Palisades Interstate Park

NYC Landmark Highlight: The Palisades

Image Source: Palisades Interstate Park
Image Source: Palisades Interstate Park

The Palisades, located along New York and Northeastern New Jersey, are a line of steep cliffs on the west side of the Hudson River. The Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey is about 12 miles long and a half a mile wide. It contains about 2,500 acres of land!

The cliffs average at 300 feet high but rise to around 540 feet high near their northern end. Recognized as a National Natural Landmark, the area is rich in history, natural habitat and amazing views!

The Palisades looking particularly breathtaking in the fall. Image source: National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Did you know? Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first to document the existence of the Palisades onto a map, describing the cliffs to look like “a fence of stakes.”

Here’s some more fun facts:

  • Did you know that 18 documented duels took place at the Palisades between 1798 and 1845 – including the famous one between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr!
  • In the 1910s, the Palisades cliffs were often used as filming locations. The Perils of Pauline was filmed here!
  • The cliffs were formed about 200 million years ago and may have originally  reached upwards of 1,000 ft.
  • A Native American name for the Palisades is Wee-Awk-En: “rocks-that-look-like-trees.” A town along the Palisades is actually called Weehawken and Hamilton park is located there. The more you know!
Photo: The Yonkers Ferry

The Palisades and Hitler: In 1938, an enormous rock fall— still the largest in park history — led to reports that the face of Adolf Hitler could be seen in the Palisades! Spookily enough, just months after Hitler and his armies were defeated in 1945, a second rockfall erased the unwelcome face from the cliffs forever.

Want a sweet view of the Palisades? How about catching the Palisades from above with a helicopter tour with HeliNY?

Our helicopter sightseeing tours provide you with a bird’s eye view of the Palisades and the rest of New York City and the surrounding area in comfort and style. Visit our tours page to choose which tour would be the best for you!

Step out of the NYC cold and into a helicopter. Click here to learn more.