We are now accepting applications for our seasonal staff for 2017. Click here for details!
Open / Closed in the Park:
Alpine Approach Road south of Park Headquarters is CLOSED TO ALL USE from Monday, February 27, for approx. 6–8 weeks for major road reconstruction.
Due to hazardous conditions, this closure will be strictly enforced. Violators are subject to summonses.
See the Parkway Police Twitter feed for updates.
|Allison Park: Open daylight hours. Restrooms closed for season.|
|Alpine Boat Basin: Closed for season.|
|Alpine Picnic Area: Open daylight hours. No vehicle access until reopening of Henry Hudson Drive. Pavilion restrooms closed for season (parking plaza restrooms remain open). Kearney House closed for season.|
|Englewood Boat Basin: Please contact J.M. Englewood Marina: 201-568-1328.|
|Englewood Picnic Area: Open daylight hours. Snack Shack closed for season.|
|Fort Lee Historic Park: Grounds open daylight hours. Metered parking (year-round, click here for rates). Visitor Center open Weds. to Sun., 10 AM – 4:45 PM. 201-461-1776.|
|Greenbrook Sanctuary: Open daylight hours (membership required). 201-784-0484.|
|Hazard’s Ramp: Closed for season.|
|Henry Hudson Drive: Due to recent winter storm, all riverfront park areas remain CLOSED TO VEHICLES through the weekend of Mar. 18–19. Alpine Approach Road south of Park Headquarters CLOSED TO ALL USE from Monday, February 27, for approx. 6–8 weeks. Englewood to Alpine closed to motor vehicles for season.|
|Palisades Interstate Parkway in New Jersey: Open 24 hrs.|
|Park Headquarters: Administrative offices open Mon. to Fri., 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM except New Jersey State holidays. 201-768-1360. Parkway Police desk staffed at all times: 201-768-6001. Click here for Court information.
|Ross Dock Picnic Area: Open daylight hours. Restrooms closed for season (Port-A-Johns available).|
|State Line Lookout: Grounds open daylight hours. Lookout Inn (State Line Cafe & bookshop) open 9:30 AM – 5 PM. 201-750-0465.|
|Trails: Open daylight hours. Trail construction with intermittent closures on the Shore Trail between Ross Dock and Englewood.|
|Undercliff Picnic Area: Open daylight hours.|
Sidebar last updated:
March 22, 2017.
The information posted here is subject to change without notice.
The Kearney House is a historic house that is open to tour from May through October on most weekend and holiday afternoons (no fee). It is also the setting for special events based on its role as a nineteenth-century Hudson River homestead and tavern. The Kearney House is at the north end of Alpine Picnic Area (directions).
Click here to find out about upcoming tavern events at the Kearney House!
January 2017: The first snow snowfall of the new year dusted the Kearney House.
For current hours and conditions for the Kearney House, please check the sidebar listing under “Alpine Picnic Area” >
Learning from the Kearney House...
This video is by Austin “Chad” Hill, a former seasonal employee who helped with our photo archives and other photography projects, and who now works as an archeologist who specializes in aerial survey of archeological sites. Chad stopped by the park in February 2016 to help us with some mapping projects, both at the Englewood Picnic Area and at the Kearney House.
Chad’s “flyover” of the Kearney House enabled him to produce a rough draft of a 3-D model of the historic structure. We hope to enlist his help in building a more complete model in the future, but for now all we can say is, Wow!
From the Kearney House brochure:
Listed on the National and New Jersey State Historic Registers as the “Blackledge-Kearney House,” but more familiarly known as the “Kearney House” or the “Cornwallis Headquarters” (it was once thought the British general stayed here for a night in 1776), this house has been a Hudson River homestead, a riverfront tavern, a police station, and a “historic shrine.” Today it helps bring to life two centuries in the story of the Hudson River and the families who depended upon it for their lives and livelihoods. The Kearney House has been preserved by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission with the ongoing assistance of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs.
The southern part of the house was built around 1761, when the farmers of Closter, on the other side of the Palisades, built the Closter Dock Road through a pass in the cliffs to the Hudson River. From here they shipped goods to New York City’s markets by sailboat.
The house was most likely built to be a dockmaster’s house, to supervise the busy river landing.
In 1817, James and Rachel Kearney moved into this house. With them were three children from Rachel’s first husband, Abraham Powles, who died two years earlier. James and Rachel had five children of their own before James died in 1831, and Rachel also adopted a daughter.
After James died, Rachel kept a tavern at the house.
The northern addition was probably built around 1840, to make room for the tavern.
Besides offering food and spirits, Mrs. Kearney’s tavern served as a meeting place for the captains and crews of the sailing vessels that arrived and departed daily from the docks here, and for the local workforce of quarrymen, dock workers, and tradesmen. Gossip, strongly argued political opinions, the latest joke—all would have been shared within these walls.
The upstairs room in the new addition may have been for lodgers staying at the tavern.
The Palisades Interstate Park Commission bought the house in 1907, and in 1909 had the big porch built as a grandstand for a dedication ceremony for the new park. Through the 1920s, the Commission used the house as a police station.
The Kearney House was badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy. Thanks to the efforts of many individuals and groups (and especially our park maintenance crews!), the Kearney House reopened to the public on July 4, 2014. Read more about the storm and its effect on the park in “What Comes Back” and “Six Months After.”
- To learn about the debate over whether General Cornwallis really stayed at the Kearney House, see “On His Lordship’s Mysterious Ascent,” and for more about the Revolutionary War along the Palisades riverfront, see “A Cannon Ball or Two”
- Learn about a restoration project on the house in 2003 in “Some Paint, Some Mortar, a Couple of Mops and a Bucket of Water” and how we then developed a living history program at the house in “Making a (Historic) House into a Home.”
- Learn about the house in the early years of the park in “Fly Away” and “Beyond the Reach of Devastation.”
- “What Comes Back” and “Six Months After” are about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
- You can follow the Kearney House on Facebook, too.