Pelham Bay Park
Located in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, Pelham Bay Park is our largest park at 2,765 acres of woodland. The bodies of water which exist at and around the park are: The Long Island Sound, Eastchester Bay, Hutchinson River, a lagoon, Turtle Grove and saltwater marshes throughout.
The southernmost section of the Park is the part which is easily accessible by the #6 train. Here is where you’ll find tennis courts, ballfields, playgrounds, areas where one can picnic, a visitors center, and even a track and field facility used also as a football field.
There’s quite a bit of wildlife that visit this park. Such animals as rabbits, skunks, raccoons, owls, hawks and more feed within its woodlands, wetlands and marshes. For the sake of this wildlife the Thomas Pell Wildlife Refuge and Sanctuary was established in 1967. The Split Rock Trail encircles this sanctuary and near by is the Split Rock Golf Course, and Pelham Golf Course as well as the Bartow-Pell Mansion and Museum.
Note: Apart from all of the other amenities available, there’s also horseback riding. It can be found on Shore Road near the intersection to City Island Road. Visit the New Yorkled Horseback Riding Page for additional info and photos taken there.
Now, perhaps the best known part of this park is Orchard Beach. Consisting of about 115 acres at a 1.1 mile long stretch, this sandy stretch is visited by tens of thousands Bronx residents and others during the summer months. Even though I’d been taken there since childhood, I never cared much for sandy beaches…what I always liked about this site was its park areas, but perhaps you yourself will like this particular beach from which just across the waters can be seen Hart Island. There are grassy areas within Orchard Beach loaded with park-bench-tables at which you could picnic all day long…’just be sure to show up early enough to claim your stake. 6 – 8 am should be a good time. At section 2 of the beach is the Pelham Bay Park Environmental Center. Free exhibits, lectures and occasional other activities take place here at the center.
Note as well: Pelham Bay Park and Van Cortlandt Park are overseen by the same Parks Administration (of course a branch of the NYC Parks/Recreation Dept)
Old Note: Note: Pelham Bay Park is to be one of the sites to used for the proposed 2012 Olympics. The venue involved would be the sport of “Shooting” at the Pelham Bay Olympic Shooting Center; also there would be the “Modern Pentathlon” and “Water Polo” competitions. More to come on this and other venue sites within the NYC area along with additional photos. Read on below to learn more about this great natural land mass.