This past October 14th was a great day! It was my birthday and my boyfriend asked me what I wanted to do. I suggested dinner, maybe a movie, and he suggested we go exploring. He had never been exploring and was curious to see what it was like. It was such perfect weather, so I had to think of a place and decided to go to Undercliff Cemetery.
Despite living in the area, I really was not familiar with this specific location. I have taken 9W to Hudson Terrace to Edgewater, but had never travelled all the way down East Palisade Avenue in Englewood Cliffs. I figured if I had my GPS on, we would be good to go. I was wrong. The GPS told me I had reached my destination, but there was only a small parking area to my left and a cliff to my right. We decided to proceed onward, which was cool, but still not the right way. I had to turn back around carefully, as a news headline of “Woman and Man Make K-Turn Off Steep Incline” did not sound awesome. I knew Undercliff Beach was near too, so put that into my GPS this time. It pretty much told me to stop in the same area. This time, my boyfriend suggested we park and look around.
So I parked in the little parking area and once again turned on the GPS to see what happens when I’m walking. Still not much help. We walked one way and nothing. Walked another way and…wait…I saw something: a little bridge that passed over some big rocks. Walked a little closer and I spotted a retaining wall and a few headstones. Finally found it! We crossed the small bridge and were trying to find a way in, so walked around the retaining wall. We had to walk through a small path in which the trees and other brush needed some pruning.
Carefully making our way through the opening in the retaining wall, we saw about a dozen ore so headstones. Some were broken and some were standing perfectly. There are small paths in the cemetery and it’s kept up fairly well, but still unsure if some of the leaves were poison ivy or oak, so be careful.
Unfortunately, so many headstones were illegible due to the elements, I’m sure. The cemetery sits atop a mountain with the Hudson River below and trees all around, so nature is a key role in this. On Find-a-Grave, it shows a few members of the same family are buried here, but I’m not sure if this is a complete list of all those resting here. Undercliff was a small fishing colony settled by the Dutch in the early 1800s. The History of Englewood’s website explains more on what happened to those who resided here and that this cemetery is a historic site.
It was such a beautiful October day, but being shaded by the trees, being so close to the water, and the wind picking up, it felt like it was at least 50 degrees. However, my boyfriend absolutely loved this little exploration and can’t wait to check out more places with me. I have made a new exploration partner. Yay!
Directions: Look up Undercliff Cemetery to get to tayhe area if you are unfamiliar. Once you are in Englewood Cliffs, take East Palisade Avenue to the end (the retaining wall is there) and bear left for Henry Hudson Drive. As soon as you see a small building (it appears to be an old snack bar to me) and a flat area that’s open, park in that area. Once you’ve parked, walk back towards the shed and you’ll see what looks like stone piles/structures all over. (Side note: what are these? Old tables for picnicking? Fire pits?) Keep walking through this clearing and you’ll see the small bridge and cross over it. Stay on the right of the wall and the opening is on the left.