Although Forest Park has been around for over a century, it remains relatively unknown compared to the city’s famous green spaces. While Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park boast all the glory, Forest Park, located in Queens, shies away from the spotlight. As such, it’s easy to find a secluded, quiet spot inside the forested refuge. It’s an idyllic getaway for locals who simply want to take a stroll or crack open a book. And like any hidden gem, it holds a few secrets:
10. Forest Park Was Technically Owned by Brooklyn First
The site of what is now Forest Park was once inhabited by the Rockaway, Delaware and Lenape Native Americans before the Dutch West India Company settled the area in 1634, and established towns. Nearly two centuries later, these settlements came together as the independent City of Brooklyn.
Throughout the 19th century, the site was also occupied by various landowners until the Brooklyn Parks Department purchased a parcel of land to begin constructing a large public park. As the acquisition process continued over the years, the area came to be known as Brooklyn Forest Park. In fact, Brooklyn’s Park Department operated all of Queen’s parkland until the borough officially established its own Parks Department in 1911.