Governors Island, all 172 acres of it, will open again to the public for ‘passive recreation’ on Wednesday, July 15 with a daily ferry service from lower Manhattan. Brooklyn residents will be able to take a direct ferry from Red Hook’s Atlantic Basin rather than Pier 6 this summer every weekend, starting this Saturday.
“With Red Hook’s ball fields still closed, the reopening of Governors Island is an excellent alternative for families to enjoy open spaces and fresh air. Red Hook residents have always enjoyed a great view of Governors Island, but still find it inconvenient to get there,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez who represents the area. “This will change with this summer’s direct ferry service from Red Hook, offering recreational opportunities exactly when families yearn for outdoor summer fun. I am particularly thankful that the Trust has offered free ferry service to NYCHA residents and local community groups, which will mean even more of our neighbors can visit the Island this summer. I am looking forward to enjoying the fresh air and cannot wait to see the island alive with activity once more.”
The ferries are free to all NYCHA residents, kids under 12 and those over 65, and anyone with IDNYC, $3 round trip for others. Morning ferries before noon on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all. There is no surcharge for bicycles at any time. Visitors are required to wear face coverings at all times while traveling on Governors Island ferries. But plan ahead – social distancing means limited numbers of tickets, which can be reserved ahead of time here. Governors Island will be open to visitors daily from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and 10 AM to 7 PM on weekends.
“Governors Island is an idyllic place for New Yorkers to spread out and enjoy summer in the City,” said Alicia Glen, Chair of the Trust for Governors Island, and it is hard to disagree.
While the pandemic has limited both the length of the season and activities, visitors can still enjoy sweeping views, hike, bicycle, walk, or sit quietly and watch the birds. The Urban Farm will be open on the weekends for visitors to explore GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden and Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center. Public art installations remain on view.
Bike rentals from Blazing Saddles and Citi Bike, and visitors may bring their own bikes for free – to enjoy the Island’s seven miles of car-free bike paths. Pedal cars, surreys, and scooters also available to rent. Check out more the island, book your tickets, and enjoy the summer!