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Federal Parks

Breezy Point

Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, this park covers the extreme western end of the Rockaway Peninsula and is home to nesting colonies of a variety of endangered and threatened birds. Recreation in this area is limited to fishing.

For more information call 718-318-4340 or use the National Park Service Web site, or Friends of Gateway Recreation Area.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the refuge covers over 9,000 acres and offers more than five miles of trails. The park, located on the eastern "flyway" of migrating birds, is a favorite of birdwatchers.

Visitors' Center, 1st Road, Broad Channel

For more info, call chief ranger, Gateway NRA 718-318-4340

Visit the National Park Service Web site, or Friends of Gateway Recreation Area.

Jacob Riis Park

Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, this park on the Rockaway peninsula features one mile of beach and boardwalk, a pitch and putt course, and a public pool. The park also offers facilities for softball, baseball, football, rugby, paddleball and handball.

The park's bathhouse and outdoor clock have been city landmarks since the 1930s, and the entire park is listed on the National Register of Historic Paces.

Parking is available; a fee is charged in the summer.

State Parks

Bayswater Point State Park

Mott Avenue and Jamaica Bay. This 12-acre park is a remnant of the estate of banker Louis A. Heinsheimer. The 175-foot wide mansion on the site, "Breezy Point," was demolished in 1987, although a conservatory which was attached to the house remains. The land has been a state park since 1988 and is managed by the Audubon Society as part of its "Buffer the Bay" project. The site now offers nature walks. The park juts out into the Mott Basin on the eastern shore of Jamaica Bay. The terrain is varied and includes beachfront, wetlands and woodlands, making it an ideal habitat for migrating and nesting birds. The goal of this park is to preserve the existing natural systems, and if feasible, restore what has been lost. Passive recreation, such as hiking and nature study, are encouraged. Fishing is permitted, but no pets. Contact c/o Gantry Plaza State Park, 50-50 Second St., Long Island City, NY 11101, phone 718- 471-2212. Open daily year round.

Gantry Plaza State Park

Gantry Plaza State Park is a 2.5-acre riverside oasis that boasts spectacular views of the midtown Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building and the United Nations. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the park's four piers or through the park's manicured gardens and unique mist fountain. Along the way take a moment to admire the rugged beauty of the park's centerpieces - restored gantries. These industrial monuments were once used to load and unload rail car floats and barges; today they are striking reminders of our waterfront's past. With the city skyline as a backdrop and the gantries as a stage, the park's plaza is a wonderful place to enjoy a spring or summer concert or to enjoy the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display.

Recreational facilities include basketball courts, playgrounds, handball courts, and a fishing pier with its own cleaning table.

Attractions: Fishing, picnic tables and playing Field(s)

Directions:

* By car from Manhattan: Queensboro Bridge to 21st Street, turn right on 21st. Turn right on Jackson Avenue. Turn right on 48th Avenue. Turn left at the corner by City Lights Building, then right on 49th Avenue. Continue to the end. Gantry Plaza will be in front of you.

* By subway: Take No. 7 Train one stop into Queens from Grand Central Station. Get off at Vernon-Jackson Avenue Station. Walk down 48th Avenue to the river. The park is in front of City Lights Building

Contact Information:

50-50 Second Street

Long Island City, NY 11101

Phone:

718-786-6385

Open daily, year round, no pets.

City Parks

For more information about any of these or other city parks, call the NYC Parks Dept., 800-201-PARK (7275) or the NYC Parks Dept. Web site, www.nycgovparks.org or www.partnershipsforparks.org

Alley Pond Park

This 655-acre park follows the course of Alley Creek, which leads to Little Neck Bay. Nature center and trails, picnic grounds with barbecuing permitted, baseball, tennis, handball, playgrounds, golf driving range, bicycle path, bird watching, cross-country running path, soccer.

Attractions: Alley Pond Environmental Center, 228-06 Northern Blvd., Douglaston 718-229-4000.

Alley Pond Tennis Center, 79-20 Winchester Blvd., Douglaston 718-468-1239

Astoria Park

70-acre park on scenic waterfront gently slopes to the East River between the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges, and offers a dramatic view of the Manhattan skyline. From quiet family picnics to concerts attracting thousands, the park is the premier outdoor facility for the community. The park contains an Olympic sized swimming pool and solar heated bathhouse.

Location: bounded by Ditmars Blvd., 19th Street, Astoria Park South and the East River.

Baisley Pond Park

109 acres, with 25-acre pond, located at N. Conduit Ave., Baisley Blvd. South, Lake View Blvd. East, in Jamaica, and called "the Central Park of Southeast Queens." Fishing for bass, carp. Free tennis.

Brookville Park

Rosedale, entrance at Brookville Blvd. and 147th St. Ninety acres, features baseball and softball fields, bocce courts.

