Palisades Scenic Byway – NJ
- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2021)
- Intrinsic QualitiesScenic
- LocationNJ, NY
- Length19.1 of 26.58 total miles
Experience the beautiful sights of both New Jersey and the New York City skyline on the amazing Palisades Scenic Byway. This 19-mile-long Byway truly has it all, from lush forest scenes to views of the George Washington Bridge and New York City. There are also plenty of opportunities for family recreational activities like hiking, picnicking, or even jet skiing. History can also be found along the Byway, as visitors can stop by Fort Lee which played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War.
Story of the Byway
The Palisades Cliffs are one of the most scenic geological formations in the state of New Jersey, and the Palisades Scenic Byway runs right through them and is able to capture their natural beauty. With beautiful views of both New Jersey and the New York City Skyline, this Byway is the perfect scenic drive for just about anyone. The 19 miles that this route covers have some of the most picturesque views that will make you want to constantly stop and just enjoy. Traveling along Henry Hudson drive and the Palisades Interstate Parkway, this Byway was constructed for the best possible traveler experience. With amazing views and history throughout the Byway, there are endless ways that you can spend your time traveling.
The especially gorgeous views located throughout the Byway create a perfect background for any of the many recreational activities available. Whether it be hiking, biking, having a picnic, or boating on the Hudson River, beautiful views of the Palisades Cliffs and the New York City Skyline will leave you in awe. If you are someone that wants to take a hike along the Palisades Cliffs, there are trails created for every type of skill level. For those extra thrill seekers, the “Giant Stairs” is a very demanding hike, but the view at the top makes it worth it. The roadway was purposely created to create the best experience possible for travelers, and it is exactly as advertised. Starting with a great view of the George Washington Bridge and moving north up along the Palisades Cliffs is truly a beautiful sight for just about anybody.
Not only is this area full of scenic views, but there is also a large amount of history located along the Byway. Fort Lee Historic Park and Visitor’s Center is a great place to stop and take in the rich history of the area during the Revolutionary War. There are plenty of relics and informational signs available for visitors to read and learn about its history, and there are even some re-enactments as well. Visitors can also learn about the history behind the roads that they are driving on and how they became so significant in the area. For example, visitors can learn why the Palisades Interstate Parkway was almost turned into a quarry in 1900!
With the most beautiful views in the area being covered during the length of this Scenic Byway, the planners did a great job of creating an amazing visitor experience. With three scenic overlooks and multiple river access points, the views of nature are second to none and can be appreciated by all. The hiking trails and parks located along the byway create recreation galore and fun for the entire family. Taking in and learning about the history of Fort Lee is absolutely fascinating and important in the understanding of the area. All of the above prove how wonderful of a journey the Palisades Scenic Byway is for everyone who wants to take it!
The New Jersey segment of this begins at the George Washington Bridge and then runs vertically up the Hudson River up to the New York border. This route is located on top of the Palisades cliffs and provides a great view of New York City as well as lush forests in New Jersey.
Points of Interest
State Line Lookout
Located at the highest point of the Palisades Cliffs, visitors can have arguably the best view of the New York City. There is also an opportunity to hike, hawk watch, or stop by the refreshment stand and gift shop.
This quaint park has gorgeous views of Manhattan, the George Washington Bridge, and the Hudson river from on top of the Palisades Cliffs.
Fort Lee Historic Park and Visitor Center
Visitors have the chance to view a visitor center full of history from Fort Lee and the Revolutionary War. There are also great views of the George Washington Bridge, Upper Manhattan, and the Hudson River.
Traverse the Palisades Cliffs
Starting from Fort Lee on the Palisades Scenic Byway, there is an immediate opportunity to experience some of the sites that it has to offer. Before you head north on the Palisades Interstate Parkway you can take in the history of the area by going to the Fort Lee Historic Park and Visitors Center. This provides great views of the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades Cliffs all while learning about the history of Fort Lee. Then, you can start your trek along the Byway as you head north. There are parks galore available as you travel along the peak of the Palisades Cliffs and taking in the breathtaking views of New York City. Allison Park is still very close to the Bridge and is a wonderful place to stop by and have a picnic.
As you keep going north, you make your way higher and higher on the Cliffs, and if you want to you can stop by Alpine Lookout, which has accommodations for anyone while also providing recreational opportunities. At this point, the Palisades Interstate Park is located and has hiking, boating, fishing, and much more available for all who stop by. Towards the end of your journey, there are still plenty of lookouts and parks to stop by and take in even more angles of this beautiful natural area.
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