Fort Washington Park is a public park located in Upper Manhattan, Washington Heights, New York City. It runs along the banks of the Hudson River next to Riverside Drive and Henry Hudson Parkway from 155th Street West to Dyckman Street. The George Washington Bridge crosses over the park, and below the bridge, there is a small landmark called Jeffrey’s Hook, which is the site of the Little Red Lighthouse.
The 160-acre (65-hectare) park features riverside views of the New Jersey Palisades and the George Washington Bridge. Facilities include walking and greenways, baseball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, a soccer field and a playground.
Fort Washington Park covers a surface area of 160 acres (65 ha). It is bounded to the west by the Hudson River, to the north by Dyckman Street, to the east by Henry Hudson Parkway, and to the south by 155th Street. The park has links to Inwood Hill Park to the north and Fort Tryon Park and Riverside Park to the south, all of which are part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. Henry Hudson Parkway (NY 9A) and Amtrak Empire Connection run through the western part of the park.
The Little Red Lighthouse is located on a spit of land under the George Washington Bridge, Jeffrey’s Hook. The current lighthouse, which replaced the rudimentary indicator, was initially located in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and was decommissioned in 1917. The U.S. Lighthouse Establishment moved the lighthouse to Fort Washington Park in 1921, and it was decommissioned in 1948, having become obsolete after the construction of the George Washington Bridge. The U.S. Coast Guard initially intended to sell off the lighthouse but decided against doing so after protests from local children. Since 1951, NYC Parks has operated the lighthouse as part of Fort Washington Park. The Little Red Lighthouse is both on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated New York City Landmark.
The Dyckman Street Boat Marina is located on the northern tip of the park at the end of Dyckman Street. Formerly the site of a car float across the Hudson River, which closed in 1941, was given land to NYC Parks in 1966. Twenty-one years later, Dyckman Marine Venture proposed to redevelop a car float site with a marina, pier, and restaurant, and NYC Parks granted the organization permission to use the site. The complex was partially financed by federal government funds due to the obscure stipulation in federal legislation that provided funds primarily to suburban and rural fisheries.
Fort Washington Park contains the Lily Brown Playground on 162nd Street. Built on a plot acquired in 1925, the playground is located on the bank. It is named after Lily Brown, a local resident who advocated a renovation of the playground in the 1980s and 1990s. The playground was restored in the early 2000s. The southern end of the park also includes two baseball courts, a soccer field, five softball courts, a basketball court, and ten handball courts. The area between 155th and 165th Streets is the only part of Fort Washington Park with active recreation facilities.