There are many ways to explore and appreciate nature on the UWS. From hiking through Central Park’s lush trails to paddling your way up the Hudson River, there are plenty of summer activities to keep you busy! Read on for some suggestions.
Kayak in the Hudson River
Kayaking in the Hudson River is easy for Upper West Siders. You can just head over to the 79th Street Boat Basin in Riverside Park. The site has an accessible launching and landing port. And there’s no site fee which is a definite plus. You can paddle up to the George Washington Bridge or even Yonkers. The round trip for both destinations is between 10 to 20 miles and offer spectacular views of the surrounding Manhattan skyline.
The boat basin by 72nd Street is also accessible to the Hudson River. This basin is also located in Riverside Park. In fact, it’s right by the popular Pier Cafe. The Manhattan Community Boathouse is a nonprofit organization that’s run by volunteers. They help paddlers of all skill levels and ages enjoy a pleasant kayaking experience on the Hudson. There are also classes available during the summer to those who have never kayaked before and want to learn how to do it properly. Paddlers that are under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a guardian at all times in order to participate.
Horseback Riding in Central Park
Central Park Sightseeing offers horseback riding tours year round. Each tour is guided and lasts for about an hour. The route follows the Bridle Path which covers six miles of the park’s land until the Jackie Onassis Reservoir and the North Meadow. The guide explains the history of the park and highlights some of its most iconic landmarks. The only requirement for each rider is to be at least 10 years of age. There’s no better way of enjoying Central Park’s immense beauty than by checking it out from new heights atop of a horse.
Central Park Horseback Rides is another great company that takes visitors to the most visited urban park in the world while riding on a horse. They also offer pony rides and special discounted rates for groups.
Hike the Ramble
Hiking the Ramble in Central Park is a great way to explore the great outdoors. Central Park Conservancy offers guided tours that last for about 90 minutes each. The meeting point is by the Belvedere Castle at 79th St. The tour ends by the Oak Bridge which is approximately between 77th and 78th streets. The Ramble encompasses 36 acres of land and is considered to be the wildest area in the park due to its winding paths and secret hilly gardens. These tours go through some uneven and rugged terrain so be prepared to bring some comfy shoes with you. Of course, feel free to also explore the area on your own.