Clove Lakes Park has been my favorite spot in New York City for my whole life. It started when my parents first brought me to feed the ducks, and continues through my adulthood as I have logged countless miles running on the hilly trails, and rented paddle boats on the lake every summer. Even though I now live in another borough, I still make it a priority to visit the park whenever I’m on Staten Island.
I love to visit the Martling Avenue bridge, where the majestic blue herons have made their nest. The blue herons are the celebrities of Clove Lakes Park; bird watchers and photographers love coming to this bridge for the excellent views of the heron family building their nest, feeding their babies, and fishing. Even if the herons aren’t home, plenty of turtles will poke their heads up to say hello.
I also like to walk to the edge of the park on Forest Avenue, where you’ll find the oldest and largest living thing on Staten Island: a 300+ year-old tulip tree that has been dubbed the Colossus of Clove Lakes Park. A team of researchers did in fact confirm that this tree is older than our country and larger than any other tree in New York City, which I think is pretty cool.
No matter the weather or season, Clove Lakes Park is my favorite place to enjoy the peace of the outdoors.