Along with being the perfect place for relaxing picnics and dog walks, Prospect Park is also home to Brooklyn's oldest forest.
Distance: 2 miles
Map: See bottom of page
There are multiple options for getting to Prospect Park. For this hike, the easiest way is to take the F or G train to 7th Av and walk up 9th St to reach the park. Alternatively, take the D, N, R, or W trains to 9th St and walk up 9th St to reach the park. Another option is to take the 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza and walk down Prospect Park West until you reach the 9th street entrance.
1. Enter the park on the left side of the Lafayette statue, following a sign for the LeFrak Center. This path will quickly split; turn left here and you'll pass by a picnic area.
2. Cross the road ahead, watching out for bikers as they speed along. Continue straight and walk through the popular Long Meadow. On nice days this vast stretch of grass is alive with outdoor activities, from picnics to dog walks to sports.
3. Once across Long Meadow, you'll come to an intersection with the iconic Dog Pool to your left. If you like dogs, this is a must see pit-stop.
4. Continue straight through the intersection to enter Brooklyn's oldest forest. As you walk past tall trees you'll get views of the pond and a waterfall.
5. Go left where the path splits and continue walking through the peaceful woods, passing by more nice views of the pond. Shy wood ducks can sometimes be seen dabbling among the lily pads.
6. Keep left at the next junction, and soon you'll come to a wooden bridge passing over a babbling brook.
7. Keep right at the intersection ahead to continue following the stream. Round the bend and you'll see another waterfall.
8. Soon you'll reach a T in the path. Turn left here and pass under the arch, bringing you out of the forest. You'll now come to a peaceful field known as the Nethermead.
9. Go left where the path splits and walk along the field. As you head into a grove, go right at the first junction and then left at the next one. Continue ahead to a wooden bridge overlooking a pleasant pond.
10. Now backtrack slightly and take the rocky path leading down to the left. As you walk along a waterway called the Lullwater, you'll have a great view of the waterfall behind you and the Boathouse ahead.
11. After briefly walking along the water's edge you'll be brought back to a path. Cross this path and pick up the trail on the other side. You'll pass another nice view of the water as you head back into the woods.
13. Look out for herons hunting along the shore as you follow the trail. Soon you will be brought back to the Nethermead.
14. From here, you can retrace your steps out of the park. Turn right, then left at the junction to head back through the grove. Go left again to walk along the lawn, then turn right at the split to pass back under the arch. Continue ahead to a junction and turn left.
15. You'll soon see the pond from before. Stay right at the next junction and you'll return to Long Meadow. From here you can either continue straight to head out of the park, or find a nice spot to sit down and keep enjoying the outdoors!