One of the little-known marvels of the New York City landscape, the 23-mile Bronx River, winds down through southern Westchester and the Bronx. Sourced from the Kensico Reservoir, it is the only major watercourse within the city limits that is not entirely tidal.
This corridor of greenery— a peaceful area fishing, strolling, biking, boating, and connecting with nature—has always been a source of life. But it wasn’t always treated that way.
The river’s original people were the Mohegans, who lived and fished here. In the 1600s, European traders came to trap the sleek, fat beavers for fur, and Jonas Bronck purchased land from the Mohegans. A hundred years later, mills produced paper, flour, snuff, and more, powered by the river.
In the 1840s, the New York Central railroad helped the valley become an industrial corridor. The river became filthy, being called an “open sewer” by the end of the 19th century.
In the 1920s, creation of the parkway helped buffer some of the misuse. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that significant turnaround for the river started with the Bronx River Restoration. The Bronx River Alliance expanded their work at the turn of the 21st century.
Deepen your connection to the river by discovering more about river’s history.
Aquehung, “River of High Bluffs”
The Lenape, Siwanoy and Weckquaesgeek people
Westchester and The Bronx
Mount Pleasant, White Plains, Greenburgh, Scarsdale, Eastchester, Yonkers, Bronx, North Castle, Elmsford, Tuckahoe, Mount Vernon, and Bronxville
354 ft (108 m)
East River and Long Island Sound
Hunts Point and Soundview in The Bronx
0 ft (0 m)
24 mi (39 km)
38.4 sq mi (99 km2)
Bronx Botanical Gardens
3,460 cu ft/s (98 m3/s)
Troublesome Brook, Grassy Sprain Brook,
After 400 years of colonization, [the Bronx River] relies on us to keep our indigenous history, culture and natural namesake alive.
Before you paddle the Bronx River, check out this information about the tides and flow gauge of the water. While there’s plenty of beauty to enjoy if you get stuck, we’d like you to have a smooth ride!