NYC's Last Natural Forest: Inwood Hill Park
The End of the Line--Inwood Hill Park
“Forever Wild” marks an entrance to one of the many paths that winds through the woods and up the hill in Inwood Hill Park—and provides a fitting introduction for visitors looking to escape the bustle of the city.
Located at the end of the A line in the northernmost tip of Manhattan, Inwood Hill Park comprises the largest remaining natural forest in Manhattan. It offers outdoor opportunities without having to travel to the edge of one of the outer boroughs (which, depending on where you live, can be a long trip) and is less manicured, less populated, and more isolated from the noise and sights of the city than other parks in Manhattan.
During the summer, visitors can participate in free yoga, tai-chi, or capoeira classes which occur on the park’s lawn overlooking the water, or receive a free guided kayaking tour at the nearby Inwood Canoe Club. While these opportunities ended with the unofficial close of summer, foraging tours will continue throughout the fall for those really interested in locally grown food. Explorers and history buffs can also indulge themselves in a search for the caves which were used as shelters by the Weekquaesgeek Indians (artifacts have been found).
While these activities make the park worth visiting on their own, it is the wild and natural essence which makes it valuable throughout the year. A network of paths for runners and walkers spread throughout the woods, where the sounds of cars and trains are exchanged for the scuffling of animals through the leaves and birds singing and chattering, making it easy to forget that you are still in the city. For outdoor enthusiasts, this is perhaps one of the park’s greatest offering—the opportunity to escape, wander, and get lost for a little while.
Written by Gillian Bower.