GATEWAY NATIONAL RECREATION AREA; JAMAICA BAY:
JAMAICA BAY GREENWAY:
FLOYD BENNETT FIELD TRAILS:
FORT TILDEN/JACOB RISS PARK TRAILS:
ROCKAWAY BEACH BOARDWALK:
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 18, 2019
Length: Jamaica Bay Greenway Loop; 19.7 miles
Rockaway Beach Boardwalk; 5.6 miles
Shirley Chisholm State Park Trails; 10 miles
Spring Creek Park Trail; 1.1 miles
Difficulty: Jamaica Bay Greenway Loop; Moderate. Mostly flat paved trail.
Rockaway Beach Boardwalk; Easy. Boardwalk.
Shirley Chisholm State Park Trails; Easy to moderate. Both paved and gravel trails. Some hills.
Spring Creek Park Trail; Easy. Flat paved trail.
To Start from the Floyd Bennett Field Entrance parking lot; From I-678 take exit 1W to the Belt Pkwy. Take exit 11S to Flatbush Ave south. Travel 1.4 miles and turn left on Aviation Rd into Floyd Bennett Field. Just past the gatehouse on your right is the parking lot.
The Gateway National Recreation Area is a large diverse urban park with 27,000 acres spanning Sandy Hook in N.J. and Jamaica Bay and Staten Island in N.Y. It offers green spaces, beaches, wildlife and outdoor recreation, all alongside historic structures and cultural landscapes. Gateway National Recreation Area; Jamaica Bay includes Floyd Bennett Field, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Canarsie Pier, Breezy Point, Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park. The Jamaica Bay Greenway Loops around Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge utilizing the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk. The Jamaica Bay Greenway also includes a section of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and Shore Parkway Greenway . You can also access the Fort Tilden/Jacob Riss Park Trails and Floyd Bennett Field Trails. For more information visit; GATEWAY NRA; JAMAICA BAY .
Starting from the Floyd Bennett Field Entrance parking lot; Restrooms, drink vending machine. Travel left on the wide sidewalk alongside Aviation Rd out to Flatbush Ave. This is where the trail Loops around too. I headed right alongside the paved Jamaica Bay Greenway next to Flatbush Ave. Map Board. After 0.8 miles you'll pass the old Naval Air Station.
Note; Head right through the gate to the old Naval Air Station, which now houses the NPS Ryan Visitor Center. Restrooms.
Continuing northwest come to a Map Board at 1.3 miles.
Note; A cross-light over Flatbush Ave leads to the Shore Parkway Greenway .
Bear right at the next intersection where the trail travels northeast alongside the Shore/Belt Pkwy. Open trail with limited views of Jamaica Bay. This is also part of the Shore Parkway Greenway. Slight climb up a bridge over Mill Basin. Good views of Manhattan from here. Slight climb up another bridge over Paerdegat Basin. Look right to spot uninhabited Canarsie Pol Island in the middle of Jamaica Bay. Come to a spur trail on your right at 3.7 miles.
Note; This trail heads right, then underneath the Shore/Belt Pkwy to CANARSIE PARK . Sports fields, Skate Park, playground and restrooms.
Next come to Canarsie Pier at 4.3 miles. Restrooms, water fountain and picnic tables. Cross a third bridge over Fresh Creek and pass by the entrance to SHIRLEY CHISHOLM SP at 5.5 miles.
Note; Rising up 130 feet above sea level, this Shirley Chisholm Park occupies some of the highest ground in New York City and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Empire State Building to the northwest, the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge and New York Harbor to the west, and Jamaica Bay to the south. The site sits atop the former Pennsylvania and Fountain Avenue landfills. Paved and gravel Bike Trails along with Free Bike Rentals. See; Map Below. I haven't checked out these trails.
Next you cross a bridge over Hendrix Creek and pass by an access to another section of Shirley Chisholm SP. Pass the Erskine Street Bridge on your left at 6.2 miles.
Note; If you head left across this bridge it will bring you to the start of the Spring Creek Park Trail on your left next to Gateway Dr. I haven't checked out this trail. This paved trail travels west through this narrow park to a loop around the Roy A. Sweeney Cricket Oval at 0.5 miles. The trail then turns north alongside Hendrix Creek and ends after 1.1 miles at Vandalia Ave. Almost entirely marshland, Spring Creek Park serves as open greenery for various species of birds including great blue herons, egrets, red-winged blackbirds, pheasants, and mallards, as well as animals such as deer, raccoons, and muskrats.
