A walk across the Queensboro Bridge. There are, of course, more famous bridges in New York City, such as Brooklyn Bridge or Manhattan Bridge but the one Fitzgerald immortalized in “Great Gatsby”, the Queensboro Bridge, is not quite as popular, though it is also historic – it was completed in 1909 and is a cantilever (multi-span) with an industrial aesthetic to it. Spanning over the East River with an entrance at 59th street, the bridge connects Manhattan and Queens (specifically, its Long Island City neighborhood), passing over Roosevelt Island. If you’ve seen the bridge, you’d probably remember it for the Roosevelt Island tram that runs alongside.
The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.” – S. Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby
But did you know you can bike or walk over the 3,724-foot long bridge? The word of warning though if you choose to walk, it’s going to be a bit of a hike, so be prepared and wear comfortable shoes. Also, the walkway is narrow and shared with bicyclists who whizz by at the speed of lightning but the adventure is worth it.
Walking over the bridge lets you appreciate just how high that structure is and take a few nice shots of the East River, the tram, and the city. You can even catch a glimpse of an N train climbing its way up on the Queen’s side.
And once you get off the bridge on the Queens side, take a walk/ride down to Queensbridge Park via Queensbridge Park Greenway (a beautiful, tree-lined pedestrian-and bicycle-only road) to enjoy the views of the city and see the Queensboro bridge at a different angle.
If you’re thirsty after all that walking, be sure to explore local breweries in the neighborhood! You can end up getting a to-go pint of delicious IPA from Fifth Hammer Brewery and enjoyed it sitting on the bench by the water in LIC Park and admiring the views of the city and the bridge yet again.
The good thing is, you can catch a ferry back to the city from the LIC Park, to save yourself from hiking the bridge back!
How to get on Queensboro Bridge if you’re walking or biking
The entrance to the path isn’t very obvious, the best way, if you’re coming from downtown, is to head north on 1st Ave and immediately after passing under the bridge (near 60th street) turn left and walk alongside the bridge on a sort of a sidewalk which is really the start of the pathway. You’ll see a narrow entrance to the bridge but be aware of the sharp turn at the “on-ramp” as it creates a blind spot for the outbound bicycle traffic. Once you’re on the path, you’ll see clearly marked pedestrian and bicycle sides of the path. Just keep walking up and enjoy the adventure!