three boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island) and two
states (New Jersey and New York). The entire circuit includes
locations for outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking,
camping, boating, and bird-watching.
In Queens, the Jamaica Bay unit stretches from the shoreline
below Brooklyn’s Shore Parkway to dozens of uninhabited
islands in Jamaica Bay to the Rockaway Peninsula, which leads
to the Atlantic Ocean. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, one of
the best bird-watching areas in the Northeastern United States, is
located in this unit. Roughly 9,155 acres, the refuge features salt
marshes, woodlands, estuaries, and sand dunes.
A few miles down the road is Jacob Riis Park, a public beach by
the Atlantic Ocean that is described in this section. The stretch has
a boardwalk and a landmarked bathhouse. The 200-acre Breezy
Point Tip is adjacent to Riis Park. Consisting of dunes, marshes,
and oceanfront beach, it is a nesting area for many birds, such as the
piping glover. During their migrations, different kinds of hawks rest
and nest there. Plus, diamondback turtles lay eggs and horseshoe
crabs mate in the sand dunes of the Wildlife Refuge at certain times.
QUEENS COUNTY FARM MUSEUM
The Queens County Farm Museum is New York City’s largest
remaining farmland. In operation since 1697, it also the city’s
only working historical farm with livestock, heavy farm
machinery, planting fields, and a vineyard. Guided tours and
hayrides combine with featured events, such as a children’s
carnival, an antique motor show, and a Native American powwow.
The roughly 47-acre site also features the restored Cornell
Farmhouse, which dates back to the Adriances, a Dutch family
that lived there from 1697 to 1808.
Inside scoop: The farm sells wine made from its homegrown
vineyard, locally laid eggs, and honey from on-site bees.
Address: 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Park, and www.
PUBLIC GREEN SPACES
Astoria Park offers shoreline access to the East River, views of
Manhattan and Randall’s Island, an outdoor pool, and multiple
recreational activities, lying below two bridges, the Robert F.
Kennedy (formerly Triborough) and Hell Gate. Located at the
western end of Ditmars Boulevard and covering about 60 acres,
the public space has running tracks, dog runs, skate parks, tennis
courts, a track, basketball courts, a bandstand, and many trails. A
high-quality ultimate Frisbee game takes place there on Saturday
mornings all year.
106 QUEENS IN YOUR POCKET • www.itsinqueens.com