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Inwood Hill Park

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Large and beautiful park along the Hudson offering NYC's last natural forest and the Urban Ecology Center

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Inwood
Parks and Gardens, Play

Place Matters Profile

Inwood Hill Park offers an enduring glimpse of Manhattan’s ancient past. Its valleys, boulders and ridges were molded by glaciers fifty thousand years ago. Its close-to-200 acres contain remnants of Manhattan’s original forest and, along the edge of the Harlem River, its only surviving natural salt marsh.

The Wiechquaesgeck Indians frequented this place, camping for the summer in its hillside caves so that they could fish in the waters of the Harlem and Hudson rivers. Close to the caves–at the southwest corner of the ball field at 214th Street–a boulder called the Shorakopoch Rock marks the spot where Peter Minuit in 1626 purportedly bought Manhattan Island from the Indians “for trinkets and beads then worth about 60 guilders.” (Modern scholars are inclined to place the deal downtown, at the Battery.) In the 17th and 18th centuries some of the land was settled by European colonists, and a Revolutionary War-era fort...

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On The Web

NYC Parks & Rec
"Inwood: In the Woods" article


Dodie Dohoney (Cooper Union)

Inwood Hill Park in northernmost Manhattan: the whole thing, summer, winter, fall and spring, any time of the day. It's Manhattan's last stand of natural forest, covering a big, glacial ridge, providing an ever-changing riot of sights, sounds, people, animals, activities, and scents. The hill's northern tip curves and rises like the prow of a majestic ship, surrounded on three sides by water, dragging the stern end of Manhattan northward through the darkness to some unknown port of call. Its many paths, both high and low, all winding, all unmarked, still throw me off course after seven years of exploration, making me dizzy with indirection, yet happy with expectation since each path has its charms.

Marielle Anzelone

This is a relictual healthy forest and the only salt marsh in Manhattan. Find out more about NYC's natural areas that are owned by NYC Parks at the Forever Wild page of Natural Resources Group:

This is a small taste of what the island of Manhatta (spelled on purpose) used to look like. (October 2006)

A. Einhorn

One of the last pieces of original Manhattan forest unaltered by city expansion; very old trees, animal habitat, rock shelters used by Indians during clam & oyster harvests (mounds of discarded shells were still there when I was a child in the 1930s).

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