The best way to discover a city is on foot and the highlight of my recent trip to New York was joining an incredible meetup crew to do a ridiculous New York hike! We met 10am at the Starbucks on 181st in Manhattan before setting off across the George Washington Bridge. 12 hours later we had made it to the famous Colgate Clock in Jersey City. The entire walk covered over 18 miles and we saw some amazing views of the New York skyline along the way.
The ridiculous New York hike started innocently on a crisp Autumn morning with a hot coffee from Starbucks. The majority of the walking group were from Brooklyn however there were a couple of people from Jersey and Manhattan, and then me who was all the way from abroad. When we were all ready to set out, it was a short walk to the iconic George Washington Bridge to stop for photos and enjoy the view before crossing.
Once you start to cross the bridge, you should walk in single file. There is a lot of pedestrian traffic and even more bicycles commuting across this bridge at all times and it can become congested if you don’t keep the pace up.
On the other side of the bridge is Fort Lee Historic park and we found ourselves officially in New Jersey territory. The park itself is a great spot for a picnic given the scenic views over the Hudson river.
The Hudson is 507km and aside from being a popular place to dump dead bodies, it also serves as a political boundary between the states of New York and New Jersey. We walked to the suburb of Edgewater to the Japanese mega food store Mitsuwa where we stopped for lunch. I was impressed with the quality of Japanese food at the various takeaway outlets here (considering I was in America), which served everything from ramen, sushi and tempura to matcha ice cream. There was also a huge Japanese supermarket selling packaged delicacies and take away sashimi and sushi boxes.
After lunch we continued along the Hudson and passed the New Jersey suburbs of Cliffside Park, Fairview, Guttenberg and Weehawken and we saw many pretty sites along the way.
By the time we reached Hoboken it was becoming dark. Just a week earlier, a horrific train crash had occurred at Hoboken station during the morning rush hour in which one person died and 114 were injured. A lot of the station was still barred up for the investigation although some trains were running. Around this time it had also started to rain lightly however we didn’t let that dampen our spirits or halt the walk. Instead we opened up our umbrellas, used our hoodies, or in my case I wore a waterproof hat, which is kind of like a poncho and fast becoming a fashionable winter accessory in New York.
As we approached our destination we passed a couple of pleasant boardwalks where we could enjoy the bright lights of Manhattan from afar until finally coming to the large neon Colgate Clock near Exchange Place. We had lost and gained a few walkers to our group during our ridiculous New York hike. But for those who successfully completed the entire walk from start to finish in 12 hours, we were mighty proud of ourselves. This is a fantastic route for a clear day or evening, when you can truly appreciate the city skyline from afar.
Would I be up for another ridiculous New York hike? Definitely, you can count me in.