In addition to providing a pristine path for running or strolling, the stretch of Hudson River Park between 14th Street and Houston is filled with a number of recreational pursuits for West Villagers of all ages.
Enter via Horatio Street or West 12th to discover one of the best playgrounds in the city, dotted with colorful jungle gym equipment, sand, and play areas. Open year-round, Pier 51 comes alive in warm weather months when the myriad water features are turned on. The playground is rimmed by a lovely promenade, culminating in a delightful ship’s prow that juts over the Hudson for great sightseeing.
Pier 46, across from Charles Street, is lined with turf, providing the perfect backdrop for practicing soccer drills or tossing around a Frisbee or football. After working up a sweat, enjoy lunch at the nearby picnic tables under a stand of shady trees.
Pier 45 (Image: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia)
Need a pit stop after your run along the Hudson? Head to Pier 45 where you’ll find bathrooms, an 850-foot expanse of green grass for stretching and catching your breath, and, weather permitting, a water feature and café that will get you cooled off and fueled up in no time.
Pier 40 (Image: CucombreLibre/Wikimedia)
Mammoth Pier 40 recently made headlines when air rights over the structure were sold, providing $100 million for much needed repairs. In 1962, five smaller piers were combined to create a massive terminal for the Holland America line which operated until 1974. Today, three-level Pier 40 recreation center includes self-parking around its perimeter with multiple play fields in the interior.
If you’ve ever wanted to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, Trapeze School New York at Pier 40 is the perfect place to begin. On the south side of the pier, you’ll find opportunities for kayaking, rowing and shipbuilding, and Pier40Baseball offers youth softball and baseball programs. Even Fido can get in a workout at Pier 40 thanks to the Leroy Street Dog Park nearby.
Lastly, just south of Pier 40, you’ll find three free, first-come-first-served tennis courts, providing a riverfront venue for perfecting your backhand while taking in spectacular water and downtown views.