What if I told you there is a spot in New York City where you can hear the sound of birds calling rather than car horns, and see tree branches reaching to the sky instead of telephone wires? Yes, a place like this exists, and it is called High Rock Park. Here, even in one of the largest cities in the world, you can be completely surrounded by nature.
High Rock Park is part of Staten Island’s Greenbelt, a chain of parks and forest area that extends nearly 3,000 acres across Staten Island. The Greenbelt Headquarters are located in High Rock Park. I recommend stopping by to meet the urban park rangers and pick up a trail map.
The great thing about High Rock Park is that there are so many trails, giving you so many ways to enjoy the park. For families with kids, I recommend the asphalt-paved path to the right of the parking lot. The path loops around some beautiful wooded areas and leads to a family visitor center.
My personal favorite trail goes around the large central pond. The peaceful views and gradual hills provide enough of a challenge, while keeping me in a peaceful mood so I can look out for interesting wildlife like deer, owls and blue herons.
If you’re looking for even more of a challenge, I recommend taking the climb to the top of Mt. Moses. From the top of the 260-ft hill, you’ll see panoramic views above the treetops.