Park continue north on Fort Washington Avenue, arriving in a few blocks at the south entrance to Fort Tryon Park. Bear slightly right and go north on the park road. In a short distance reach a stone structure on the left with parking on both sides of the road. Walk uphill behind the stone building and follow paths to the high point, a promontory with excellent views. The top fifteen feet or so of the promontory looks manmade, and it's hard to tell where the original highest natural ground was. This area is probably naturally lower than Bennett Park, but the views are so outstanding and park is so lovely that I'd strongly recommend a visit.