BRONX RIVER GREENWAY:

BRONX-VALHALLA, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Letterbox Planted:  April 19, 2009                                

Last Updated:           Dec. 10, 2021                               

Length:                     Upper Bronx River Greenway; 12.3 miles.

                                   Lower Bronx River Greenway; 8.3 miles with some on-road detours.

                                   Soundview Park Loop; 0.8 mile Loop.

                                   Pugsley Creek/Castle Hill Parks Trail; 1.2 miles.

                                   Shore Haven Bike Path/Clason Point Park Path; 1 mile.

Difficulty:                 Upper Bronx River Greenway; Moderate. Paved trail but a bit hilly in spots. Could be tough for kids on bikes.   

                                   Lower Bronx River Greenway; Moderate. Paved trail but a bit hilly in spots.     

Directions:

To start from the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla [Upper Bronx River Greenway]; From the Bronx River Pkwy northbound, take the Broadway exit in Valhalla as you travel around a traffic circle. The Kensico Dam Plaza entrance is just off the exit. From Route 22 southbound, merge onto the Bronx River Pkwy. Take the Broadway exit in Valhalla as you travel around a traffic circle. The Kensico Dam Plaza entrance is just off the exit.

To start from Leland & O'Brien Avenues (on-street parking) in the Bronx [Lower Bronx River Greenway]; From the Bronx River Pkwy take exit 1 to Story Ave. Straight leads to the northern side of Soundview Park. Head left to Soundview Ave and turn right. After 0.7 miles bear right on Leland Ave which will bring you to O'Brien Ave and the trailhead. 

The Metro-North Railroad's Harlem Line has a stop at Valhalla Station, as well as many other stops all along the Greenway. For more information visit; Metro North Railroad . If you click on the individual stations, they have available both directions and maps. 

The Bronx River Greenway is a proposed 23 mile long multi-use path that will connect the communities of the Bronx with those of Westchester county along the Bronx River. The Upper section (Westchester County) of the Greenway that has been completed runs from the Kensico Dam in Valhalla south to Bronxville with a short on-road section in between. A 1 mile section has also been completed in Mount Vernon. The Lower section (Bronx) runs from the Westchester/Bronx border south to Bronx Park where it connects with the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway . Further south the trail passes through Starlight Park, Concrete Park and Soundview Park where the Bronx & East Rivers meet. For more information visit;  BRONX RIVER GREENWAY .

Part of the Bronx River Greenways part of the EAST COAST GREENWAY , a planned biking & hiking route stretching 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. When complete it will traverse 15 states with a mostly off-road path.

UPPER BRONX RIVER GREENWAY:

Starting from the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla; The plaza is located directly below the massive dam. Quite a sight. There is a pavilion, rest rooms and refreshments available when the pavilion is open. The road across the top of the dam is closed to vehicles, however, I believe it is open to pedestrians. There were stairs located along each side of the dam. Head to the east side of the dam where you'll find an interesting memorial to the 9-11 victims. The paved Upper Bronx River Greenway starts here, travels south along the plaza and past the entrance where a crosswalk takes you over N Broadway. The trail travels left under a stone arched bridge, then turns right and alongside Clove Road Park. As you travel up a small rise it will become wooded on your left. Pass by 3 Cedar trees along your right, then a large rock next to a tree on your left followed by a clump of 4 trees. Look past these trees up into the woods and spot a large rock about halfway up. Behind it is a long rock ledge. Just to the right and below this ledge will be a large flat rock. Underneath the front edge, remove 1 flat rock to reveal the BRONX RIVER GREENWAY LETTERBOX. Continuing along the trail, you'll cross over the Metro-North rail line via a Bronx River Pkwy bridge. Beautiful old brick and stone bridge with a good view of the dam. The trail travels between the Parkway and the rail line and alongside the river in the Greenway. The trail meanders and travels up and down small hills, sometimes close to the Parkway or river or rail line. After 1.1 miles, use caution at a busy road crossing. After 1.7 miles you'll pass by a pond on your left and come to Fisher Lane. Turn left and pass by the Metro-North parking lot where the trail picks up on your right. You travel alongside the parking lot and pass by the entrance for the North White Plains Station. When you come to the tunnel underneath the tracks on your left, turn right and cross the road to the trail. Cross over the river and some busy road crossings before coming to a parking lot at 3.1 miles. The trail travels through the lot with a spur on the right to the County Center. You'll then pass by a tunnel to the White Plains Station. Check out the clock tower up to your left. The trail travels alongside the river and through a tunnel before crossing back over the river. We spotted all types of birds along the trail including Geese, Ducks and Egrets. You'll travel underneath the Pkwy under an impressive arched bridge. Next you travel underneath the railroad tracks. The trail changes from paved to stone-dust at 4.4 miles and alternates between the two for a bit. Watch your head at 4.8 miles as you travel under the Pkwy via a low arched bridge. This section is a bit more tranquil as it passes alongside a residential neighborhood. Come to a dam and small waterfall followed by a small pond in a park. The trail currently ends at Greenacres Ave after 5.5 miles in the town of Hartsdale. Heading right brings you to the Hartsdale Station.

