Yesterday, I walked perhaps one-fifth of Pelham Bay Park in the northeast Bronx--at more than 2,700 acres, the city's largest.
Let me tick off the negatives first: The park's Mosholu-Pelham Greenway, dedicated in 1999, is kinda shabby and could use an upgrade overall.
Signage--directional, advisory and informational--is inadequate and usually directed at cars, not people. (So what else is new?)
But those are small complaints. What matters more is that the park is accessible to walkers and cyclists.
The accessibility started as soon as I got off the 6 train at Pelham Bay Park--about an hour's ride from Bowling Green (4 to 125th; transfer to 6 to last stop). At the Pelham Bay Park station, a major exit led me onto an overpass above the Hutchinson River Parkway. The ramp on the other side deposited me only steps from the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway, from which it appears you can reach any destination within the park on foot or bike (see map link below)
There's more. At the key intersections I saw, pedestrian crosswalks were clearly marked. Lights were timed to give pedestrians adequate time to cross the road.
This place is a remarkable natural environment--a place where, to an unusual degree, you witness an interplay between sky, water, land and vegetation that at first is almost startling.
Yesterday, I walked a bridge over the Hutchinson River . . .
. . . passed by Turtle Cove . . .
. . . ate an al fresco brown-bag lunch at Orchard Beach, facing Long Island Sound . . .
. . . and walked around the salt marshes in the Lagoon.
As you can see from the map, I've only begun my explorations at Pelham Bay Park. Still to come: Goose Creek Marsh, the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary, The Hunter Island Marine Zoology & Geology Sanctuary, the Kazimroff Nature Trail, Rodman's Neck--and City Island!