Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy
Walk the Walkway
July 24, 2016
On a steamy day with bright sunshine, clear skies and temperature in the high 80’s, 21 walkers including 3 Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy (HRWC) Board members and some very experienced Walk the Walkway walkers walked the Walkway along the Hoboken waterfront. The group gathered at the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor parking lot between 9:00 and 9:30 am.
At 9:30, the group gathered water, lemonade, Walkway maps and sunblock and headed south into Weehawken Cove, the former location of Todd’s Shipyard in the 1960’s. The Walkway around Weehawken Cove is in excellent shape, and connects Weehawken with Hoboken. It is now part of a park jointly being constructed and maintained by the two towns. When completed, a kayak launch will be available to the public.
Weehawken Cove is a place where small personal sailboats can moor for free. It is claimed that Henry Hudson moored here as he sailed up the Hudson. One sailboat sunk during hurricane Sandy remains underwater in the cove.
Leaving Weehawken Cove, the walkers passed the original home of Lipton Tea, now called Hudson Tea, which houses multi-million dollar condominiums. Next to Hudson Tea, the Walkway passes a small black sand beach known as Hoboken Beach North and a crumbling pier directly on the Hudson River. This area is where developers are proposing to build two 13 story luxury condos called The Monarch. The Town of Hoboken and the neighbors at Hudson Tea are fighting the development in the courts.
Moving on, walkers entered The Shipyard and Maxwell Place. The Shipyard was the original home of the America Export Lines cruise lines and the current buildings, the Constitution and the Independence, are named for the large cruise ships that docked at The Shipyard years ago. Maxwell Place is built where the original home of Maxwell House coffee was located. The waterfront, piers, parks and Walkway were full of people enjoying the day as we passed.
At the end of Maxwell Place is Hoboken Beach South, a small sandy area that previously allowed swimming and sun bathing. There also is a boat house and kayak launch with a plaque noting that Hoboken was the original home of the America’s Cup sailing competition. Next to Maxwell Place is Union Dry Dock, the last working shipyard in Hoboken. Walkers have to use Sinatra Drive to bypass the dry dock facilities.
Beyond Union Dry Dock, the Walkway continues through sections owned and maintained by Hoboken and Stevens Institute. It passes Sybil’s Cave, a landmark where early Manhattan residents crossed the Hudson for a summer outing and to drink the cool water from a spring within the cave.
Passing a skateboard park and a fishing pier, the group entered a Walkway section that is built over the river by Stevens Institute. There are many of these “bridge” sections along the entire Walkway. They are permitted only where there had been a previous bridge or pier sometime in the past. This section of the Walkway was built with concrete supporting piers rather than using the old wooden beams from years ago as the foundation of the Walkway. Major sections of the Walkway and the soccer field in Hoboken had previously been built on the wooden beams and had collapsed into the river due to wood boring insects that have returned as the river has become less polluted. Avoiding the wooden support structures and investing in original concrete structures for the Walkway is a good example of the long term planning that the HRWC tries to promote with developers as new sections of the Walkway are built.
The Walkway from Steven’s institute to the Hoboken Train Station is one of the best sections of the entire 18.5 miles of Walkway. This area with its spectacular panoramic views of Manhattan has been developed by Hoboken and NJ Transit as one huge park. It includes two large piers that have been converted into park land. Facilities for children, fishermen, sun bathers, bikers, picnickers and walkers have been integrated in a way that allows each group to enjoy their pastime yet not compete or interfere with others. For example, there is a completely separate bike path parallel to the Walkway.
After enjoying the parks, taking pictures and a few minutes of sun bathing, the walk ended at the Hoboken Train Station. The Walkway is in excellent condition throughout Hoboken and provides a very special facility for the enjoyment of the public.
There will not be a walk in August due to the heat. The next Walk the Walkway will be on September 11 when we will walk the northern end of Edgewater including the Colony.