Brooklyn Park Slope
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
This route will take you through Brooklyn’s Park Slope and Prospect Park. Don’t expect lots of tourists here, simply beautiful brownstones, quiet residential streets and a glimpse into the life as a local. This is the perfect route to mix in between big sightseeing as it offers ample opportunities to relax and unwind in the expansive Prospect Park.
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Route Description for Brooklyn Park Slope
Begin this route at the Bergen Street subway station (lines 2 and 3) in the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn. From the Bergen Street subway station continue on Bergen Street towards 5th Avenue. Take a left onto 5th. This area is distinctly mixed use, with small apartments hovering above the many shops and restaurants that line the street. You’ll notice it’s much more human scale than the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan and has a uniquely lived-in feel. There aren’t any big sights to see here, but simply stroll along the streets taking in the vibe of life as a local.
Follow 5th avenue for about 400 m until you run into Union Street. Take a left here. Directly on your right will be Union Hall, an old warehouse that was converted to a 464 square meter (5,000 square foot) bar, restaurant, live music, and comedy venue; it is a great place to spend a rowdy Saturday evening in Brooklyn.
As you continue on Union, you’ll notice the famous Brooklyn brownstones become more and more frequent. Walk along Union for about 1.0 km, stopping for a coffee if you wish. At the end of the street, you’ll run into Prospect Park. This is the largest public park in Brooklyn, spanning roughly 2.37 square km (585 acres). Besides being a popular destination for the neighborhood’s residents throughout the year, the park is also home to a number of highlights.
Begin at the Brooklyn Public Library. Dating back to the mid-1800s, this is the 5th largest public library in the US. Continue past the library, entering the park to the right hand side and walk on the path that runs alongside the Eastern Parkway for about 250 m, heading towards the Brooklyn Museum. Inside you’ll find more than 1.5 million works, ranging from a collection of Egyptian antiquities spanning more than 3,000 years to American art from the Colonial period, pieces from famous names such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, Norman Rockwell, and a “Memorial Sculpture Garden” featuring salvaged architectural elements from throughout the City. Make sure to check this out.
Once exiting the museum, go towards the right on the same path you came from. Cross over Mary Pinkett Avenue and take a short break at the Ronald McNair Monument. Continue to the right towards the Joseph A. Guider Monument. Once you’ve seen both of these, cross back over Mary Pinkett Avenue and head towards the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Continue along the path here, breathing deeply to enjoy the scent of lush greenery.
Take some time to wander around the botanical garden grounds, covering roughly 52 acres with more than 12,000 species. Highlights of the gardens include: the cherry trees, producing a magnificent scent and bloom each spring; the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, including authentic wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion, a torii (gateway), and a Shinto shrine; the Cranford Rose Garden, with many of the original plants dating back to 1928 still in the garden today including 1,400 types of roses; the Native Flora Garden, a habitat for local plants and animals; the Shakespeare Garden, featuring more than 80 species of plants featured in Shakespeare’s plays and poems; the Alice Recknagel Ireys Fragrance Garden, designed for the vision-impaired with different themes: plants to touch, plants with scented leaves, plants with fragrant flowers and kitchen herbs; and the Children’s Garden, providing a space where children can grow vegetables and flowers. As well, the Steinhardt Conservatory houses an extensive collection of indoor plants such as Bonsai trees, insect eating plants, orchids and desert floras.
After you’ve thoroughly explored the botanical gardens, cross over Flatbush Avenue to the Prospect Park Zoo. The zoo is home to over 400 animals spanning more than 100 species. If you’ve got a full day, when you finish at the zoo take some time to explore the rest of the park including the beautiful Prospect Park Boathouse, the Long Meadow, the Prospect Park Bandshell and the Prospect Park Lake. To continue on our route, however, when leaving the zoo, head north onto East Drive and cut over to the left when possible to exit the park onto Prospect Park West.
Look at the streets running perpendicular to Prospect Park West and continue either left or right until you reach 4th Street (the streets go in order, so if you’re at 3rd, for example, the next street will either be 2nd or 4th). Continue onto 4th Street walking away from the park and deeper into the neighborhood of Park Slope. This will be a mostly residential stroll, but definitely pleasant and relaxing, especially on a warm sunny day. Walk on 4th for about 400 m until you hit 7th Avenue. Take a left onto 7th Avenue. This area a great place to get a bite to eat if you’re feeling hungry after a long day in the park and it will likely be less expensive than a comparable meal in Manhattan.
Continue another 200 m until you run into 6th Street. On your right will be the Greenwood Baptist Church. Turn right onto 6th Street, strolling along the tree lined way, admiring the lovely brownstones. Follow this route for about 400 m, until you reach 5th Avenue. Take a left onto 5th, walking roughly 200 m and then turn right onto 9th Street. Continue for about 200 m until you hit 4th Avenue and the 9th Street subway station. Hop on the train here to head back to the hotel after a full day of exploring like a local.
Insider Hints for Brooklyn Park Slope
- Prospect Park is huge, with tons to explore. On a nice day we recommend packing a lunch and a blanket and hanging out on the park’s Long Meadow for a nice break.
- Don’t expect to see many big attractions on this route, but rather how real New Yorkers live.
Getting to the Brooklyn Park Slope Trailhead
Begin this route at the Bergen Street subway station (lines 2 and 3) in the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Park Slope Elevation Graph
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Brooklyn Park Slope Reviews
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