The entrance to Shirley Chisholm State Park. Photo: Angelina Nelson / Epicenter NYC

By Angelina Nelson

Hidden behind the Belt Parkway in East New York are 10 miles of both biking and walking trails. Shirley Chisholm State Park opened in July 2019 after the Penn and Fountain Landfills were transformed into 407 acres of grassland which features waterfront access. 

Walking along Penn pier. Photo: Angelina Nelson / Epicenter NYC

We started on the Oystercatcher Trail and later discovered the Penn pier. A second pier, Fountain pier, can only be accessed by entering the park from either the Fountain entrance or the Fountain bike connector. At the Penn pier, other park goers were enjoying their time fishing and picnicking. Some of the tables are equipped with umbrellas.

Walking along the Red Tail Trail there are more picnic tables (though not with umbrellas), and also faint views of the city’s skyline. Don’t forget to bring snacks and water as this trail is quite the hike. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen, including Common Yellowthroat, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Savannah Sparrow and foraging Osprey. Self-guided hikes can also be found here.

Free bike rentals can also be found at the park’s Bike Library. This service is offered Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If biking isn’t your thing, the Shirley Chisholm environmental education team offers events like fishing clinics and mindfulness hikes. The full calendar of events can be found online.

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