Crocheron Park

45.8 acres, located at 33rd to 35th avenues, Little Neck Bay, south of John Colden Park on the west side of Cross Island Parkway, north of Oakland Lake. Hiking The Lew Picardi Orchestra performs there, and

Cunningham Park

With 358 acres, it is the fourth-largest park in the borough. It is a treasured neighborhood resource even though it is a bit chopped up by roads that pass through it. Located at the Horace Harding Expwy. and Grand Central Parkway, it has extensive facilities, including tennis courts, with newly renovated lavatories, and 35 new picnic tables (of several hundred tables), ballfields, soccer fields, four playgrounds, and the Long Island Motor Parkway, one of the major attractions. The Friends of Cunningham Park had it placed on the national Register of Historic Places and is now rehabilitating a hiking trail in the southeast quadrant, east of Francis Lewis Boulevard and south of Union Tpke.

Visit www.friendsofcunninghampark.org

Activities: barbecuing, bicycling, bocce, cross country running track, summer day camp, nature trails (2 miles) soccer.

Cunningham Park Tennis - 196-00 Union Tpke., 718-740-6800

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

This 1,255-acre park, known for its Unisphere and other World's Fair landmarks, has historical, recreational and environmental significance. Originally a dump, known as the "Valley of Ashes" in "the Great Gatsby," it was transformed for the 1939-1940 World's Fair, and then again for another one in 1964-1965. Many facilities from both fairs remain.

The park is the most heavily used in the city, and it's the second-largest. It is home to the New York Mets baseball team and the annual U.S. Open tennis tournament. Except for during the tournament, the tennis courts are open to the public.

Activities: Museums, zoo, petting zoo, theater, boat and bicycle rentals, tennis, soccer, major league baseball, bicycle path, bird watching, cricket, indoor ice skating rink, model airplane field, model boat pond and a "quiet zone."

Attractions: Carousel, Flushing Meadows pitch and putt course, Avery Avenue off College Point Boulevard, call 718-271-8182.

New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Flushing 718-699-0675.

Playground for All Children (handicapped-oriented), 111th Street at 56th Avenue, Flushing 718-699-8283

Queens Museum of Art, New York City Building, 718-592-5555. Includes Panorama of New York City (world's largest model).

Queens Theatre in the Park, 718-760-0064

Queens Wildlife Center, 718-721-7761

Shea Stadium (New York Mets) 718-507-8499 for box office.

Terrace on the Park (catering) 111th Street at 52nd Avenue, 718-592-5000

Unisphere (centerpiece of the 1964-65 World's Fair, now the unofficial symbol of Queens)

USTA (United States Tennis Assn.) Tennis Center, Roosevelt Avenue, 718-271-1996

World's Fair Marina 718-899-8601

Forest Park

Woodhaven, bordered by Myrtle Ave., Union Tpke., and bisected by Jackie Robinson Parkway. Touches on Metropolitan Avenue and Kew Gardens at the north.

In central Queens, Forest Park is the third largest park in the borough, and a gorgeous place to stay in the shade on a hot summer day. More than 400 of its 538 acres are wooded. Activities: golf, model airplane field, track and field, baseball, playgrounds, nature trails (3.75 mi.), horseback riding at stables nearby, barbecuing, tennis, bird watching, bocce, cross country running track, handball, horseshoe pitches, a 400-meter running track, shuffleboard, and skateboarding in a skate park.

Attractions: Forest Park Golf Course, Forest Park Drive and Woodhaven Boulevard, 718-296-0999; Carousel, Seuffert Bandshell, near Woodhaven Boulevard, and Victory Field, track and field facility, at Myrtle Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.

Fort Totten Park

50 acres at the Cross Island Parkway, Totten Road to 15th Road, Bayside. It takes its name from the Civil War-era fortress on the property.

Francis Lewis Park

Bounded by the Whitestone Bridge, 3rd Avenue and 147th Street

Herman A. MacNeil Park

College Point, offers views of the Manhattan skyline. Site of annual

Juniper Valley Park

In Middle Village. Bounded by Juniper Blvd. North, Dry Harbor Road, Juniper Blvd. South, Lutheran Ave. and 61st Street

Activities: basketball, running track (1/4 mile), soccer

Kissena Park

Flushing, from Queensboro Hill - Fresh Meadows, bordered by Rose and Oak avenues on the north, Booth Memorial Avenue on the south, Kissena Blvd. on the west, and Fresh Meadows Lane on the east.

The land that is now Kissena Park was originally the site of the tree nursery of Samuel Parsons & Son, and more than 100 European and Asian tree varieties remain. Kissena Lake and the relatively new bicycle velodrome are the main features of this park, along with the Kissena Park Golf Course.

Activities: baseball, tennis, bicycling, cricket, cross-country running track, nature trail (1/2 mi.), picnic area, soccer. The velodrome -the only one in New York City-is at Booth Memorial and Parsons Blvd.

Queensbridge Park

20.34 acres named for the nearby Queensborough Bridge. It provides neighborhood residents with a variety of facilities, including the handball courts that constitute Queensbridge "Baby" Park. Located at 21st St. Bridge Plaza/Vernon Blvd. It's a venue for numerous summertime live concerts.

Socrates Sculpture Park

This park was an abandoned riverside landfill and illegal dumpsite until 1986 when a coalition of artists and community members, under the leadership of Mark di Suvero, transformed it into an open studio and exhibition space for artists and a neighbohood park for local residents. Today it is an internationally renowned outdoor museum and artist residency program that also serves as a vital New York City park offering a wide variety of public services. The park is located in Long Island City, at the intersection of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard.

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