Prospect Park is easily one of the most underrated parks in the city, with more than just a few secret nooks and crannies to explore. Of course, if you’re talking to a Brooklynite, it isn’t underrated at all, but Manhattan residents just don’t get it. Here are 12 secret (and not so secret) places you should take the time to explore the next time you’re wandering through Brooklyn’s favorite green zone. Enjoy.
1. Prospect Park Parade Ground
40-acre’s of open space dedicated to all your favorite sporting activities. Originally the area was used by the Union Army and Coast Guard for military drills, now sporty NYers will find a space for baseball, football, tennis, and soccer.
2. Mount Prospect Park
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Climb the staircase to the second-highest point in Brooklyn. Granted, “mount” might be a bit of an exaggeration (it’s only 200 ft above sea level) but it does give you a little chance to escape the hustle and bustle for a while.
3 . The Peristyle
Designed in 1905 by legendary architect Stanford White, the Peristyle looks like it comes straight out of Ancient Greece, perhaps that’s why it sometimes goes by the name “the Grecian Shelter”.
4 The Rose Garden
After a period of neglect, Prospect Parks Rose Garden is having somewhat of a renaissance. The “garden” hasn’t had roses growing in it since the 60s but, to celebrate the park’s 150th anniversary, Connective Project installed 7,000 yellow pinwheels that proved to be a favorite among Brooklyn Instagrammers.
5 Lookout Hill
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Lookout Hill offers the best views in Prospect Park. If you make your way up the stone staircase, the 177-foot-high hill overlooks the Lake and, if conditions are clear, you can see all the way out to Coney Island (when there are no leaves on the trees). Oh yeah… the real reason to head to lookout hill, three words: Prospect Park Goats.
6 Vale of Cashmere
Taking its name from a Thomas Moore poem this part of the park was last years home of the Prospect Park Goats. The goats were there to munch away the weeds of this lush, overgrown, part of Brooklyn’s Favourite park.
7 Lefferts Historic House
This Dutch Colonial farmhouse was built back in 1783 by Pieter Lefferts. It originally stood on Flatbush Avenue but was relocated to the park in 1918 to preserve it for future generations. Now the house serves as a museum to 18th-century farming life.
8 The Ravine
The Ravine is the dense woodland at the center of Prospect Park. Though it may look natural at a cursory glance, the Ravine was designed to be an oasis of forestland in the center of the city. Winding trails, waterfalls, rustic bridges and a small gorge are all waiting for you to explore here.
9 Prospect Park Carousel
This elaborately decorated carousel dates back to 1912 and featured 53 horses, two dragons, a lion, a giraffe, and a deer. Who needs the Game of Thrones when you can hop on the back of a dragon like Khaleesi for only $2. The carousel was fully restored to its original glory in 1987 and is definitely worth a look if you’re in the mood to explore the park.
10 Camperdown Elm
This winding and twisting elm was a donation to the park way back in 1872, from the estate of the Earl of Camperdown in Dundee, Scotland. Sure, it’s a tree, but it’s a pretty damn Instagrammable one.
11 Prospect Park Dog Beach
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Reopening after extensive renovations, Prospect Park Dog Beach offers your pupper the opportunity to cool off after your long summer walk… after all, what’s better than a wet muddy dog? …wait, everything. Literally, everything is better than that.
12 Prospect Park Boathouse
This boathouse, dating back to the 1900s, is a landmarked building that is often rented out for events and is the home of the Audubon Center, dedicated to bird conservation.
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