Go by Bike: Rides of Spring
With spring sprung, bicycling is suddenly a lot more verdant. Enjoy the shades of the season with a ride to one of these natural wonders in a New York City park.
Inwood Hill Park
Home to the city’s last natural salt marsh and tulip poplar trees aged enough to count as East Coast old-growth, Inwood Hill Park is one of the most unaltered locales in New York. It’s also Manhattan’s best place to spot the city’s growing population of bald eagles. Leave your fixie at home; it’s hilly up there.
Pelham Bay Park
Get lost on five miles of paved bike trails or hike the 13 miles of saltwater shoreline in New York’s largest park. Keep an eye out for osprey, count the glacial boulders deposited in the park 20,000 years ago or simply marvel at the ecological diversity. In just a few turns of the crank, you can see flowering meadows, dense forests, marshlands and rocky shores.
Staten Island Greenbelt
Actually a series of contiguous parks and greenspaces, the Greenbelt is home to forested hills and kettle ponds, plus a wealth of hawk, snake, turtle, frog and deer species. It all peaks on Todt Hill, the Eastern Seaboard’s highest elevation south of Maine. Bring your mountain bike for the dirt and gravel multi-use trail.
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
You and your bike can break free from the constraints of directional paths on the empty runways of Floyd Bennett Field, a decommissioned airstrip adjacent to Jamaica Bay. But birds are the main attraction in the 18,000-acre wetland estuary; take a walk along the boardwalks and mudflats to spot egret, heron, plover, sandpiper, osprey, ibis and owl.
Images by Dorothy Reilly, Teri Tynes, Ravish Fellow, Aidan Wakely-Mulroney