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Forest Park - Visitors Guide to Forest Park in Queens, New York

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Forest Park

Autumn in Forest Park

Photo Credit: Daniel Avila / NYC Parks & Recreation

Forest Park, 538 acres of trees and fields, is a jewel of a park in Queens, New York, bordering the neighborhoods of Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Glendale, and Woodhaven. Designed by Frederick Olmsted in the 1890s, Forest Park is the third largest park in Queens.

On its eastern side, enjoy strolling in thick woods plus trails for running, biking, skating, and horseback riding.

To its west, find golfing, a merry-go-round carousel, bandshell concerts, and playing fields.

Forest Park - What To Do - Western Side:

Forest Park's western side is all about activities.

  • Victory Field sports complex: running track, handball courts, baseball field
  • Daniel C. Mueller Carousel: Wooden carousel for children. Though historic (1903), it's dark with metal bars on its perimeter. Still, children don't seem to mind. At Woodhaven Blvd and Myrtle Ave.
  • Golfing: An 18-hole golf course is on the park's far western perimeter. A par 70 golf course. Reserve tee times online or call 718-296-0999.

 

Forest Park - What To Do - Eastern Side - Trees and Trails:

 

  • Forest Park Drive: Two miles of tree-lined Forest Park Drive between Woodhaven Blvd and Metropolitan Ave is closed to cars, and perfect for strolling, biking, and skating.
  • Hiking: There are three nature trails - .5 to 1.75 miles.
  • Mountain Biking: Off-road bikers use the nature trails.
  • Horseback Riding: Hire horses at two private stables (see below) for seven miles of bridle paths.

 

Getting To Forest Park: Driving Directions:

The Jackie Robinson Parkway traverses Forest Park. Other major roads are Myrtle Ave, Woodhaven Blvd, Union Tpke, and Metropolitan Ave.

  • Eastern side/woods: Jackie Robinson exit 6 > Metropolitan Ave toward Kew Gardens > park by Park Lane South. Or park near Myrtle Ave. in Richmond Hill.
  • Liberty Field/Carousel: Jackie Robinson exit 5 > right on Myrtle > right on Woodhaven and park.
  • Golf course: Jackie Robinson exit 4 > left on Forest Dr > left at light to parking lot.

 

Getting To Forest Park: Subway, Train, and Bus:

 

  • Subways:
    • From the J and Z subways' 85 St/Forest Pkwy, Woodhaven Blvd, and 104-102 Sts stations, walk north a few blocks.
    • From the E and F subways' Union Turnpike station, walk west on 80th Rd.
  • Train: From the LIRR at Kew Gardens, follow 83rd Ave, turn right on Metropolitan Ave, and continue for a few blocks.
  • Buses: Q11, Q23, Q37, Q53, Q54, and Q55.
  • Maps: See the MTA's subway and bus maps.

 

Forest Park Facilties: Concert Bandshell:

The George Seuffert Sr. Bandshell has hosted concerts since 1905. It can hold up to 3,500 people.

During the summer the Queens Symphony Orchestra plays free Sunday afternoon concerts in the bandshell. On Wednesdays throughout the summer, concerts, puppet shows, and other performances are held.

  • George Seuffert Sr. Bandshell Address: Forest Park Drive off Woodhaven Blvd (close to Myrtle Ave - and Victory Field).
  • Events Schedule - Events in Forest Park [at NYCParks.org]

 

Forest Park History:

Before it was Forest Park, Rockaway, Lenape, and Delaware Native Americans lived in the area. In the 1800s it was mostly woods, until the Brooklyn Parks Department bought the land in the 1890s, calling it "Booklyn Forest Park."

Famed landscape architect and Central Park creator Frederick Olmsted designed Forest Park's main drive in the eastern side of the park.

The golf course and athletic facilities were new in the 20th century. Since the 1990s the park has undergone an overall revitalization.

Forest Park Environment - Biggest Oak Woods in Queens:

Forest Park is on the edge of the Harbor Hill Moraine, from the glacier that molded Long Island 20,000 years ago. The park's terrain is "knob and kettle," a mix of ridges and irregular gullies.

Forest Park Preserve has 165 acres of trees, the largest continuous oak forest in Queens, plus hickory, pine, and dogwoods.

Birding in the woods is best in the fall and spring, when cerulean and yellow-throated warblers can be seen. Hawks and herons visit the restored Strack Pond.

Forest Park - Special and Annual Events:

 

  • Events Schedule - Events in Forest Park [at NYCParks.org] Annual events include:
    • Arbor Day Festival
    • Bandshell concerts on Sundays and performances on Wednesdays during the summer
    • Forest Park Fair in September
    • Halloween
    • Victorian Christmas
    • Nature Trails Day
    • Orienteering
    • Battle reenactments
    • MulchFest, in January each year, for the composting of Christmas trees
    • Snow Day Sledding at Mary Whalen Playground, 79th St and Park Lane South

     

    Forest Park Addresses and Contacts:

     

    • Forest Park Administrator: Oak Ridge,One Forest Park, Woodhaven, NY 11421, 718-235-0815
    • Queens Parks Administration: Forest Park, Kew Gardens, NY 11415, 718-520-5900
    • Forest Park Visitor Center: 718-846-2731, Woodhaven Boulevard and Forest Park Drive, small red brick building
    • Forest Park Golf Course: 101 Forest Park Drive, 718-296-0999
    • Forest Park Carousel: Woodhaven Blvd at Forest Park Dr, 718-849-4080
    • Queens Council on the Arts: One Forest Park at Oak Ridge, Woodhaven, NY 11421, 718-647-3377
    • Horseback Riding Lessons and Horse Rentals:
      • Lynn's Riding School, 88-03 70th Rd, Forest Hills, NY 11375, 718-261-7679
      • Dixie Dew Stables, 88-11 70th Rd, Forest Hills, NY 11375, 718-263-3500.
    • Buddy Monument: WW1 monument at Park Lane South and Myrtle Ave in Richmond Hill. Site of Memorial Day events. popularly known as "The Doughboy." Sculpted by Joseph Pollia (1893-1954).
    • Dry Harbor Playground: Playground and skating pond, weather permitting. 80 St and Myrtle Ave
    • Sobelsohn Park: Union Tpke and Park Lane South
    • Jackson Pond Playground: 108 St and Myrtle Ave
    • Strack Memorial Pond : Forest Park Drive off Woodhaven Blvd
    • Mary Whalen Playground: 79th Street and Park Lane South
    • Joseph Devoy Playground: Union Tpke and 71st Dr
    • Greenhouse Playground: Myrtle Ave and Woodhaven Blvd
    • Giovannelli Playground: Freedom Dr (102nd St) and Park Lane South
    • Jayne Carlson Triangle: Adjacent to Jackson Pond Playground, at Myrtle Ave and Park Lane South
    • Wallenberg Square: Metropolitan Ave and Park Lane South, honoring Raoul Gustav Wallenberg (1912-1947), heroic rescuer of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis.

     

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