Brooklyn Bridge Park

NYC has a magnificent new play ground – Brooklyn Bridge Park!  Brooklyn’s derelict waterfront has been transformed into parkland stretching over a mile along the East River shoreline.  The park features lawns, playgrounds, promenades, sporting fields, beaches, and picnic facilities with spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan skyline, New York harbor, and the Statue of Liberty.  The park also offers high-quality local food vendors and abundant fitness and cultural programs, making it one of the city’s great new destinations.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Incredible views from Empire Fulton Ferry Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Brooklyn Bridge Park is located on a very historic site.  It is where ferry service to Manhattan began in 1642 and the village of Breuckelen was founded.  It is also the spot where George Washington smuggled his defeated troops to Manhattan, saving the army (and possibly the future nation).  The area was a bustling industrial center through the 19th and early 20th centuries, home to hundreds of shipping piers, warehouses, and factories.  But by the 1950s shipping and manufacturing were leaving New York harbor and the new Brooklyn-Queens Expressway separated Brooklyn from its waterfront.  After decades as a decrepit eyesore, in 2010 the riverfront was reborn as an extraordinary park.

Visit Brooklyn Bridge Park

The park is open 6:00am – 1:00am daily.

Subway: A or C to High Street, 2 or 3 to Clark Street, F to York.  For the park’s southern section (Piers 5 & 6), take N or R to Court St, or 2, 3, 4 or 5 to Borough Hall.  All subway stops are a few blocks away from the park. For detailed walking directions, see the park’s website.

Ferries: NY Waterways East River Ferry offers regular service from Wall Street, continuing up the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts to Midtown Manhattan (and vice versa). New York Water Taxi connects South Street Seaport (Pier 16) in Lower Manhattan with the park.  There are also summertime ferries to Governor’s Island that depart from Pier 6.

CitiBike (NYC’s bike sharing program) has docking stations throughout Lower Manhattan and several in or near the park. Check the program’s online station map or their mobile app.

For those with their own bikes, bike racks are located at Piers 1, 2, 5 and 6.

Brooklyn Bridge Park is fully accessible.

Free Wi-Fi is available at Pier 1, Pier 6, Empire Fulton Ferry, and the Main Street sections.

Squibb Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Spectacular scene from Squibb Bridge Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Park Highlights

Fulton Ferry Landing – You’ll find stunning bridge, skyline, and harbor views, Ferry/Water Taxi service, bike rentals, acclaimed Bargemusic, the River Café restaurant, and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (housed in a historic firehouse).  Look for the bronze reliefs in the pier, depicting scenes from the locale’s history, and an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” in the pier railings.

Pier 1 – this green space includes two ample lawns, a waterfront promenade, the “Granite Prospect” (a set of steps with incredible skyline and harbor views), a playground, and a wetland salt marsh.  The pier also offers the Brooklyn Bridge Garden Bar (seasonal) and public restrooms.

Squibb Bridge – the new trail bridge connecting Brooklyn Heights to the park/waterfront with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.

Pier 2 – this recreational space offers courts for basketball, handball, bocce and shuffleboard, an area of play turf, fitness equipment and swing sets.  It also includes restrooms, lockers, water fountains/bottle refilling stations, picnic tables and bike racks.

Pop-up Pool at Pier 2 – a 3.5 ft. deep swimming pool open in summer. The pool area includes a small sandy beach, picnic tables, and food concessions.

Water feature, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Hard to resist leaping into the Water Lab at Pier 6 Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Pier 5 – a former shipping pier now covered in “grassy” playing fields for soccer, rugby, flag football, and Frisbee.  Fishing facilities are found at the pier’s western end. North of the pier is the Picnic Peninsula with tables and barbeque grills. Concessions are also available.

Pier 6 – (only half completed) features sand Volleyball courts, lawns, a dog run, concession stand, public restrooms, and several children’s play eras, including an elaborate “Water Lab” and dense Marsh Garden.

North of the Brooklyn Bridge (in DUMBO and under the Manhattan Bridge) you’ll find…

Empire Fulton Ferry – the area includes lawns, a small rocky beach, a picnic grove, remains of Civil-war era warehouses (currently being renovated), and the lovely vintage Jane’s Carousel.

NYC Skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Stunning waterside view from park path Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Brooklyn Bridge Park is still in development, with segments that are active construction zones (notably, the area between Piers 2 & 5 and the Main Street section near the Manhattan Bridge).  Pier 3, which will include lawns, an esplanade, and more fishing and boating facilities, is scheduled to open soon.

The park offers a host of recreational and fitness programs, including biking, volleyball, strength training, running, Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Aerobics (even Belly Dance and Hip Hop varieties), kayaking, tours, and gardening workshops

There is also a full roster of cultural activities presented at the park, which have included art exhibits, Dance Parties, outdoor movie screenings, free concerts by BargeMusic, Jazz Mobile, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera, and performances of Shakespeare. The park hosts several festivals including the World Science Festival, City of Water Day, and the DUMBO Arts Fest. See the parks online calendar for schedule and details.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Lawn with a view: Lady Liberty & NY Harbor seen from Pier 1 Photo: Jeff Dobbins

 

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