4 min read

Governors Island

Governors Island is a 172-acre island in Upper New York Bay, approximately 800 yards (732 m) from the southern tip of Manhattan Island and separated from Brooklyn by Buttermilk Channel, approximately 400 yards.

It is legally part of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Physically, the island changed greatly during the early 20th century. Using material excavated from the IRT subway under Lexington Avenue, the Army Corps of Engineers supervised the deposit of 4,787,000 cubic yards of fill on the south side of Governors Island, adding 103 acres of flat, treeless land by 1912 and bringing the total acreage of the island to 172.

The Native Americans of the Manhattan region referred to the island as Paggank (“nut island”), likely after the island’s plentiful hickory, oak, and chestnut trees; the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block called it Noten Eylant, a translation, and this was borrowed into English as Nutten Island. The island’s current name, made official in 1784, stems from the British colonial era, when the colonial assembly reserved the island for the exclusive use of New York’s royal governors.


Governors Island residential buildings being demolished and from debrief was build elevations and hills. Everything was irrigated and landscaped into sunny plaza, play lawns including two ball fields and undulating pathways. 8,000 visitors came to Governors Island during 2005, the first year the Island was open to the public.

It is smart concept but it will take many years before island turn into park oasis. Until then enjoy the hot sun.

When you plan your visit keep on mind the size of the island. You can walk on foot but it is not for everyone at the moment – a bike may be needed.

Fortunately, bike rental is available. Surrey for 3-4 people will cost you $40 for hour. This will give you only enough time to reach Picnic Point (end of the island) and back.

Visitors are not permitted to bring alcohol. Contrast to – you can bring your water but you cannot purchase otherwise than in vending machines.

So, make sure you carry iced water enough to support you while visiting.

Only way to get water is from vending machines located by Castle Williams close to ferry. Do not count on this to be always available!

Otherwise you unload yourself from the ferry and stick by the bar.

West shores 2.2 miles promenade has rusty chain link fence.

There is no presence of non-profits, educational or family friendly activities on the island as of 2014-2019 we were visiting to create/update this post.

Contrast to everything is “Collective Retreats” Luxury Camping Retreat or simple ‘tent village’. Not sure where management going with this!?

Bring snacks and food with you if planning your stay longer.

There were few kiosks / trailer type businesses that last a season the most.

There is two pathways that will lead you to tallest hill on the island where you can experienced breathtaking views.

One of them is climbing the rocks.

Every year we can witness more and more people visiting Governors Island. Families, couples and singles coming for different reasons.

The Battery Maritime Building is under pressure as well as ferry itself. There is also another entrance to Governors Island on the eastern side at Yankee Pier. Ferry coming from Brooklyn, Pier 6.



You know you want to :D