Cross another bridge over Betts Creek and come to 84th St after 7.4 miles.
Note; The Shore Parkway Greenway continues straight.
This next section is on-road. Green signs mark the on-road route. Head right along 84th St then left on 157th Ave [BIKE LANE]. Turn right on 91st St [BIKE LANE]. Residential road, but Use Caution at the street crossings as there is no crosswalks. Turn left on-road along 165th Ave out to Cross Bay Blvd at 8.9 miles. Head right [BIKE LANE]. Travel over the first Cross Bay Bridge (sidewalk available) to Rulers Bar Hassock, the only inhabited Island in Jamaica Bay. Here you'll find a parking lot and the paved trail at 9.7 miles along with a Map Board. The trail follows Cross Bay Blvd. Pass by the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 11.4 miles. Restrooms, picnic tables, water fountain and BIKE STATION. You quickly come to the end of the paved trail as you enter a small village. Follow a BIKE LANE past places to eat. After 12.7 miles the BIKE LANE ends just before the second Cross Bay Bridge. Cross over Cross Bay Blvd and head right, then a quick left along Van Brunt Rd. This will bring you to a wide paved path across the bridge. Come to Beach Channel Dr in Rockaway Beach after 13.5 miles.
Note; In order to utilize Rockaway Beach Boardwalk you'll need to maneuver through the center of Rockaway Peninsula.
Use the Crosswalk over to Beach 92nd St where you'll find a double wide sidewalk right along Beach 94th St. This brings you to Rockaway Blvd. Turn right along Rockaway Freeway (sidewalk) to Cross Bay Pkwy to a crosswalk left over Rockaway Blvd. Follow Beach 95th St on-road to Shore Front Pkwy. Here you'll find both a BIKE LANE alongside Shore Front Pkwy and a BIKE LANE along Rockaway Beach Boardwalk at 14 miles.
Note; The BIKE LANE travels east up to Beach 73rd St and west to Beach 108th St. If you wish to complete the Jamaica Bay Greenway Loop on-road, another BIKE LANE continues north up Beach 108th St, then BIKE SHARROWS take you east along Rockaway Beach Blvd becoming a BIKE LANE to Jacob Riss Park. SEE Below.
I chose to Loop back via Rockaway Beach Boardwalk. Head up the ramp to the boardwalk where you'll find a painted BIKE LANE on the boardwalk.
Note; The Rockaway Beach Boardwalk BIKE LANE travels east and west. Heading east the boardwalk ends at Beach 9th St. I haven't checked out that section.
Heading west along the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk BIKE LANE you'll pass by multiple restrooms and places to eat. After 14.8 miles the boardwalk jogs right and now has sea grass between you and the beach and no road along your right. After 15.6 miles the boardwalk ends at Beach 126th St. Head right [BIKE SHARROWS] out to Rockaway Beach Blvd (Crosswalk to your right) and travel left [BIKE LANE]. Come to Beach 149th St where the BIKE LANE switches sides. You then cross over Rockaway Beach Blvd. Continue right to Jacob Riss Park Promenade on your left at 17 miles. Follow this out to the beach and head right along the cement promenade. Restrooms, playground, ball fields and eateries. Just before the promenade ends you'll find a BIKE STATION on your right. Come to Beach 169th St at 18.2 miles and turn right (No traffic). On your left spot a brick gate.
Note; This leads to Fort Tilden where you can explore old Battery's and Nike Missile sites.
Continue straight out to a cross-light over Rockaway Point Blvd. Head right along the paved narrow path up and over the Marine Parkway Bridge across Jamaica Bay. Nice views of Manhattan. Come to a Map Board and cross-light where the trail turns to sidewalk. Cross Flatbush Ave and return down Aviation Rd back to the Floyd Bennett Field Entrance parking lot after a 19.7 mile Loop.
CLICK HERE FOR GATEWAY NRA; JAMAICA BAY MAP
CLICK HERE FOR JAMAICA BAY GREENWAY MAP
FLOYD BENNETT FIELD MAP
CLICK HERE FOR SHIRLEY CHISHOLM SP MAP
CLICK HERE FOR NY CITY 2023 BIKE MAP
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