The Palisades cliffs were formed around two hundred million years ago.  As the continents split apart, massive amounts of magma welled up along the rifts between what are now Northeastern North America, Western Africa, and Northern South America.  This magma made its way upward into softer sandstone, which over time eroded away.  Left behind was the harder stone of the Palisades, which at their formation were likely closer to 1,000 feet tall.  Today, the Palisades cliffs are approximately 500 feet tall and stretch for 20 miles between Jersey City, NJ and Nyack, NY.

In the late 1800’s, the need for raw materials nearly destroyed the cliffs as quarries blasted them away primarily to use the very hard rock as the base for laying new railroad lines.  Fortunately, the cliffs were beloved by many in New York and New Jersey, particularly by the New Jersey State federation of Women’s Clubs, who began a public campaign to save the Palisades.  This group of influential women rallied support in the state legislatures and among the public so that the Palisades Interstate Park Commission was created to protect the Palisades from quarrying. On Christmas Day 1900, the last quarry was closed. 

Soon after the Palisades were protected from quarrying, the Palisades Interstate Park was formed. Dedicated in 1909, the Park has grown so that it now encompasses more than 2,500 acres of wild Hudson River shorefront, uplands, and cliffs, including the Palisades themselves. More than 100,000 visitors come to the park each year to take advantage of the more than 30 miles of hiking and ski trails, a boat launching ramp, a scenic riverside drive, a cliff-top parkway and overlooks, riverfront picnic areas and playgrounds, a nature sanctuary, two boat basins, historic sites — and mile after mile of rugged woodlands and vistas just minutes from midtown Manhattan.

By running one of our races, you help to make sure that park and the cliffs stay preserved and accessible to all!