Take a stroll on The High Line and you’ll find yourself walking high above the streets of Manhattan admiring some pretty amazing city views. This New York City public park is built on a former elevated railroad structure in Manhattan’s West Side.
The High Line stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 34th though the neighborhoods of West Chelsea, the Meatpacking District and Hell’s Kitchen. This unique park is a greenway over a mile and a half long landscaped with regional flora and dotted with benches where you can sit, relax and experience spectacular vistas of the city.
A Part of Manhattan’s Industrial Past
This elevated park is built around an old rail line that operated from 1934 to 1980. Known as the West Side Line, the tracks were built to lift the increasingly busy and dangerous traffic caused by the freight trains into the air. This helped to eliminate the growing number of train accidents and fatalities in Manhattan’s biggest and busiest industrial area.
For decades this freight rail moved a variety of goods around the west side of the city 30 feet above the streets. Agricultural products and manufactured goods made their way to factories and shipments of meat were delivered to the Meatpacking District. The West Side Line also moved mail to the city’s Post Office.
From the Threat of Demolition to Urban Oasis
The last train (carrying frozen turkeys) traveled The High Line in 1980. A few years later, the structure faced demolition. Property owners with land located under the former rail line, which was now unkempt and overgrown, wanted the tracks removed.
Recognizing the historic importance of The High Line, a non-profit group called Friends of the High Line was formed by community residents in 1999. The group was successful in lobbying the government to preserve the structure and eventually develop it for pedestrian use. An international competition was held for the architectural firm and landscape design team that would transform the old rail line into the elevated public park it is today. The High Line opened to the public on June 9th 2009.
Friends of the High Line now works together with the City of New York to maintain the park and raise funds for its preservation and development.
Experiencing the High Line
From the rotating art exhibits to the stunning sunsets over the Hudson River, the High Line is a great destination to check out the next time you are shopping in the trendy Meatpacking District or Chelsea Market (where High Line tracks run through the second floor).
The park’s landscape showcases a wide variety of colorful perennials and trees with many of the plantings inspired by the species that originally grew along the rail line.
Visiting the High Line in New York City
The High Line stretches from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.
Visitors can access The High Line park from Gansevoort, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, 26th, 28th, 30th Streets as well as 30th Street and 11th Avenue along with 34th Street and 12th Avenue. Elevator access is available at 14th, 16th, 23rd and 30th Streets and bike racks are located outside the stairs at Gansevoort, 16th, 18th and 20th. Bicycles and dogs are not permitted on the High Line. Visit The High Line website where a downloadable/printable pdf guide is available. Hours vary by season.
Mailing Address: 529 West 20th Street, Suite 8W, New York City, New York
Click here to visit The High Line official website.
Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.