ROOSEVELT ISLAND GREENWAY:
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2022
Length: Roosevelt Island Greenway; 3.8 mile Loop
Manhattan via Queensboro Bridge to Roosevelt Island Bridge to the Greenway; 3.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy. The greenway is paved and flat. Some on-road sections (low traffic).
To start from the Roosevelt Island Bridge on the East Side of Roosevelt Island.
Starting from Vernon Blvd & 36th Ave in Queens; A path along the north side of the Roosevelt Island Bridge will take you over the East River to Roosevelt Island. This brings you to a parking garage on the island. Take a left down the "Island Access" ramp *(Caution; shared with car traffic) and another left past the columns to the Roosevelt Island Greenway after 0.4 miles.
*Note; Plans are in the works to construct a "Bike Only Ramp" on the western end of the Roosevelt Island Bridge that will take you down to the Roosevelt Island Greenway. As of 2022, construction has not yet begun.
Starting from the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway in Manhattan; From the intersection of York Ave, E 60th St and the entrance to the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway head east up E 60th St and quickly pick up a BIKE LANE. Follow this BIKE LANE up to and across the Queensboro Bridge via a separated pedestrian path/BIKE LANE located along the northern side of the bridge (lower level). Come to Queens Plaza North & Crescent St in Queens after 1.6 miles. Head left following a BIKE LANE west alongside Queens Plaza North. Cross 21st St to the paved Queensbridge Park Greenway which continues west below the Queensboro Bridge. Cross Vernon Blvd where the trail travels north through Queensbridge Park (playgrounds, ball fields, restrooms & views of the East River). Exit the park back out to Vernon Blvd and head left (north) along a BIKE LANE. Come to 36th Ave and the Roosevelt Island Bridge after 3 miles. Turn left to access the path over the Roosevelt Island Bridge. This brings you to a parking garage on the island. Take a left down the "Island Access" ramp *(Caution; shared with car traffic) and another left past the columns to the Roosevelt Island Greenway after 3.4 miles.
To start from the Roosevelt Island Tram Station in the Center of Roosevelt Island.
Starting from the Roosevelt Island Tram Station in Manhattan; Take the Tram in Manhattan located at 2nd Ave & E 60th St over to Roosevelt Island. Bikes are allowed, however, at the Manhattan station the only elevator is too small for most bikes so you'll have to carry your bikes up or down a stairway. The cost is the same as a Subway fare but with better views. For more information visit; ROOSEVELT ISLAND TRAM .
The NYC Subway's Roosevelt Island Station allows access to the Island. For more information concerning the NYC Subway visit; NYC SUBWAY . For information concerning taking your bike on the Subway visit; NYC SUBWAY; BIKES .
The Roosevelt Island Greenway encircles Roosevelt Island in the middle of the East River. The trail may be accessed via the ROOSEVELT ISLAND TRAM or the Roosevelt Island Bridge.
Starting from the Roosevelt Island Bridge [East Side]; The Roosevelt Island Greenway Loops around the island alongside the East River. Starting from the bridge access ramp below the Roosevelt Island Bridge, Head North along the paved trail. You'll travel underneath the bridge and along the Eastern Side of the island. This section of the trail is weathered and narrow in spots. An access road, then Main St and finally East Rd parallels the trail. You'd probably be better off utilizing these roads then the trail along this section. As you enter Lighthouse Park the trail turns to paving stones and improves greatly. Picnic tables and benches are located here. You'll come to the Northern Tip of the island and a lighthouse at 0.8 miles. If you look over towards Manhattan you can see FDR Drive as it travels below Carl Schurz Park along the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. Heading South along the Western Side of the island you'll leave the park and follow the paved trail which reverts to paving stones at times. This section is well done with great views of Manhattan. At around 1.7 miles the trail along the river becomes very narrow. Your better off utilizing West Rd which parallels the trail. After 2 miles you'll pass by the NYC Subway's Roosevelt Island Station on your left. Here you'll again utilize West Rd as there is only a sidewalk available. Pass by the Roosevelt Island Tram Station on your left before traveling underneath the Queensboro Bridge. The paved trail picks up again alongside the river at 2.2 miles passing by Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital. Come to a gate and the entrance to SOUTHPOINT PARK at 2.5 miles. Here you'll find restrooms and a water fountain and a wide paved trail with no cars. This park contains lawns and gardens along with the historic ruins of architect James Renwick's Smallpox Hospital, the city's only land marked ruin (Featured in the Michael J. Fox movie For Love or Money). Follow alongside the river (spur trails along your left) and past the hospital ruins before coming to FDR FOUR FREEDOMS PARK at 2.7 miles. Bikes are not allowed in the park but be sure to check out the park, which extends to the Southern Tip of the island, on foot. Then continue left past the ruins to the East Side of the island and back through Southpoint Park. Pass through the gate and pick up the trail on your right at 2.8 miles. East Rd parallels the trail on your left as you travel past the Hospital and underneath the Queensboro Bridge before coming to some sports fields at 3.2 miles.
Note; Left brings you to the Roosevelt Island Tram Station.
Continue alongside the river, passing by a spur trail on your left which brings you up to NYC Subway's Roosevelt Island Station and some places to eat. Continue past more recreational facilities and housing before returning to the Roosevelt Island Bridge after a 3.8 mile Loop.
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