Note on the 2020 public health crisis: When the pandemic arrived, many residents of the New York City began to discover the importance of walking outdoors for their health and well-being. The city was turned inside out. In a city famous for its density and standing-room-only attractions, its atmospheric cozy restaurants and crowded theaters, New Yorkers were left with little options other than taking a walk in the park and in other natural areas. The prescription was to find clear air and room to exercise away from others.
While the city has well-maintained parks throughout the boroughs, some of the parks are rather intimate and too small for social distancing. Though parts of Central Park can get crowded, the park’s large lawns and more remote areas of the North Woods and The Ramble allow plenty of elbow room. Two parks in Northern Manhattan, Fort Tryon Park and Inwood Hill Park, provide good escapes for city dwellers feeling claustrophobic.
In the Bronx, Van Cortlandt Park is the 3rd largest park in the city. In Brooklyn, residents know they can find room to roam in Prospect Park. At the far edges of the boroughs, Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn and Freshkills Park in Staten Island provide ample opportunities to get away from the city’s urban canyons.
Below are several options for natural explorations in New York City. In addition, consider the long parks of the waterfront.
On the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail
Ready to get out of the city? Consider walks on the trail from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to Croton. Find details in the following posts.
Images from the archives of Walking Off the Big Apple.
See the page Walking for Fitness for more about the benefits of walking.