Forest Park, established since 1911 and designed by the well-known landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted (who also designed Central Park and Prospect Park), is the third largest park in Queens located in the neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, and Woodhaven which spreads over 500+ acres of land for visitors to explore. Being a local in the area, I grew up coming to this wonderful park. When I mention it to people from the other boroughs or even from nearby neighborhoods, they do not even know this park exists. Even though one can find the mass greens of this park directly on the map of NYC, people would still overlook it and head to the more popular Central Park and Prospect Park instead. I do believe this is one of the reasons why I love this park. The park isn’t overcrowded with people struggling to find a towel space just to lie on the grass to get a tan. People aren’t fighting for seats at the benches to have a quick bite of their lunch, to read their books, or to surf their laptops. The majority of the facilities here are readily available. Most of the visitors are locals so you’ll constantly see people greeting one another and having small chats here and there.
Forest Park is a hidden emerald gem in the city because it feels nothing like the city. Once you enter, you will truly understand why they named it the ‘Forest’ Park. The land was molded by the Wisconsin glacier from the last Ice Age about 20,000 years ago. If you are craving nature but do not want to head out too far, this is the perfect place. There are 165 acres of trees all throughout a chain of small hills with plenty of bridle paths and hiking trails. This would be great for nature walks, jogging, biking, dog runs, and horseback riding. Horses are available for hire from private stables.
Towards the west wing of the park are the sports facilities including baseball, softball, tennis, bocce, handball, track, weight training, soccer, football, skating, and golf. The 67-par golf course is known to be the City’s most challenging courses. If you are hungry after a long day of fun, there is also a barbeque and picnic area, which is right next to the second oldest carousel in Queens and George Seuffert, Sr. Bandshell. It can accommodate up to 3,500 people. There are free concerts hosted here in the summer too!
So why not spend a day at Forest Park? There are countless other facilities that you can explore here. There are numerous playgrounds located throughout the 500+ acres, a historical pond and many different monuments, a skate park to practice that Ollie trick, a greenhouse to learn more about the environment, a field to fly your model air-crafts, and many more.
Forest Park [map]
Myrtle Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard
Queens, NY 11421
Directions through public transit:
J and Z to 85 St/Forest Pkwy, Woodhaven Blvd, and 104-102 Sts stations.
E and F to Union Turnpike station.
LIRR to Kew Gardens.
Buses Q11, Q23, Q37, Q53, Q54, and Q55.