In order to compensate for the amount of air pollution it produces, and the claustrophobia it imposes on all of its citizens, New York City has tons of parks. We all love to go to Central Park, but there are lots of parks in NYC that are really underrated. Here are five of them:
1. Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene Park is small, but it’s a historical site that’s worth visiting—it was actually a post used by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Fort Greene Park also makes a great recreational destination. It has some of the best hills in the city for sledding when it snows.
2. Highbridge Park
We’ve all heard of the High Line, but not as many people know of Highbridge Park. This is part of the reason Highbridge Park is great—you never see any tourists there. You can go there to visit the oldest standing bridge in the city, the High Bridge, or you can go in search of the park’s large rock outcroppings and magnificent cliffs.
3. Inwood Hill Park
Inwood Hill Park is where you should go if you want to escape the city for a little while. As big as Central Park is, you can somehow always see the street. Inwood Hill Park is smaller, but there are some locations where the foliage is so thick and the air is so still that you forget you’re in Manhattan.
4. Van Cortlandt Park
It’s a hike—all the way up in the Bronx—but it’s worth packing a picnic and spending the day there. This is one of New York City’s largest parks, with more than a thousand acres to explore, much of it forest. Stop talking about how you want to get away from the city for a day, and just go and get lost in the woods of Van Cortlandt Park.
5. Prospect Park
If you’re talking to Brooklynites, this one isn’t underrated, but Manhattan residents don’t realize that the Prospect Park boathouse is far better than the Central Park one, and the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are well worth the subway ride. And of course, there’s Smorgasburg, which has found a loyal home in Prospect Park.
Cover photo credit: jalbertgagnier/Flickr