GATEWAY NATIONAL RECREATION AREA; STATEN ISLAND:
ARTHUR VON BRIESEN PARK:
GREAT KILLS PARK:
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 18, 2019
Length: Arthur Von Briesen Park to Cedar Grove Ave parking lot; 5.7 miles
FDR Boardwalk; 1.4 miles.
Great Kills Park Trail; 2.2 miles.
Difficulty: Arthur Von Briesen Park to Cedar Grove Ave parking lot; Easy-moderate. Mostly flat paved trail, some hills involved.
FDR Boardwalk; Easy.
Great Kills Park Trail; Easy. Flat paved trail.
To Start from Arthur Von Briesen Park [Northern End]; From I-278 in NY cross over the bridge to Staten Island and take exit 15 N to School St. Follow to Bay St. The parking lot is across the street. For Fort Wadsworth; Turn right on Bay St which becomes NY Ave as you enter Fort Wadsworth. The Visitor Center parking lot is on your left. For FDR Boardwalk; continue along NY Ave to end and turn right on McClean Ave, then left on Lilly Pond Ave to Father Capodanno Blvd. Take your first left on Ocean Ave. Parking lot on right.
To Start from Cedar Grove Ave parking lot [Southern End]; From I-278 in NY cross over the bridge to Staten Island and take exit 14 to Hylan Blvd and head south for 3.4 miles. Turn left on New Drop Lane, then right on Cedar Grove Ave. Parking lot is on your left.
The Gateway National Recreation Area is a large diverse urban park with 27,000 acres spanning Sandy Hook in N.J. and Jamaica Bay & Staten Island in N.Y. It offers green spaces, beaches, wildlife and outdoor recreation, all alongside historic structures and cultural landscapes. The Gateway National Recreation Area; Staten Island is made up of three different areas; Fort Wadsworth, Miller Field, and Great Kills Park. Along with these three areas I've included Arthur Von Briesen Park Trail and the FDR Boardwalk to create a mostly continuous off road trail starting from Arthur Von Briesen Park and ending at Great Kills Park. For more information visit; GATEWAY NRA; STATEN ISLAND .
Starting from Arthur Von Briesen Park [Northern End]; From the parking lot follow the paved Arthur Von Briesen Park Trail straight along the left side of the wooded park to a couple of nice overlooks. Great views of Manhattan, the Verazzano-Bridge and the Narrows. The trail then Loops back past the parking lot and out to Bay St after 0.4 miles. Travel left on-road past the gate house into GNRA; Fort Wadsworth. Slight hill up NY Ave. Come to the Visitor Center parking lot on your left after 0.7 miles. Map Board, restrooms, beverages available, museum. Turn left up Tompkins St and you'll pass by the Battery Duane on your right and Fort Tompkins on your left before coming to Hudson Rd where you'll find a scenic overlook of the bridge and Narrows. The Battery Weed is below.
Note; If you wish to avoid a steep descent, followed by a steep hill climb head right on Hudson Road underneath the Verazzano-Bridge.
Head left (Downhill followed by uphill climb) along the cement trail down to N Weed Rd and turn right continuing downhill to the Battery Weed. Then climb back uphill passing the Battery Bacon & Turnbull before traveling underneath the Verazzano-Bridge back up to Hudson Road. Head straight past a parking lot and turn left down USS North Carolina Rd [BIKE SHARROWS]. Pass by Camp Gateway on your left. The Coast Guard is all along your right. The road is blocked into the Coast Guard. Look left and you'll find a paved Trail which takes you to South Beach and the Ocean Ave parking lot at 2.3 miles.
Note; You have two options from here. The elevated FDR Boardwalk is along your left and the paved trail continues straight. As I was doing a Loop I followed the paved trail straight and returned via the boardwalk.
Continuing along the paved trail you'll pass picnic tables, eateries, benches, sports fields, restrooms, playground and WHEEL FUN BIKE RENTALS . Pass by a water feature and Splash Park before coming to the end of the boardwalk at 3.8 miles.
Note; To return via the elevated FDR Boardwalk head up a ramp to Freedom Circle returning via the boardwalk BIKE LANE. Pass by a long pier out into the Lower Bay. Restrooms and eateries located along the boardwalk. Just before the boardwalk ends after 1.4 miles access a ramp back down to the paved trail.
Continuing along the wide paved trail. I haven't checked out this next section. Now only a sand berm blocks the beach and ocean. Pass by more sports fields, playgrounds, eateries and amenities. Come to Miller Field (lots of sports fields) after 4.9 miles. After 5.7 miles the trail brings you out to Cedar Grove Ave parking lot.
Note; Currently, as of Aug 2019, to reach Great Kills Park you'll need to travel on-road. Travel left along Cedar Grove Ave, turn right up Ebbitts St, left on Mill Rd, right on Guyon Ave and left on Hylan Blvd to reach Great Kills Park on your left after 2.1 miles. The Buffalo Street parking lot is here.
From the Buffalo Street parking lot; I haven't checked out this section. The paved Great Kills Park Trail follows alongside Buffalo St down past another parking lot overlooking Lower Bay at 0.9 miles. The trail then follows a peninsula out to a marina overlooking Great Kills Harbor and Great Kills Beach parking lot at 1.8 miles. A trail (hard packed dirt-gravel-sand?) continues out to Movie Star Island and another parking lot at 2.2 miles.
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