Staten Island, though perhaps infamously known for the dump (which is currently being turned into a mega-park), is actually the “greenest borough.” Since Central Park is a bit of trek for locals, they can be found riding bikes, feeding the ducks and rowing boats in one of many of the island’s green playgrounds. Here’s a look at some that are definitely worth the free ferry ride over.
Clove and Silver Lake Parks
Slosson Avenue, Victory Boulevard, Clove Road, Forest Avenue
Clove Lakes Park is really a gem. Luscious grass, a gorgeous playground (with killer sprinklers) and paddleboat rentals—this park really comes out on top. There are football fields, dog runs, baseball fields, hiking trails and great biking trails for kids, soccer fields, basketball courts and picturesque, true park scenery. There’s also an indoor ice-skating rink, restaurant and plenty of ducks to feed, plus the bathrooms are clean, which is always an added bonus. Kids aren’t the only ones having fun here—teens, couples and older folks stroll and bike through the park, too. How to get here
Silver Lake is more towards the North Shore than Clove Lakes (which is more mid-island) and was the borough’s response to Central and Prospect Parks. Another stunning park, Silver Lake is home to some very serious hiking trails (better for kids who are a little bit older), a golf course, baseball, soccer and football fields, tennis and basketball courts and pretty clean bathrooms. Monarch butterflies are frequently spotted (and chased) by little kids and rabbits and little lizards are spotted pretty often, too. How to get here
Great Kills Park
Hylan Blvd at Buffalo St.
Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Great Kills park is 580 acres of open space. There are hiking and biking trails, sports fields, kids and their ‘rents flying kites, fishing areas and a beach, sans syringes. Because the park is so big, it’s easy to find little nooks to call your own, or picnic with newfound friends. The bathrooms aren’t the most amazing, but they are there and they are accessible. There’s also a Marina, and killer views, as the park looks on towards Coney Island and New Jersey.
How to get here
Wolfe’s Pond Park
420 Cornelia Ave
Staten Island, NY 10312
This park is great place to play. There are lots of courts—basketball, tennis and a roller hockey rink—an enclosed dog park, trails and nice places to take in the sun. It was renovated within the last few years and is very clean. Families gather around the pond area to picnic and BBQ, while the kids run around and work off the hotdogs.
How to get here