The Little Red Lighthouse at the Tippy Top of Manhattan

The days of I-don’t-want-to-leave-my-apartment cold are just around the corner. Ughhhh. So until then, I chose to go on walks. I take them very seriously, in a it-may-never-ever-be-this-nice-out-again way. Long, epic, walks.

little red lighthouse

There is a little red lighthouse somewhere under the George Washington Bridge. That’s it, that’s all I knew. Armed with that knowledge alone, I laced up these-boots-are-made-for-walking footwear and set out toward the tippy top of Manhattan.


If I just followed the Hudson River, eventually I’d find myself under the GWB. Right? Probably? Seems legit? That was my strategy anyway. It’s the easiest way to make a walk an adventure. Ditch the GPS and assume you’ll find a way to your destination. I got on the path along the Hudson at W 157th, the rest was easy.


Make it an urban safari by taking pictures through branches and leaves. This is the view looking south with lower Manhattan way off in the distance but magically silouetted on the water.

Really make it an urban safari by spotting wildlife. And I’m not talking rats and pigeons!


This gorgeous hawk was just sitting in a tree above the path. Good thing I got my eye prescription updated or I might’ve missed him! I certainly almost missed getting a picture, photographing wild animals is considerably harder than cityscapes!

Much easier to capture fly fishermen than flying birds of prey. I like to think these fellas stand on this cement block every Sunday. That they have for years. I bet they have good stories about the strange things they pulled out of this river. What if I’d walked up and asked them? I wonder, would I have been greeted or glared at?


Walk north between the river and the train tracks. That’s how to get to the Little Red Lighthouse.

That not quite its official name. This is the Jeffrey Hook Lighthouse (something I learned thanks to my unofficial fact checker @istillheartnewyork), but only its mother would call it that. Little Red suits it to a tee, don’t you think?


Destination reached! I didn’t even get a little lost! Little Red Lighthouse meets little red blogger!


The Little Red Lighthouse was only active for ten years, from the 1920s to the 1930s. Once the GWB was built, the lights from the bridge made it obsolete. It’s hard to imagine the shores of this island being dark but this lighthouse is an acute reminder of those times. This is Manhattans last remaining lighthouse. We needn’t worry about it being torn down and replaced by condos- it has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places- phew.



The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation occasionally opens the Little Red Lighthouse for inside tour. Keep your eye on their event calendar for the next one. On January 10th there’s a “North Manhattan Parks Super Hike” that starts at Inwood Hill Park, explores the Cloisters, and ends at the Little Red Lighthouse. Though it will be cold, it sounds like a great excuse to get out this winter! Plus it’s free thanks to the Department of Parks & Rec. Check it out and sign up here.


I climb out on the rocks surrounding the lighthouse to get an eye full of this view. Who would ever guess this was a view from New York City? That’s what you find at the tippy top of Manhattan!

Though begun in the last hour of November, as I publish this post, it’s the first day of December. Happy December, friends! The current 10 Day Forecast has all highs in the 50s. There’s still plenty of time for pleasant walks in the park! I’ll be taking advantage, in between holiday events of course. Oh yes, expect a sleigh-load of holiday cheer and festivity coming to a New York Cliché blog near you! The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is still dark, but tomorrow that all changes! If you want to catch the tree 83rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting and don’t mind insane crowds, head to 30 Rock as early as possible tomorrow, December 2nd. If you want something a little less crazy crowded, Bryant Park has their tree lighting tonight at 6PM. This year is going to be extra special with skating performances from a slew of Olympians including Nancy Kerrigan and Johnny Weir. Maybe I’ll see you there!


About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

One thought on “The Little Red Lighthouse at the Tippy Top of Manhattan

  1. This is a beautiful post! I did not know about the lighthouse, I love walks like these with the right shoes. I hope that you stay dry at the tree lightnings. Yay December! You’ve been awesome with your constant posts! They’re all so beautiful with the photos.
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