Monday, June 11, 2012

In-Town Getaway: Governor's Island

Those of you who read the blog regularly know that I try to get in a lot of runs off Manhattan Island. While I love my neighborhood, Central Park, the Hudson Greenway, etc., at this point I've covered most of its 23 square miles. The Borough of Manhattan, however, is bigger than Manhattan Island--it includes Randall's Island and Ward's Island, Roosevelt Island, and Marble Hill, all of which I've been to. It also includes Governors Island, which until this weekend I had somehow missed. 

In its prior life, Governors Island has served as a Coast Guard Base, but today its a public park. Part of the island is run by the National Park Service as a national historic landmark while the rest of it is run by the state and city. Since there are no bridges to the island, the only way to get there is by boat. Thankfully, there are free ferries on the weekends from the Battery Maritime Building that run pretty much every half hour and from Brooklyn Bridge Park every 10 minutes (see the schedule here). The ride itself takes less than 5 minutes.

Aerial view courtesy of
Once you make it to the island, there's a path that goes around the ice cream cone shaped perimeter (approximately 2.2 miles). You get amazing views of Lower Manhattan, Red Hook in Brooklyn, and even the Statue of Liberty. Although a large part of the "cone" is currently closed to the public, there's plenty of exploring to do at the top of the island in the historic area. By taking a few scenic detours you can easily up your mileage.

I definitely wouldn't come to Governors Island on a long run day and you should check to make sure there isn't some huge festival before planning your running trip, but it's a really nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. I'm already planning a return run.

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