I haven't checked out this next new section yet.

Cross the road and travel right down Fountain Terrace. Soon you'll pick up a paved trail which takes you out to Fenimore Rd. Head right across the Bronx River Pkwy, the left where you'll rejoin the paved trail as it travels south along the western side of the Pkwy. Just before you reach the Bronx River Reservation Maintenance Area the trail turns right and travels underneath the RR tracks, the continues south alongside the Bronx River. You'll come to the Scarsdale Station after 7.3 miles. 

I've checked out this next section. Continue south by crossing over the dam via a whimsical wooden bridge. The trail follows alongside the river and crosses several wooden bridges. This section is very well done. Duck! At 7.9 miles is an extremely low bridge followed by an iron bridge over the river. A cross-light takes you over busy Harvey Rd. Restrooms are available at 8.7 miles at a rest stop for the Pkwy on your right. Just past this the trail briefly follows along a service road before coming to a park. Left brings you to the Crestwood Station. The trail travels alongside Crestwood Lake and then crosses over a dam at its mouth. A short 0.2 mile on-road section utilizes a BIKE LANE at 11.1 miles. After crossing over Tuckahoe Rd you'll enter another park and come to a split in the trail at 11.5 miles. Both routes take you around Bronxville Lake, however, right takes you alongside the Pkwy so continue straight. You'll cross over another dam at the mouth of the lake where both trails merge. When you come to another split in the trail, bear left. Cross over Pondfield Rd and travel through another small park. The trail currently ends at Palmer Road after 12.3 miles.

Note; A gap between the Upper & Lower Bronx River Greenway currently exists as of 2021

You have several options from here:

1. You can return the way you came. 

2. You can head left along Palmer Rd for a 0.3 miles to the Metro-North's Bronxville Station where you can return to Valhalla.

3. You can continue your journey by connecting to the South County Trailway via an 1.4 mile On-Road route and take that trail south which brings you to the Old Putnam Rail Trail . Follow the "Old Put" south to the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway and take that trail east to the Lower Bronx River Greenway. Head north along that trail to its terminus in Wakefield. Finally, hope on the Metro-North at the Wakefield Station and return to Valhalla. 

This is the route we rode. Head right On-Road along Palmer Rd crossing over the Bronx River Pkwy, Sprain Brook Pkwy and I-87. Warning; this on-road route has a long steep climb. You'll crest the hill at 1 mile. As you cross over the next bridge, look down to your right and you'll see the South County Trailway. After crossing over the bridge look to your left to spot an old Train Station. Take your next left towards that train station and access to the South County Trailway after 1.4 miles. Head right (south) along the trail. See;  South County Trailway-Old Putnam Rail Trail-Mosholu-Pelham Greenway and Lower Bronx River Greenway below.

LOWER BRONX RIVER GREENWAY:

Starting from the Metro-North's Woodlawn Station;

Note; The Bronx River Greenway heads north along the Bronx River through Muskrat Grove before traveling underneath the Bronx River Pkwy. Here it travels between the river and Pkwy before it turns right crossing a bridge over the river and abruptly ending after 0.6 miles in Westchester County.

Exit the Station to Webster Ave and head left up to 233rd St. Cross the street and head left over the RR tracks and the Bronx River Pkwy to Bronx Blvd. Here you'll pick up the paved Lower Bronx River Greenway as it travels south.  Cross over an on-ramp for the Pkwy and the trail pulls away from Bronx Blvd and closer to the Bronx River, although you don't get great views of it. Travel through Shoelace park & Hyman Park before crossing E Gun Hill Rd at 1.5 miles. Come to an intersection at 2 miles in Bronx Park.

Note; Heading right, the trail heads southwest through Bronx Park towards the Botanical Gardens and intersects with the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway after a 0.5 miles.

Continue straight heading south. This section is in better shape, but more hilly. The trail is divided into bike and pedestrian lanes. You'll come to a 3-way trail split. Follow the far left trail (with the bike symbol painted on the trail). You'll come to another intersection at 2.4 miles.

Note; Heading right takes you along the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway, although it's alongside Dr Theodore Kazimiroff Blvd (also called Southern Blvd) through Bronx Park and towards the Botanical Gardens

Continue straight, using the cross-light (a tough intersection to cross) and travel south along the combined Bronx River/Mosholu-Pelham Greenways. After a little over 2.7 miles you'll pass by Warring Playground. Restrooms and a water fountain are located here. The paved trail briefly ends after another 0.3 miles, however, just continue straight alongside Bronx Park E and you'll return to the paved trail on your left as it travels east alongside Pelham Pkwy. You come to Boston Rd at 3.2 miles. 

Note; The Mosholu-Pelham Greenway continues east.

Turn right crossing the  Pelham Pkwy and following a wide sidewalk along Boston Rd. Boston Rd turns right, you continue straight along Bronx Park E where a paved trail heads into Lower Bronx Park. Head left around the playground and restroom through the center of the park. 

