Queens Parks Guide: Alley Pond Park

Have you ever been to Alley Pond Park? Maybe a better question would be have you ever heard of Alley Pond Park? It happens to be the second largest park in Queens, complete with its own adventure course.

One of the best things about living in NYC is all the free stuff the city has to offer. Alley Pond Park has one of the coolest (and completely free) activities – THE ADVENTURE COURSE! Built in 2007, the course is a combination of low and high ropes elements (think rock-climbing and zip lines) designed for adventure programming, educational, and team building purposes. Throughout the week the course is reserved for private bookings, public schools and corporate groups. But every weekend, the course opens up to the public so everyone (ages 8 and over) can get a taste of the excitement.
The Adventure Course is part of the Urban Park Rangers Adventure program, a low–cost outdoor education and adventure program, which includes canoeing, learning navigation, fishing, and free overnight camping at the park. For more information on the Urban Park Rangers Adventure program, click here.

If you’d prefer to keep your feet on the ground, Alley Pond Park is also a great place to hike, bike, run, bird watch, BBQ, or just to relax and enjoy the outdoors. It’s also great to visit the park in the fall to experience the colorful foliage without having to leave the city. A quick hike along one of the many trails found at Alley Pond brings you through hardwood forests with some of the largest trees in NYC, passing kettle ponds, and a salt marsh along the way, allowing you to completely forget about the bustling city life just a few miles away.

The park also offers a number of free, family-friendly activities. Check the events calendar for upcoming theatrical performances, storytelling, concerts, and puppet shows for the little ones.

The Alley Pond Environmental Center offers educational programs for kids and families. There are even programs offered for schools. For more information, visit their website.

So where is this urban oasis, you might be wondering? Most New Yorkers have never heard of Alley Pond Park let alone visited Little Neck, Queens where this 657-acre park is situated. Nestled between the LIE, the Grand Central and the Cross Island Expressways, Alley Pond is easily accessible from nearly any borough in the city by car. The Environmental Center is located at 228-06 Northern Boulevard. Arriving by public transportation is slightly more complicated, but with a little planning and a map, the park is hard to miss!


Alanna Holbach