Abandoned for half a century, the old Rockaway Beach Branch of the Long Island Railroad is full of potential, yet surrounded by debate. Although currently in a raw, undeveloped state, the line may eventually be transformed into the QueensWay, a public park that has been called “a more neighborhood-oriented version of Manhattan’s High Line.” Here at Untapped Cities, we’ve been following its progress for the last five years. Now, in partnership with Friends of the QueensWay and Trust for Public Land, we’re offering a behind-the-scenes tour of the over 60-year-old abandoned railroad line before it transforms into a new 3.5-mile, 47-acre park, lined with biking, jogging and walking paths. Join us on April 8th for the event.
The tour will be led by Andy Stone, director of the New York City program of the Trust for Public Land, who has previously taken us around the railroad line to discuss the design phase for the project. As part of the event, we’ll trudge up an earthen embankment and discover a long stretch of the QueensWay along Metropolitan Avenue, walk several blocks along the abandoned rail corridor in an out-of-the-way, wooded ravine in Forest Park and learn about opportunities and challenges regarding the QueensWay as the tour group navigates unfriendly territory for pedestrians and bikes.
Price: $35 (+ fees)
What to wear: Bring closed-toe-shoes and dress for hiking as this tour involves a lot of walking
What to know: The tour is roughly two-hours. Much of it will involve walking along sidewalks adjacent to sections of the former rail right of way that are fenced off. We will walk on the abandoned tracks in Forest Park, and two small portions in residential neighborhoods.