Note; Spur trail on your right leads to the BRONX ZOO .

Travel past the ball fields and come to an intersection at 3.7 miles.

Note; Continuing left will bring you up to the intersection of Bronx Park E & Unionport Roads.

At the intersection head right along the paved trail past the basketball courts. The trail then travels south alongside the Bronx River Pkwy before traveling down to the Parks building. Turn right on-road past the Parks Dept and pick up the paved trail again on your right at 4.2 miles. Travel underneath the Bronx River Pkwy (isolated section), past the rail station and out to E 180th St at 5.9 miles. Travel right (sidewalk available) along E 180th. Just after crossing over the river the paved trail picks up on your left. I haven't checked out this new addition, I believe if you head north a trail takes you underneath E 180th St to River Park (playgrounds, picnic tables Splash Park). This wooded trail travels south through West Farms Rapids Park underneath the elevated train tracks out to E Tremont Ave. 

Note; A short gap exists as of Jan 2021. Future construction will take the trail across E Tremont St, then east across the river, then south to Sheridan Expressway and a crosswalk to the existing section. This bypass the dangerous current route along E 177th St. Construction scheduled for 2023.

Head left to a cross-lights over E Tremont Ave and continue south on E 177th St (No shoulder). You will pick up the paved trail at the next intersection after 5 miles. I've checked out this next section. The trail travels underneath I-95 bringing you to the northern edge of Starlight Park where the trail creates a circle. Sculptures. Head right across a blue bridge over the Bronx River, then south underneath E 174th St. Here the trail follows the river around the eastern side of the park (Sports fields and playground). Another trail circles around the western side of the park. Come to the Bronx River House at 5.5 miles. 

Note; Currently, as of July 2021, they are building two bridges across the Bronx River and a third bridge across the RR tracks. This will allow the trail to connect to Westchester Ave and Concrete Plant Park. See Map Below. Construction expected to be finished by Summer 2022.

Note; Until the bridges are complete you'll need to take detour. Head right past a pier and the Bronx River House out to the Sheridan Expressway. Head left following the "Green" SEPARATED BIKE LANE. Come to Westchester Ave and turn left along the BIKE LANE to a cross-light at 5.9 miles. On your left is where the new trail will emerge in the future. 

Cross over Westchester Ave to the northern edge of  Concrete Plant Park. The paved trail resumes south alongside the river. Come to the remnants of the old concrete plant along with a pavilion, benches and water fountain. Old RR tracks preserved here. Come to Bruckner Blvd at 6.3 miles. 

Note; An on-road gap currently exists between here and Soundview Park. Head left along a sidewalk across the river and down to Bronx River Way. Head right along Bronx River Way (BIKE SHARROWS), then left along Story Ave (BIKE SHARROWS). First right down Colgate Ave (BIKE LANE) and you'll come to Soundview Park at 6.8 miles. Map Board. 

Continue south along the paved trail between the park on your left and Bronx River along your right. Quickly come to an intersection.

Note; Lots of spur trails lead into the park. This trail is a Loop Trail (North) that encircles the park. On my way back I returned to the trail here. See; Loop Trail (South) below.

Come to the Loop Trail (South) at 7.4 miles. 

Note; To return to the Loop Trail (North)/Bronx River Greenway intersection follow this paved trail into Soundview Park. At the next intersection head north through the middle of the park. Sports fields, picnic tables... Just before the trail exits the park turn left, passing by a playground, Dog Park and more sports fields. Return to the Bronx River Greenway after a 0.8 mile Loop.

Bear right and quickly com to another intersection.

Note; This spur leads left to Randall Ave.

Come to another intersection at 7.7 miles. Along this next stretch just keep to the right. All the left spurs bring you out to Bronx River Ave. Pass a promenade overlooking where the Bronx River meets the East River. Rikers Island and LaGuardia Airport are across the river. The trail then heads inland past a marsh bringing you to Leland & O'Brien Avenues after 8.3 miles and the end of the trail.

Note; Straight on-road along O'Brien Ave will bring you to the Pugsley Creek/Castle Hill Parks Trail after 0.3 miles. I haven't checked out this trail. This 1.2 mile paved trail encircles Pugsley Creek Park and Castle Hill Park with Westchester Creek in the middle.

Note; Right on-road down Harding Park/Bronx River Ave will bring you to the Shore Haven Bike Path and Clason Point Park Path after 0.4 miles. I haven't checked out these trails. This 1 mile trail follows the Shore Haven Bike Path along the East River before it connects to the Clason Point Park Path which travels north alongside Westchester Creek.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR UPPER BRONX RIVER GREENWAY MAP

CLICK HERE FOR UPPER BRONX RIVER GREENWAY MAP

CLICK HERE FOR LOWER RIVER GREENWAY MAP

CLICK HERE FOR CLASON POINT/CASTLE HILL/SHORE HAVEN PATHS MAP

CLICK HERE FOR NY CITY 2022 BIKE MAP

 

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