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3 stunning arcades to visit in Upper Manhattan

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

A view of the approach to the Billings Arcade.

Hilly and surrounded by water, Upper Manhattan's unique geography is crisscrossed with elevated roads, train tracks and other structures attempting to smooth the way.

Many of these designs, built at the turn of the 20th century, hide stunning arcades that can be explored by bike or by foot.

And while these arched paths aren't always easy to reach, they're definitely worth a special visit—jut remember to bring your best camera.

Here's where to find them:

1. Hell Gate Pathway

East side of Randall's Island Park; cross over from East Harlem by foot or bike via the 103rd Street Footbridge or the RFK Triborough Bridge on E 125th St.

A dedicated pedestrian and bike path runs under this impressive arcade featuring 100-foot-high stone arches. Overhead is the Hell Gate railroad viaduct connecting the Bronx and Queens.

The arches of the Hell Gate Pathway on Randall's Island
The Hell Gate Pathway on Randall's Island

2. Under the Riverside Drive Viaduct

12th Ave between W 125th St and W 135th Sts

Built in 1901, these steel arches supporting the Riverside Drive viaduct look magical at every hour of the day.

Under the Riverside Drive Viaduct in West Harlem.
Under the Riverside Drive Viaduct in West Harlem.

3. Billings Arcade

Fort Tryon Park, enter at Margaret Corbin Plaza (more directions here)

This hidden arcade in Fort Tryon Park was once the driveway and portico of the spectacular Billings Estate, built in the early 20th century and later destroyed in a fire.

The Billings Arcade in Fort Tryon Park.

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