Urban meets rural on the New York High Line

The lovely Peter Walker writes for The Girl Outdoors on the High Line, a rural paradise suspended high above the bustling city that is New York’s best kept secret.

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I’m a country boy trapped in the city. I love living in the city, but sometimes I find myself yearning for the tranquility and green that you can only find in the countryside. In New York, the citizens of Manhattan have laughed at the idea of compromise, creating their own green paradise above the streets: The High Line.

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Originally created in the late ‘30s to lift heavy freight trains safely above the streets of New York, the line fell into disrepair in the 1980s. By 1999, with half of the railway already torn down, the locals decided to take action. Looking to preserve and re-use the structure, they worked with New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, to turn the old railway into a one-of-a-kind park.

Over the last decade, The Friends of the High Line have dedicated years into planting and plotting the park into what it is today. Walking along the 20-block (just over a mile) route, you can really feel the love and attention that has gone into transforming the space. Every portion of the walkway is unique, meaning that at no point does the walk through become boring.

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My favourite part of the park is 10th Avenue square. It has staggered steps arranged as a seating area, situated right next to the Northern Spur preserve. It’s great as an area just to chill out, and watch the cars and people on the street below.

I really love what the Friends of the High Line have created, and walking along the track was easily one of the best parts of my trip to New York. It’s something I’d heartily recommend checking it out if you ever visit. You can find out more about the High Line and their future plans at www.thehighline.org.

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When not writing one-off articles for TGO, Pete enjoys running, jumping and climbing things. Follow him on twitter for more adventures.

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