Walk in NYC # 4, the High Line-Hudson River Stroll, is a 4 miles self-guided tour. It will take you about 2 hours if strolling and taking pictures, much more if you visit the various recommended places on your way.
You’ll go to Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, West Village, Tribeca and Lower Manhattan along the High Line; you’ll finish along the Hudson River.
After having been industrial and deserted for a long time, this part of the city has become very trendy. It will offer you good opportunities to take photos of architecture and unusual places and/or unusual people.
NB: since 2021, there are two more visits possible along this walk: the new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station and Little Island not far from the Whitney Museum of Art. Details are below. It’s also possible that you had to get a reservation to be admitted to the High Line; verify before.
Highlights: Moynihan Train Station, the Hudson Yards Architectural Complex, the Shed, The Vessel, the Edge, the High Line, the Chelsea Galleries and Market, Little Island, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hudson River Park, the World Trade Center metro Station
Metro: Hudson Yards, line 7 (departure) or Penn Station, lines A, C, E (departure) and World Trade Center, lines A, C, E (arrival).
Bus: use an app like Citymapper to find the best options with bus #, waiting time, list of stops, and where you are in the city once you’ve boarded. Your Metrocard or OMNY account will work and will be valid for transfers to the Metro and other buses. Express buses are more expensive, but you can buy your ticket at the stop. The drivers are generally very helpful!
Good to know: On this trek, there are many restrooms and places to sit . To eat, you’ll have to get off the High Line or leave the Hudson River Park.
A: Take the metro to Hudson Yards then follow directly the signs to “The Vessel”, a unique structure nicknamed the Eiffel Tower of NYC or the practical realization of a M.C. Esher print.
The entrance is free but book your ticket in advance if you don’t want to wait. Otherwise, follow 34th St. to access the beginning of the High Line on your left, see the Vessel from afar and get back to Hudson Yard by another entrance.
Alternatively, stop at Penn Station, visit the new Moynihan Train hall, sleek and modern, then walk along 34th St. toward Hudson Yards. It will add about 30 minutes to your walk.
At Hudson yards, have also a look at The Shed with its free art shows and/or the Mall with its numerous shops, often luxury ones. If you feel like it and if you have a reservation (there’s a fee to enter), climb to the Edge, “the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere”. You’ll see Manhattan and the Hudson River from high in the air, with even a glass floor to make you believe you are flying above the streets!
You’ll then be ready to rejoin the High Line at West 30th St.
If you don’t have a reservation to access it and need one, you’ll be able to register using an app whose QR code you’ll find there.
In any case, don’t miss the unexpected views of the Hudson Yards subway trains (go left along the High Line then get back) and go and see the sculptures under the arches of West 30th St. (go straight instead of turning directly right on the High Line).
The High Line was an old elevated railway line built in its time to avoid accidents. It was nearly demolished before being transformed into a hanging garden by an association of visionaries.
It’s now a model of urban landscaping. It winds between old industrial buildings and more contemporary ones; you’ll see artworks, places to sit, wild plants, and windows opening to the streets below.
B and C: At 23rd St., find the elevator or the staircase and go down to visit the Chelsea galleries; if the High Line is really too busy to your liking, you can also reach the Hudson River Park earlier than planned by following 23rd St until its end. Then take the promenade on the left.
Galleries are on 25th St. heading west, then on the 24th St. when returning to the High Line. Most represent living and world-famous artists.
If you want to see more art, take 23rd and 22nd St., then 21st and 20th St. The journey is shorter and shorter because of the geography of the place. You’ll then be able to take the High Line back on 20th St, even though there is no lift at this location.
Otherwise, retrace your steps to go back to the 23rd St. elevator.
D: At 16th St, take again the elevator or the stairs to reach 10th Ave practically right under your feet.
You’ll find the entrance to the Chelsea Market, a tall red brick building facing you.
It’s not a former meat plant despite the name of the district, but a biscuit factory transformed into a market of fresh produce; it houses many restaurants and its industrially themed decoration is worth a look.
E: Once done with your visit, take the High Line back at the same location, or, to go to Little Island, follow 10th Ave and turn right on 13h St.
Little Island is a artificial garden-island at least worth a look from a distance if you cannot access it as, depending on the times, a free reservation could be needed.
In any case, you’ll find the Whitney Museum of American Art along Gansevoort St. at the end of the High Line or on your right along the Hudson River Promenade if you went to Little Island.
It moved here in 2015 and its architecture is probably a nod to the old neighborhood buildings. Inside, it has large and bright halls that enhance its collections, and the path to an outdoor staircase offering beautiful views of Manhattan.
To visit it, count at least two hours, and don’t forget to book your tickets in advance to avoid the line.
F: From there, find then cross 11th Ave; you’ll be in the Hudson River Park.
It’s again a garden, but this time along the water; it offers splendid views of Lower Manhattan in the distance and the jersey City banks on your right.
You’ll find benches along your way, toilets, play areas, and a dog park.
At Pier 40, the Village Community Boathouse offers free rowing lessons in season, but inquire before for schedules.
The pleasure, however, consists mainly in walking among the joggers and cyclists (cyclists have reserved lines, don’t worry) while gradually approaching the tower of One World Trade Center.
G: Once in sight of Chambers St., your path reaches a covered and elevated pedestrian crossing: you can either take Warren St. on the left, then turn right once on Greenwich St.; or turn right to continue along the riverbanks up to Vesey St.; then take it on your left.
In both cases, your goal is to reach the World Trade Center metro station. It’s next to One World Tower, so look to it to find your way.
Once there, you won’t be able to miss its entrance; called the Oculus, it looks like a white bird taking flight. It replaces the metro station destroyed during 9/11; under its slender and spacious structure, you’ll find metro lines and trains for New Jersey; you’ll also find the largest shopping center in Manhattan.
It means countless shops, some luxury ones, are waiting for you, and that’s how this trek will end!
And to see more photos of New York taken during these walks, you can also go to Citywalks.space.
Before you go, don’t forget your guide and see how to thank him at the bottom of the page. Then enjoy the rest of your day!