The High Line

By: Evan Scoboria, Last updated: August 28, 2023

The High Line is a unique, 1.45-mile-long park in New York City. Once an elevated railway in the 1930s, it has been transformed into an urban greenway, teeming with plant life, art installations, and stunning city views. Situated on Manhattan's West Side, the High Line is a testament to the city's architectural innovation and ability to repurpose historical structures.

The High Line

History of the High Line

The High Line has a rich history, originating as an elevated railway in the 1930s. The railway was part of a public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement Project and was built to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan's streets. Known as the "lifeline of New York," it transported meat, dairy, produce, and raw and manufactured goods directly to the warehouses and factories along its route.

High Line Freight Train

However, the advent of interstate trucking in the 1950s led to a decline in rail traffic. The last train ran on the High Line in 1980, carrying a cargo of frozen turkeys. After this, the structure sat unused for many years and was threatened by demolition.

In the late 1990s, a community-based non-profit group called Friends of the High Line was formed. They proposed preserving the High Line and converting it into a public park. They worked for many years, advocating for the repurposing of the space.

Their efforts bore fruit in 2002 when the City of New York endorsed the project. After several years of planning, construction, and landscaping, the first section of High Line Park was opened to the public in 2009. It was an instant success and has since become one of the most beloved and iconic spots in New York City.

Overview of the High Line

The High Line is an elevated public park that stretches 1.45 miles from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street, near Hudson Yards, on Manhattan's West Side. It boasts a diverse mix of architecture, greenery, and art installations. The park includes more than 500 species of plants and trees and hosts various art pieces. It offers a unique blend of natural and urban environments, with stunning views of New York City's skyline.

Where Does The High Line Start

The High Line begins at its southernmost point on Gansevoort Street, right next to the Whitney Museum of American Art, in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.

Where Does The High Line End

The High Line ends at its northernmost point at 34th Street, near the Hudson Yards district on the West Side of Manhattan.

Exploring the Length of the High Line

The High Line offers a unique exploration opportunity, stretching 1.45 miles (or about 2.33 kilometers) from its southern point at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to its northernmost tip at 34th Street, near Hudson Yards. Walking its entire length allows visitors to traverse various neighborhoods and experience diverse architectural styles, vibrant plant life, and engaging art installations.

A casual stroll from the beginning to the end of the High Line can vary in duration depending on your pace and interest in the numerous attractions along the way. If you're inclined to appreciate the intricacies of the plantings, marvel at the art, pause at the overlooks, or sit and enjoy the city views, your walk could easily extend beyond an hour.

At the southern end, the High Line starts in the historic Meatpacking District, known for its cobblestone streets and trendy boutiques. As you journey northward, you'll pass through Chelsea, a neighborhood rich with art galleries, eateries, and the popular Chelsea Market. The park then wends its way through the Hudson Yards district, an area recently transformed with modern skyscrapers, shops, and the Vessel structure.

Experiencing the High Line

Experiencing the High Line offers visitors a unique blend of nature, art, and architecture. As you walk along this 1.45-mile-long elevated park, you can enjoy the diversity of over 500 species of plants and trees carefully arranged in accordance with the changing seasons.

Art lovers will find the High Line a vibrant canvas, with its assortment of public art installations, murals, and sculptures, some of which are temporary, making each visit potentially a new experience. These artworks mix commissioned pieces, loaned works, and partnerships with other institutions, ensuring a rich array of styles and voices.

Moreover, the High Line provides stunning, often elevated, views of New York City's iconic landmarks and the Hudson River. Visitors can see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Hudson River, and the city's diverse architectural landscape from various vantage points.

The High Line also offers relaxing spots, such as the sunning loungers and seating steps, which are perfect spots to take a break, have a snack, or people-watch. Various eateries and food vendors are available along the route, offering a chance to taste New York City’s diverse culinary delights.


The High Line stands as a remarkable testament to innovative urban regeneration. This elevated greenway offers a walk through lush landscapes and engaging art installations and provides an insightful journey into the city's past, present, and future. Whether you're a native New Yorker or a visitor, the High Line delivers a unique perspective on the city you won't find elsewhere. As a blending of nature, art, architecture, and history, it epitomizes the vibrancy and diversity that make New York City unforgettable.

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