1. Abandoned North Brother Island Can Be Visited Occasionally, if You’re Lucky

Canoe-view of North Brother Island

It’s an urban explorers dream to get to North Brother Island, which has been a bird sanctuary. The islands are managed by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, and if you aren’t some o the lucky few who have gained access for research or other reasons directly through the Parks Department, you may be treated to a surprise visit on a kayak trip, as we were this summer.

Bonus: In the 1970s, Casinos Were Proposed for North Brother Island

According to Robert Sullivan, in the introduction to North Brother Island, The Last Unknown Place in New York City, two city councilman in 1971 proposed to build “The Vegas of the East” on North Brother Island. Other suggestions have included prisons and every so often, architecture students dream up visionary plans for the island. The new study, announced by New York City councilman Mark Levine and undertaken by PennPraxis is the closest yet to restoring public access to North Brother Island.

Next, check out 8 abandoned islands of NYC. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.