Inwood Hill Park is a public park in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, run by the Parks and Recreation Department of New York City. On the high schist ridge that rises 200 feet (61 m) above the Hudson River from Dyckman Street to the northern tip of the island, the densely folded, glacial topography of Inwood Hill Park contains the largest remaining old-growth forest on Manhattan Island. Unlike other parks in Manhattan, Inwood Hill Park is largely natural and consists mostly of wooded, unpaved hills.
The park is 196.4 acres. The Henry Hudson Parkway and Amtrak Empire Connection rail lines run through it, and the Henry Hudson Bridge and the rail-only Spuyten Duyvil Bridge link Manhattan to the Bronx at its northern end.
The western boundary of the park is the Hudson River, and the southern boundary is Dyckman Street. From Dyckman Street to 204th Street, the eastern boundary is Payson Avenue, from 204th to 214th Street is Seaman Avenue, and from 215th Street to the end of 218th Street, the eastern boundary is Indian Road. 10 miles of walkways across the park allow easy access to Dyckman Street, Fort Tryon Park, Fort Washington Park, and Riverside Park – part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. Some of these trails are former roads leading to what were once summer estates that were later brought under the control of the city in the creation of the park. Bolton Road, which was the main drive to the Bolton estate, is now the primary pedestrian pathway within the park; its entrance marked by a sign located on Payson Avenue.
The park includes three children’s playgrounds, baseball and soccer fields, and tennis and basketball courts. The Inwood Hill Nature Center at the north end of the park is both a place for educational programs and the local headquarters of the Urban Park Rangers. Inwood Hill Park Ballfields are widely used by local and other Spanish-language city leagues during the baseball season. This use places extreme pressure on the park, which has led to a need for more active management in recent years.
The lack of green space in the eastern part of Inwood and the nearby Bronx creates an enormous demand for picnics with barbecues and table/chair set-ups, an activity that is either illegal or tightly controlled in most city parks; however, Inwood Hill Park managed to do so by allowing such set-ups on the manicured, maintained peninsula of the park.
The animals found in the park include eastern and meadow birds, red-bellied salamanders, southern flying squirrels, opossums, white-footed deer mice, and cottontail rabbits, as well as the expected eastern gray squirrels and raccoons. Foxes were also once residents, but the increasing number of coyotes in Central Park and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx may account for the apparent absence of the foxes.