Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is on everyone’s NYC bucket list, but it shouldn’t be the only bridge on your list. NYC has over 2,000 bridges, and many of them are pedestrian friendly. A few of them are even more enjoyable than the Brooklyn Bridge. (It sounds blasphemous, but I swear it’s true!) Take a walk off the beaten path, er… bridge, and cross these four NYC bridges.
Just like the two neighborhoods it connects, Williamsburg and the Lower East Side, the Williamsburg bridge is a mix of funk, grit, and utility. Between the graffiti on the walkway, the hot pink guardrails, and the views up and down the East River, there’s a lot to take in as you complete this 1.4-mile crossing. And I didn’t even mention the vehicular traffic speeding below you and the bikes and trains that flank the bridge’s north side. One thing to note: it is imperative that you follow the path marked for pedestrians. The cyclists that use this bridge are speed demons.
The High Bridge
If you thought the Brooklyn Bridge was old, I’d like to introduce you to the granddaddy of NYC bridges, the High Bridge. Built in 1848 to help transport water to New York City from the Croton Aqueduct, the High Bridge also doubled as a popular spot for a relaxing promenade across the Harlem River. Today it’s a hidden gem buried within the foliage of High Bridge Park. It takes a little effort to find, but trust me, the search is worth it.
Ward’s Island Bridge
You’ve probably never seen Manhattan from this angle. The Ward’s Island Bridge, aka the 103rd Street Footbridge, connects Manhattan’s East Harlem to Randall’s Island/ Ward’s Island. This crossing gives you a unique view of the city from the Harlem River and it gives you access to Randall’s Island, filled with athletic fields and gardens. Bring a picnic basket and make a day of it.
Ocean Avenue Pedestrian Bridge
This bridge won’t give you soaring views of Manhattan. But it might convince you to give up the bright lights and skyscrapers for bayside living. The Ocean Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, which connects the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach, could probably be crossed in one minute, two minutes if you walk slow. So why is it worth your time? Well, for one thing, the bright blue paint job makes it very grammable, and it’s a bridge to a very unique type of NYC lifestyle. In this part of NYC, it’s not uncommon to find people who have a family boat or to find houses that look more like opulent mansions. Admire the boats and the swans as you cross the bridge and then wander around the neighborhood trying to find your dream mansion. If you get hungry, cross back over to Sheepshead Bay, where there is a street full of seafood restaurants for you to choose from.
Which NYC bridge is next on your bucket list? Share it in the comment section. Also, if you want to get to know NYC even better with Shiloh in the City, don’t forget to sign up for my email list and follow me on social media. Thanks for reading!