Giraffe Path

Hike the Heights promotes the use of the Giraffe Path, an urban trail that connects the Cloisters to Central Park through the escarpment parks of northern Manhattan. This giraffe-shaped trail takes its shape from existing trails and streets that connect Fort Tryon Park, Highbridge Park, Jackie Robinson Park, St. Nicholas Park, Morningside Park, and Central Park.  

The CLIMB team has been spearheading using this hiking trail to promote physical activity and community revitalization. The north-south links connect parks from Fort Tryon Park to Central Park that nearly touch. The east-west linkages connect the neighborhoods with nearby park facilities. The vital connections will breakdown segregation of people and resources, creating new ways of living together in the city. 

On the day of Hike the Heights, participants meet in each of these parks and hike together to a community celebration. The hike path is lined by giraffe sculptures crafted by local youth.

Download the Hike the Heights map!

The path exists year round, so take a hike any day! The entire path is about 6 miles long and covers a variety of terrain: hilly, flat, stairs and gravel. The majority of the path is paved. The path links seven northern Manhattan parks and requires walking between 1 and 5 city blocks between parks. View the full Hike the Heights map or download a printable version.  

You do not need to walk the entire trail. Pick a distance to walk or a landmark to see. Consider taking the bus or subway to a new spot and walk home. Check the weather and dress accordingly. You can pack water and a snack, but don't worry, there are a number of restaurants, bodegas, cafes, and stores along the way.

Help maintain the parks

Each year New Yorkers help with the upkeep of their parks on "It's My Park Day." Join Partnership for Parks in cleaning up the spaces this spring and fall.

The Giraffe Path was listed by the New York Times as one of the 5 best hikes in New York City in 2019.