Top Places to Picnic by Bike

Written by Hal Ruzal on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts.

Use these routes at your own discretion since everyone’s comfort (and skill) with traffic conditions can vary," Hal Ruzal, from Bicycle Habitat, advises. We also recommend the website for tips on planning your route. And with that… get on your bike! 

River Terrace Lawn

WHY: A hidden treasure just off the Hudson River Greenway, this little patch of green in Battery Park City offers great, quiet picnic spots with peaceful views of the Statue of Liberty.

BY WAY OF: Ride the Hudson River Greenway to Warren Street, which ends at River Terrace. 

Governors Island 

WHY: A historical landmark, with no cars allowed and a bike path around the circumference of the island. 

BY WAY OF: Accessible only by the free ferry from Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.

BROOKLYN: Marine Park

WHY: Right near the Salt Marsh Nature Center, it’s a nice place to relax for a picnic—and it has a separated bike path exactly 1-mile around!

BY WAY OF: Bedford to Avenue R. 

BROOKLYN: Jacob Riis Park 

WHY: Jacob Riis Park has the beach, handball courts and picnic tables, "and the surf is good!" Ruzal says. 

BY WAY OF: Bedford to Emmons and through Plumb Beach greenway. 

BROOKLYN: Prospect Park Lake

WHY: "Watch the ducks and the geese and whatever else lives there," Ruzal laughs. It’s a relaxing location, great for families and easily accessible. 

BY WAY OF: Prospect Park West, of course! 

BROOKLYN/QUEENS: Ridgewood Reservoir

WHY: Ridgewood Reservoir is accessible by the many bike paths through Highland Park.

BY WAY OF: Near the Jackie Robinson Parkway, this park’s location along the Brooklyn/ Queens border makes it accessible to residents comfortable with riding city streets by many of the DOT-shared bike routes. 

QUEENS: Fort Totten

WHY: Joe Michael’s Mile offers a pleasant ride along Little Neck Bay. At Fort Totten, enjoy a picnic and a view of the waterfront!

BY WAY OF: Joe Michael’s Mile bike path. 

QUEENS: Cunningham Park

WHY: "You can bring a mountain bike and a tennis racquet!" Ruzal says. Games of cricket are also quite common. This park is one of the few true mountain bike trails in the city— "I’ve ridden them on my road bike," Ruzal admits. "But I’m adventurous like that!"—this park also features plenty of benches, too.

BY WAY OF: Vanderbilt Motor Parkway bike path. 

BRONX: Pelham Bay 

WHY: Pelham Bay is actually the largest park in New York City. It’s a great place to enjoy the beach with the locals, plus it offers nice riding and walking paths around its 2,700-plus acres of beachfront, saltwater marshes and wildlife sanctuaries. Enjoy the nature— and the beach!

BY WAY OF: Pelham Parkway bike path offers a direct route from the Bronx. For less adventurous folks, you can also throw your bike on the subway and take the 6 train to its last stop and ride from there. 

BRONX: Ferry Point Park

WHY: A lovely and isolated spot (a rare find in NYC), with a few areas to stroll by bike, plus nice views of boats. Ferry Point is always windy, perfect for a picnic and then flying a kite.

BY WAY OF: Hutchinson River Parkway bike path.

Consult the NYC DOT website for tips for riding in
NYC, and for navigating the routes from your home via bike paths.