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June 2005

Ultimate Summer Escapes: The Best Dayhikes and Backpacking Trips Near You

Coming soon to your city: far-out adventures that are shockingly close to home.

©Francois Portman

New York City

In the city

New York Greenways Spin through a surprisingly wild seashore-and a living, breathing city-on this 50-mile ride to Coney Island and beyond.

New Yorkers like to brag about their restaurants; good thing most of them don’t know how good their riding is, too. This epic follows the New York Greenways path from Prospect Park in Brooklyn to the Coney Island boardwalk, then loops around Jamaica Bay, home of a flourishing wildlife refuge. Total distance is about 50 miles, but there are several bailouts. From Prospect Park, head south to Ocean Parkway, cruising for about 4.5 miles on the nation’s first designated bikeway (it opened with a brass band in 1895). You’ll dead-end at Coney Island, a blue-collar resort area once famous for its vast amusement park. Eat a Nathan’s hotdog (the institution originated here in 1916), then ride east to Emmons Avenue, where you can either subway home or pick up the Shore Parkway Bike Path. If you opt for the latter, slow down long enough to take in the Gateway National Recreation Area, a major pit stop for shorebirds migrating on the Atlantic flyway. At Canarsie Beach the trail gets dodgy–you’ll need nubby tires and some perseverance for a few minutes–but it smoothes out again after the abandoned landfills (quit whining; we said it’s an urban ride). Turn right at Cross Bay Blvd. and take the bridge to Rockaway Beach, a popular swimming and surfing spot where you can cool off–then catch the Long Island Railroad back to Manhattan or complete the loop back to Ocean Parkway via the Marine Parkway and Flatbush Avenue.

Get There Take the Q, S, or B train to the Prospect Park Station.

Get Info NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation: (212) 639-9675;

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