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Enjoy New Jersey's Riverwalk Along the Hudson on Foot, Bike, or Kick Scooter

[ KICK SCOOTING - 11/30/2011 - www.LetsKickScoot.com ]

>>  Riverwalk refers to a series of sidewalks that run along New Jersey's Hudson River coast. These sidewalks span a distance between Fort Lee and the southern edge of Bayonne, south of Liberty State Park.

This article describes a 4-mile portion of Riverwalk that starts on the scenic Boulevard East bluff in Weehawken (directly across from Midtown Manhattan) and runs north to City Place, an attractive shopping and condominium complex in Edgewater. Its terrain is almost entirely level, making it a great place to ride kick scooters and bikes. Pedestrians also love it, although they more commonly take shorter strolls.

Sights along Riverwalk include the Hudson River, with its commercial and pleasure boat traffic, New York City's skyline, long stretches of parks, beautifully developed condominiums, and nice places to eat. The outdoor atmosphere is particularly enchanting under bright, blue skies, although warm, overcast days are equally enjoyable.

    Note that the pictures of the route seen in this article were taken on three different days: one with blue skies, one about to be stormy, and one hazy. As you can see, however, the views along Riverwalk are always stunning.
View of Manhattan from Boulevard East, Weehawken, NJ

For the most interesting introduction to the area, begin your trip at the corner of Boulevard East and Pershing Road (just north of 47th Street), next to the lovely Charrito's Restaurant. At this location, you can enjoy views of the area from high ground, while having the opportunity to explore the rest of Weehawken's historic bluff, where many films and TV news specials are shot.

If you live in New York and prefer to take a more direct (and possibly shorter) route to the water's edge, board a NY Waterways ferry to arrive by water. Here are some directions:

  • To arrive at Boulevard East, drive, or take a New Jersey bus (number 128 or 165) from the NY NJ Port Authority at 42nd Street in New York City.

  • To arrive by ferry, board at the NY Waterways Ferry Terminal at W. 39th Street in New York City, and go to Port Imperial. Arriving at this location skips a few areas described below, but because the ferry terminal is along the route, backtracking easy.

View of Manhattan from Pershing Road in Weehawken, NJ

At Boulevard East, Pershing Road begins on top of a high bluff and continues down to the Hudson River as a long, curving, tree-lined road. Near the bottom, the road turns eastward, providing the first major views of Midtown New York.

Pershing Park (2011) on the Hudson River in Weehawken, NJ

When you reach the bottom of the hill, continue straight into Pershing Park (opened in 2011). During the summer, this park sports high fountains and flowers.

Riverwalk in New Jersey approaching the Weehawken 9/11 memorial, Weehawken, NJ

Continue going straight until you arrive at Pershing Park's river's edge. Turn left where Riverwalk starts its northward journey. (If you turn right prior to entering Pershing Park, you'll head toward south to Hoboken.)

The Weehawken 9/11 Memorial

As you cruise along, Weehawken's 9/11 memorial comes into view. It was constructed out of two World Trade Center's base sections and marks the place where approximately 60,000 people arrived after being evacuated by NY Waterway ferries from Manhattan on September 11, 2001, the day the World Trade Center was destroyed by terrorist attacks. (See my article, The World Trade Center Shrouds.)

This memorial rests on an infinity pool. Depending on where you stand, the area between the structures frames the NY Waterway dock on the Manhattan side. Note that when big cruise ships are docked at nearby piers, the views are especially exciting.

From the memorial, follow the sidewalk as it turns west. From there, you'll see Weehawken's famous 14-story staircase that leads to where you started on Boulevard East, the blue bridge-to-nowhere (political bickering keeps it from being finished), and the NY Waterway dock, where you can pick up refreshments and use restrooms. The New Jersey Light Rail also stops at this vicinity, as do buses.

Views of Weehawken, New Jersey's 14-story stairway and the bridge to nowhere

Continue your trip past the NY Waterway dock. If you arrived by ferry from New York, this is where you'll start your leg of Riverwalk.

NY Waterway Ferry Terminal in Weehawken, NJ

After passing the ferry dock, turn right (east) toward New York, continuing along the Riverwalk sidewalk.

Riverwalk near the NY Waterway Ferry Terminal in Weehawken, NJ

After a few blocks, you'll approach Riverwalk Place. It is marked in the picture below by four tall pillars.

Riverwalk along the Hudson River approaching Riverwalk Place

Riverwalk Place is an apartment and small shopping center development on the river's edge. Stop here for something to eat and/or drink at Son Cubano Restaurant, or turn into the complex for Ben and Jerry's ice cream. There are also other dining opportunities in the complex, as well as an A&P Grocery Store, where you can buy snacks.

Riverwalk along the Hudson River at Riverwalk Place

Continue your trip northward. In the distance, the George Washington Bridge comes into view.

Riverwalk along the Hudson River with the George Washington Bridge in the background
    To see the Riverwalk trail as referenced in this article, open the interactive map prepared by New Jersey's Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy by clicking this link: ROUTE MAP.

At this point, you'll encounter a very brief path interuption at approximately Lydia Drive and River Road, which is located at the corner of the Bulls Ferry/Jacobs Ferry Condominium development. Turn right and follow a city sidewalk past a small Hudson River cleanup station. When you approach the next apartment building, turn immediately right to rejoin Riverwalk.

Continue on Riverwalk, passing the Palisades Medical Center. When you arrive at The Waterside Restaurant at approximately 77th Street, turn left toward River Road, or continue a bit further on Riverwalk, which will also direct you to River Road.

You'll now continue heading north on a city sidewalk until you reach City Place, your destination for this trip. (Expand the map to see the "City Pl" notation. If you can't see it, it is just south of "The Promenade" notation.)

City Place is an attractive "live and work" shopping and condo development that features a nice selection of national chain stores (Pier 1 Imports, Anthropologie, ULTA, Chicos, etc.), plus several places to eat.

Following the Riverwalk path on River Road. An adult kick scooter rider is entering Edgewater, NJ

When you first enter the shopping center, you'll pass Chipotle and Panera Bread, both great places for lunch or snacks.

City Place in Edgewater, NJ

As you travel eastward through the middle of the shopping center, you'll see mesmerizing views of New York.

Views from City Place in Edgewater, NJ

At the end of the drive, you'll find three more restaurants. They are the Greek Taverna (I recommended it), Baumgart's Cafe (Chinese food, not German!), and the high-end Fleming's Steakhouse. There is also a nearby Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream Shop.

Restaurants at City Place in Edgewater, NJ

At the end of the shopping center is a stairway leading to a beautiful park. If you choose not to eat at any of the center's restaurants, grab a snack (perhaps at Panera Bread) and have a picnic on the grass.

Grand park overlooking Manhattan at the end of City Place in Edgewater, NJ

You are now at the point of return. Scooting or biking back to the NY Waterway ferry dock is easy. Scooting to your starting point on the bluff of Weehawken's Boulevard East is more challenging (you'll either walk up the hill, or clime 14 stories on the stairs).

Tired? Then board a NJ Transit Bus, which stops in front of City Place, back to the NY NJ Port Authority at 42nd Street. Board the 158 (the most frequent), or the 188 or 751. Consult the NJ Transit Website for more information.

Actually, you can take any bus that stops in the area as they all return to New York. Many also stop at the NY Waterway ferry terminal, but to be safe, always ask the driver before boarding.


Questions? Just ask!
Karen Little

Article and photographs by Karen Little. First published on www.LetsKickScoot.com on 11/30/2011. All rights reserved.

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