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NY DEC Watchable Wildlife

Outdoor Discovery

Riverside Park
Description: This four-mile-long strip of green, stretching from 72nd to 158th streets along the Hudson River, is Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront park. Since 1875, Riverside, designed by famous American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, has offered millions of New Yorkers a slice of nature in the city. Paved, tree-lined paths take visitors past a variety of open spaces that attract a surprising array of wildlife. At the river’s edge, a wide pathway runs the entire length of the park, like a pedestrian and bicycle highway, connecting city dwellers to the Hudson. Many enjoy just sitting on park benches that face the river and gazing across the wide water to New Jersey. A bird sanctuary is located at the northern end of the park, and more than 100 species of birds include year-round residents and migratory visitors.

Wildlife to Watch: Wooden docks at the 79th Street boat basin are wonderful locations to view Canada geese, mallards, black ducks and mute swans. Ring-billed, herring, and great black-backed gulls, as well as common terns and double-crested cormorants, are often seen. Red-tailed hawks perch in tall, mature trees, scanning the ground for eastern gray squirrels. American kestrels look for smaller prey, including large insects and small mammals. Peregrine falcons substitute skyscrapers and high, steel bridges crossing the Hudson for nesting cliffs. Diving with unmatched speed (measured at up to 180 mph), they intercept ubiquitous rock pigeons and other birds in mid-air.

Native plant and flower gardens lure delicate butterflies and ruby-throated hummingbirds to pollinate their colorful blooms from spring through fall. The bird sanctuary between 116th and 125th streets is a great place to spot blue jays, American crows, a variety of woodpeckers, American robins, gray catbirds, northern mockingbirds, cedar waxwings and many kinds of warblers in a more natural, forested landscape. Raccoons are also frequently seen in their furry black masks on lawns at dawn or dusk when fewer people are around.

Special Tips: Closed from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. This site includes a large portion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway (for bicycles) and the 110-slip public marina at 79th Street, an important part of New York State’s Water Trail.

212-408-0264, www.nycgovparks.org/parks/ riversidepark

Ownership: NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation 
Size: 222 Acres 
Closest Town: Manhattan

RestroomsFishingHikingSmall BoatsDrinking WaterBicycling

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Riverside Park - Photo by Riverside Park Fund
Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
You may access the park by taking the 1 train and getting off at any stop between 72nd St. and 125th St.

Map Link

Riverside Park : Wildlife Viewing Area