Take a Fall Foliage Walk
October 22, 2014
One of the best walks to enjoy the fall foliage is a route that will take you across the Long Meadow and through the Ravine, the woodland centerpiece of Prospect Park and one of Brooklyn’s last remaining forests. Enjoy scenic views not only of the Park’s majestic trees, including native species such as Red Maples, Sugar Maples, Sour Gums, Sweetgums, Sassafras, and Hackberry, but also rustic bridges, streams and waterfalls. You can find maps at most Park entrances to help you find your way.
Starting from Grand Army Plaza, take the eastern pathway to the Endale Arch into the Long Meadow. At nearly one mile, it is one of the longest green spaces in an American urban park, and provides sweeping views of some of the Park’s more established trees. Also this time of year, you’re likely to see at least three different species of Raptors, including Broad-Winged, Coopers and Red-Tailed Hawks.
Follow the hex-block path along the east side of the Long Meadow until it forks at a tall oak tree, and take the path on the left into the woodlands. Follow the trail until you reach another fork, and take the wide stone steps on your left and then turn right down another set of steps. At the bottom you’ll find the little-known Boulder Bridge, a historic bridge that was recreated by the Alliance in the 1990s as part of the larger restoration of the Ravine. The view from this bridge is one of the most scenic in the Park at this time of year. After enjoying the view, return to the path and continue to the right of Boulder Bridge, down a few more steps.
At the bottom you will find a small octagonal footprint of a structure where an old rustic shelter once stood. Take in the view of the gorge below, and then continue down the steps until you reach Rock Arch Bridge and Ambergill Falls, one of several waterfalls that were designed by Park creators Olmsted and Vaux. Continue down the path until it forks, and then turn right and head up the sloping path back toward the Long Meadow.
Throughout the walk, keep your eyes peeled for an assortment of birds that make the Park home in the fall months, including Downy and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Black and White Warblers, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Robins, Mourning Doves and Cardinals.
c. Elizabeth Keegin Colley