Van Cortlandt Park
With 1,146 acres Van Cortlandt Park is our fourth largest. Its located at the northern end of the Bronx, just east of Riverdale and below Westchester County.
It’s got plenty of playgrounds, woodlands, open fields, and even a lake. Also on hand is the Van Cortlandt House Museum, a city landmark which was built in 1748. This park was also site to the Croton Aqueduct. See the Bryant Park page of this site for more information regarding this. Within the park is Van Cortlandt Lake which is the largest fresh water body in the Bronx.
Within the park’s woodlands are trails. They are: Old Putnam Trail (1.5 miles long); John Kieran Nature Trail (1.25 miles long); Old Croton Aqueduct Trail (1.1 miles long). Two of these I managed to get to through the large sports field (“Parade Ground”) located just off of Broadway, up and around 242nd street and beyond. ‘Didn’t manage to spend too much time on them, but what I saw was really nice! Nothing spectacular, but on both sides are trees, trees and more trees. One took me along the lake and part of the aqueduct area. The other took me on a pretty steep hike near the great rock formation you’ll see from below. During spring/summer days it’ll be partially hidden by trees, but noticeable enough. I remember being able to climb up on this rock 15 years ago…..’High school days…..lol. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my way on to the rock recently. ‘Maybe next time. But I remember it as being a spectacular view. Should you choose to go on these trails…’just be careful about poison ivy, insects, dead ends, steep inclines and common sense.