The Largest Public Parks In New York City

Artwork at the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, NYC. Editorial credit: MISHELLA /
Artwork at the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, NYC. Editorial credit: MISHELLA /

The New York City is one of the world’s most visited cities. The city houses about 113 square km of municipal parkland as well as many public beaches. The public parks of the city help keep the air clean and offer recreational activities to the residents of the ever-busy city. Here is a list of some of the city’s biggest public parks.

9. Alley Pond Park, Queens -

This park is the second biggest public park located in Queens and the ninth largest of its kind in New York City. The park spans an area of 2.65 square km. The Alley Pond Park is most well known for an old tulip poplar named the Queens Giant. This tree is regarded as the tallest and oldest tree in the city. An environmental center with a museum, library, and animal exhibits is also present at the park.

8. Bronx Park, Bronx -

This park occupies an area of 2.91 square km in Bronx. The park is located along the banks of the Bronx River and houses the zoo and botanical garden of New York City. Bicycle pathways crisscross the park in different directions. The East Coast Greenway passes through the Bronx Park. It is a walking and biking route that connects the major cities along the Atlantic coast of the US.

7. Marine Park, Brooklyn

This public park is located in Brooklyn in a neighborhood where a diversity of ethnic groups like Italians, Greeks, Jews, and others reside. The park has large tracts of salt marsh and grassland. The Gerritsen Creek supplies water to the salt marsh. The park hosts a nature center where a variety of urban wildlife including birds, fish, and small mammals can be seen.

6. Freshkills Park, Staten Island

A result of a landfill reclamation project, the Freshkills Park is located on the Staten Island. The park has an area of 3.29 square km. However, a project is on to increase the size of this park and it is projected to become the city’s second biggest park when this reconstruction is complete. According to a 2010 to 2011 report by the Parks Department, the Freshkills Park region is already home to around 200 different wildlife species including a great diversity of birds. Tree swallows, turkey vultures, American kestrels, osprey, etc., are some of the birds spotted here.

5. Central Park, Manhattan

New York City’s most famous public park, the Central Park is located in Manhattan where it covers an area of 3.41 square km. The Central Park is the most visited park in the US and received about 40 million visitors in 2013. It is also one of the world’s most filmed places. It was created in 1857 with an initial area of 778 acres.

4. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens

The largest public park in Queens, New York City, the Flushing Meadows–Corona Park is the fourth largest park in the entire city. It has an area of 3.63 square km. The park many sports venues of national and international fame, an art museum, a science museum, the Queens Zoo, a theater, and more.

3. Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx

This park covers an area of 4.64 square km in Bronx, New York City. It is named after the Van Cortlandt family that was an influential family residing in the area during the British colonial period. The park is well-equipped with various sports facilities like golf courses, swimming pool, tennis court, horseback riding, cricket fields, and more. Many walking trails and five major hiking trails are also found here. Several freshwater lakes and old growth forests enhance the beauty of the park.

2. Greenbelt, Staten Island

The Greenbelt is a system of contiguous public parks and natural areas located in the Staten Island borough of the New York City. The Greenbelt covers an area of 7.20 square km. It is one of the city’s most biologically diverse places. A number of species of reptiles and amphibians like the eastern garter snake, northern water snake, common snapping turtle, American bullfrog, etc., can be noticed here. Small mammals like squirrels, rabbits, hares, and rats thrive in this ecosystem. The bird life is also varied. The water bodies found in the Greenbelt are also home to a great diversity of fish species like the bluegill, black crappie, chain pickerel, etc.

1. Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

The largest public park in New York City, the Pelham Bay Park is located in the northeast corner of the city. It encompasses an area of 11.19 square km. Many geographical features like peninsulas, islands, a lagoon, etc., are found here. Several recreational areas including nature trails and golf courses are found here.


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