Places that Matter

North Bronx Bikeway (Mosholu-Pelham Greenway)

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Scenic bike path from Van Cortlandt to Pelham Park
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Place Matters Profile

The borough that has the most greenspace, the Bronx, also has a bike trail that connects its large, beautiful parks.The North Bronx Bikeway is a scenic bike path through the north and central Bronx extending from Van Cortlandt Park in the northwest, down past the Botanical Gardens in Bronx Park, along scenic Pelham Parkway, and ending up in Pelham Bay Park, City Island, and Orchard Beach.

 

To ride the path, just follow the signs for the city's Greenway System which was developed by the Department of City Planning to provide a recognizable identity for the city-wide greenway system while guiding users along the routes. The Department of City Planning’s goal is 350 miles of proposed bicycle and pedestrian paths throughout the five boroughs. Seventeen percent (or 59 miles) of the system exists in good condition (another 31% or 106 miles needs improvement, and the remaining 52% is in the proposal stage), and this includes the North Bronx Bikeway, or the Mosholu/Pelham Greenway.

New York City has the largest urban park system in the country with nearly 26,000 acres (which include a variety of places such as wetlands, beaches, golf courses, historic houses, ballfields, and zoological and botanical gardens). Frederick Law Olmstead, the landscape architect for Central and Prospect Parks, was the first to design a "park way" for carriages and bicycles on scenic drives. He also created Brooklyn’s Eastern and Ocean Parkways to link Prospect Park to its surrounding communities. The first bicycle path in the United States opened on Ocean Parkway in 1895. Throughout the city there are vestiges of bikeways that were created in the 1930s--many of these are still in use and others will be restored as part of the proposed system.

The Bronx has the most parkland in the city with 24% of the borough having greenery. The Mosholu/Pelham Extension of the greenway system is not only a great path for bicycling, but along its route are many of the highlights and landmarks of the north and central Bronx.