NYC is one of those places where you don’t need to own a vehicle. Why pay a car payment, plus insurance, gas and high parking costs when you can get to anywhere you need to go with public transportation? Not to mention, Queens is a very bike-friendly area so you can even save a little money by jumping on your bike and peddling to your destination. Not to mention, this gives you a little exercise and fresh air too. If you ask anyone, even your movers, Queens will be voted as one of the top places to own a bike. In fact, of the five boroughs, many say that Queens is the most pleasant to bike through. Wherever you go, you are bound to ride by architectural landmarks, statues, beautiful waterways, parks and ponds.
The Cemetery Belt
This is one of the coolest places to explore in all of NYC. The Cemetery Belt is massive and deep in American history. There are three times more dead people buried here than what you will find actually living in Queens. This is an enormous route, but there is a shorter 18-mile route, named Borough of the Dead within the belt that is geared more toward the average rider.
If you start at Calvary Cemetery, you will go past Johnston Mausoleum, Second Calvary Cemetery, Mount Zion Cemetery, The Clinton Diner from the movie Goodfellas and even the location from the Godfather where Vito Corleone was buried.
Two-thirds of this densely forested park is dedicated to the Forever Wild Preserve. More than 240 acres of forested habitat, kettle ponds and vernal pods are home to sensitive wildlife. This park was carved out 20,000 years ago by glaciers and archaeological evidence suggests that Native Americans inhabited the area 7,000 years ago. Today, the parkway offers a fantastic tree-lined route for bikes, joggers and walkers.
A 40-mile continuous cyclist and pedestrian route has been created that begins and ends at Long Island Sound in Queens and Coney Island in Brooklyn.
- Coney Island – 5.5-mile loop – Bikes are only permitted on the boardwalk from 6am to 10am. After this, there is just too much foot traffic and you will need to go around the dock. Also, be alert on Surf Avenue. This is a busy street, with a lot of distracted drivers, and there are no marked bike lines on it.
- Ocean Parkway – 5.9 miles – This path begins at Seabrook Avenue and Ocean Parkway and ends at the entrance of Prospect Park. There are not a ton of sites to see along the way, but it is an enjoyable ride, surrounded by trees, grass and an eclectic mix of 20th century buildings.
- Prospect Park – 3.2-mile loop – Although this is a 3.2-mile loop. There is a spot that you can cut through for a half loop if you are looking for a shorter ride. There is a lot to see on this route, including Concert Grove, Parade Ground, Wolman Rink, Prospect Lake, Prospect Park Zoo, Carousel and more. This land has a significant history from the Revolutionary War and 500 Americans were killed after they surrendered by English infantry, German Hessians and Scot highlanders.
- Eastern Parkway – 2.5 miles – This route begins at the Grand Army Plaza in front of Prospect Park and ends at Buffalo Ave. The British actually took this route back in 1776 to confront the Americans at Prospect Park.
- Highland Park – 6.6 miles – Begin traveling south on Buffalo Ave and you will end across from 79th St. at Myrtle Avenue. This is a rewarding ride as it is on a high plateau with beautiful views. There is a hefty climb, but it is well worth the effort.
- Forest Park – 3.5 miles – This trail starts at Forest Park Golf Course and awards you with a ton of nature. Even park roads are low-traffic so you can really enjoy your surroundings.
- Corona Park – 5.2 miles – Ride past the Queens Zoo, Hall of Science, Queens Museum of Art, New York State Pavilion and a few beautiful gardens. This area was once a salt marsh and despite the architecture, you can still see hints of natural beauty.
- Cunningham Corridor – 5 miles – This path starts right next to Lawrence Playground and College Point Boulevard takes you past Queens Botanical Garden, Kissena Corridor Park and Kissena Park Veledrome. Some of the oldest and most important buildings in Queens are along this path.
- Alley Pond Park – 9.6 miles – This very long stretch travels through an area numerous movies have been filmed. The kettle ponds you will see were formed 20,000 years ago from giant glaciers melting and leaving a large hold in the ground.
If you are relocating to the area, and want to know how to get to the Greenway, ask your movers. Queens may be viewed as an area with an abundance of concrete and steel, but there is still plenty of nature to be explored, if you know where to find it.