The best views in Hudson County are free.
The Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy is gearing up again to offer its free annual tours along the Hudson River. The first of seven tours will be held on April 27 and begin at the Bayonne Golf Course Walkway.
The seven tours (see below) running through October will take pedestrians along portions of the nearly uninterrupted 18.5 mile stretch extending from the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee to the Bayonne Bridge.
Don Stitzenberg, vice president of the conservancy, said there are no statistics of how many people use the walkway annually, but anyone who takes a jaunt along the waterfront on a sunny spring day will see it's not underused.
"It gets heavy use," Stitzenberg said.
The walkway is also more than just a track for joggers, dog walkers and power-walking mom's with strollers. Stitzenberg called it a "transportation link," that connects shopping centers and restaurants, while allowing people to leave their cars at home and forgo the dread of finding a parking space.
"The importance of the walkway is pretty well recognized by the people who use it and like it," said Stitzenberg.
The construction of the walkway, which has been an ongoing project since 1984, is nearly 85-percent complete, Stitzenberg said. But that number continues to grow.
Most recently in 2012, Hoboken and Weehawken cut a ribbon on a $3.2 million project that added a new portion to the walkway near Weehawken Cove that now connects the two cities.
There are also multiple projects underway that are filling in the remaining gaps along the waterfront.
The largest project, Stitzenberg said, is in Edgewater at Veteran's Park. The entire park is practically being rebuilt to construct a brand new walkway, Stitzenberg said. The project is not expected to be done this year.
There is also work ongoing on a small parcel of land near the Colgate Clock in Jersey City, which will connect the Goldman Sach's building to the Korean War Memorial in Morris Canal Park when completed later this year.
And then there is the project on the boarder of North Bergen and Guttenberg. The two cities combined their funds to build a new park that will include an amphitheater, playground and, of course, unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline. The project is expected to be completed within a few months, Stitzenberg said.
While cities and property owners build new portions of the waterfront walkway, Stitzenberg said maintenance and combating erosion is now the biggest obstacle facing the completed sections.
Superstorm Sandy caused lots of damage to the walkway, with Port Liberte in Jersey City receiving probably the worst of the damage, Stitzenberg said. But the storm exacerbated the erosion that happens naturally along walkway, some of which is more than 20 years old.
"The biggest issue is finding money to rebuild where the walkway is deteriorated," Stitsenberg. "It needs continual maintenance."
The following is the schedule of upcoming walks along the waterfront presented by the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy. Click here for more information.
- April 27: Bayonne Golf Course Walkway, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at South Cove Plaza, at 1 Le Fante Way at Route 440.
- May 11: Edgewater South, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at Edgewater Ferry to I Park.
- June 8: Edgewater North, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at Edgewater Ferry to Palisades Interstate Park.
- June 29: Jersey City Downtown, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at Exchange Place to Hoboken Train Station.
- Sept 7: Hoboken, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at Sheraton Hotel in Weehawken to Hoboken Train Station.
- Sept. 28: Weehawken, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at Sheraton Hotel in Weehawken to Port Imperial Ferry Terminal.
- Oct. 12: Liberty Harbor and Southern Jersey City, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at Liberty State Park Footbridge to Exchange Place.
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