Winter 2013 Meeting

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 2:00pm - 7:30pm

Van Cortlandt Park near Manhattan College

Hikes, workshops, dinner and social time, presentations.

Location: Manhattan College, 3825 Corlear Ave,  Leo Hall - Engineering Building, Bronx (Riverdale section),  NY 10463, very near Van Cortlandt Park (pictured above)

CLICK HERE for Directions to the Manhattan College School of Engineering.  Limited parking available adjacent to the building and directly across the street.


Schedule of Activities


FULL 1:00 PM Isham & Inwood Hill Parks (historic tour, easy pace) led by Pat Courtney and Sid Horenstein. Learn about the development of Inwood, its parks and the historic land gifts that helped preserve approximately 220 acres of the original terrain of Manhattan Island. Highlights include a beautiful estate and scenic views of Inwood Park Hill, the Hudson River and surrounding area, a lovely rock outcrop and historic Inwood Hill Park. Pat Courtney will lead the Isham Park section, followed by Sid Horenstein, who will guide us through Inwood Hill Park. Meet at 1pm at Carrot Top bakery, 5025 Broadway across from the intersection of 214th Street.  Click here for full description.

OPEN 1:00 PM Van Cortlandt Park (Approximately 3 miles, moderate pace) Northwest Woodlands Circular Hike led by Victor Scelzo, Vice President, Urban Trail Conference hiking club. Moderately paced hike, with stops, on hilly park trails. Hiking shoes required for rough and possible wet sections. Experience winter woodlands, mostly in the northwest forest of the park.  Bring snack and beverage for during the walk. Take the #1 local train to 242nd St. Van Cortlandt Park (last stop) and meet starting 12:30 PM (after lunch) near the turnstiles near fare booth.. Call or email the day before the hike for final route, etc. which will depend on weather and trail conditions: 718-652-9075, [email protected]

FULL 3:00 PM: Van Cortlandt Park (3-5 miles, depending on the group's pace) Seven Wonders of Van Cortlandt Park led by Christina Taylor, Executive Director, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park.  Discover the many natural and historic wonders of Van Cortlandt Park.  Take a 2-hour hike with the Friends of VCP to learn about and visit most of the Seven Wonders of Van Cortlandt Park. Highlights include the oldest building still standing in the Bronx, where the city documents were hidden during the Revolutionary War and the only freshwater lake in the Bronx all while walking through the natural areas of this beautiful park.  Meet at 3pm just inside Van Cortlandt Park, at the last stop of the 1 train at 242nd Street and Broadway[email protected]


3:30:  Workshop #1: Building Sustainable & Environmentally Appropriate Trails: What makes for a ‘good’ trail?  Learn about the art and science of trail building from John Bauer, our New York West Hudson Program Coordinator.

4:30:  Workshop #2:   Trail Conference Publications:  Sneak preview of the newest hiking books and map apps of 2013.  Also, hear the colorful, 90-year history of the New York Walk Book.  Presenters:  Daniel Chazin, Jeremy Apgar


5:30:  Social hour and Dinner

6:30:  Business Meeting

7:15:  Keynote Speaker:  Sidney Horenstein, geologist and Environmental Educator emeritus, American Museum of Natural History.  Learn about the campaign to restore and reopen New York City’s oldest bridge, The High Bridge.  This centerpiece of the Old Croton Aqueduct carried water across the Harlem River to Manhattan in pipes, which still run through the bridge’s deck.

Click here to register.


Isham and Inwood Hill Parks Hike Full Description. This hike is accessible via the #1 train.  Get off at the West 215th Street.  The hike will meet at Carrot Top, a local bakery at 5025 Broadway, across from the intersection of 214th Street.

The tour will be an introduction to the development of Inwood and its parks and to Julia Isham Taylor's intervention in the rapid development taking place in the area in 1911 when she wrote a letter to the Borough President giving the land for Isham Park. That gift and an additional gift from her aunt Flora E. Isham in 1912 revived the discussion about the purchase of land for Inwood Hill Park, plans for which had been set aside earlier. The creation of the two intertwined parks eventually preserved about 220 acres of the original terrain of Manhattan Island.

We will enter the park through the original estate entrance on Broadway just above 212th and walk up the path to the site of the former residence which was given as part of the park by Mrs. Taylor.  From there one can see the surrounding area including Inwood Hill Park and the Hudson River, as the house was built at the top of a high point in the center of the northern end of Inwood. We will then descend and meet Sidney at what is known today as the Isham Street and Seaman Avenue entrance to Inwood Hill Park. 

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Manhattan College, 3825 Corlear Ave, Bronx, NY