Active Trails: Governors Island, New York

By Trevor Martin on 03/10/2011

As soon as you step onto the ferry to Governors Island in New York, you are immediately enveloped by scenic vistas and American history. From the outset of the trip out to Governors Island, visitors are met with outstanding views of Manhattan’s Financial District, The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and the Wall Street Heliport.

Though few are aware of its significance, this large island in the middle of New York harbor has played a major role in American history. From 1776 to 1996, military communities were stationed on Governors Island with the shared objective of providing protection to New York City.

Today, you can explore the island’s history as it evolved from a colonial outpost to regional administrative center for the U.S. Army and Coast Guard through the National Park Foundation’s Active Trails inspired program, a ranger led historical tour around the island.

The National Park Foundation’s Active Trails program was designed to promote healthy lifestyles while protecting and enhancing our National Parks’ trail resources. This multi-faceted program offers many ways in which volunteers, community groups, corporate partners, students and educators can get involved with their national parks through hands-on trail work, citizen science, formal and informal learning activities, special events and community activities.

Our national parks provide remarkable opportunities for outdoor recreation on more than 13,000 miles of land and water trails. These trails provide millions of people a year with opportunities to experience our nation’s immaculate natural beauty and its dynamic past.

Watch the video from the Governors Island ranger led tour and sign up for your own tour next time you are in New York City.

How to get there:

Catch the ferry from the Governors Island Ferry which is located in the Battery Maritime Building, Slip # 7.