There are 2 entrances, one on the North side one on the South side of the GWB; usually the one on the South Side is open and easier (no stairs) unless they are doing construction (which is often). When one side is open, the other side is closed. (Openings are listed at the Port Authority web-site: www.panynj.gov; and often on message boards of local bike clubs: www.5bbc.org;www.nycc.org;www.crca.net )
South Side: from Ft Washington Avenue turn west (toward the river) on 177th St, straight through the first intersection and right onto Cabrini Blvd (one-way street with a divider in the middle) At the northwest corner of Cabrini turn left onto the sidewalk & you'll see a ramp to the left about 50-100 ft from the corner. If the gate is closed, you need to try the alternative on the North Side.
North Side: from Ft Washington Ave turn west on 179th St, alongside the Bus Station. The bike lane starts on the sidewalk about 100 yards from the beginning of the up ramp. Police may ticket you (and maybe confiscate the bike) if you get caught riding with the automobile traffic on the up-ramp; there is a staircase up to the path from the street that goes down when the up ramp goes up. Also there are several other staircases along the way on the north side.
Both N & S paths leave you off on Hudson Terrace. Off the bridge to the right on Hudson Terrace gets you to Palisades Ave; off the bridge to the left, following the one way traffic at the fork, turning left at the T-intersection at the end, and turning left 1/2 way down the steep hill from the busy street leads you to the entrance to Palisades Park (River Road/Henry Hudson Drive), an 8.3 mile road with some, but not much, auto traffic that goes through the park right along the river.
You can try going to Google maps and searching for 178th St. and Cabrini Blvd. in NYC to get a feel for the area. If you click on Satellite view and zoom in, you can see the corner that leads to the ramp. But the way the photo is configured, the sidewalk and the ramp up to the bridge are completely obscured.
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