Staten Island’s Great Nature Trails

Staten Island’s Greenbelt consists of 2,800 acres of parks and natural areas in the heart of Staten Island, with over 35 miles of marked hiking trails. It’s three times larger than Central Park.

This is a very good time of year to go hiking.  The terrain is green, flowers and trees, like the pink one below, are blooming, and it isn’t too hot yet.  It’s also beautiful in the autumn.

The Greenbelt Nature Center, at 700 Rockland Avenue, is a good place to start your hike. The Center also offers classes and many family-oriented activities.  Once they had a “Meet a Wolf” day.  I also took a day class in paper making.  The building itself is in the Prairie style and looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright clone, which is a testament to the influence that Frank Lloyd Wright had on American Architecture.
This is a wasp nest that was on display in the nature center. The wasp builds it out of chewing bark and  mixes the bark with its saliva.  It then dries and becomes hard.  These can be found in the Greenbelt.

MAP:  Staten Island’s Greenbelt.  The trails are marked in different colors.  Map is downloadable from the Staten Island Greenbelt Conservancy Site.  Or, simply copy this one.

The trails are marked so one doesn’t get lost. As you can see this is a reminder that I am on the N trail.  I took this photo in March before spring had arrived.  The N  trail starts and ends at the Nature Conservancy Building.  When walking the N trail, I was passed several times by runners,  and one runner twice.  Because it’s only one mile long, when one runs its entirety, one knows that they’ve run one mile.
I took this photo only 3 weeks after the tree photo. You can see how green everything has gotten in only 3 weeks. The wysteria is now in full bloom.
Walking the Greenbelt trails, one passes many ponds. Photo taken in May 2012.
On the trail going through Bloodroot Valley on my way to Moses Mountain.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Check out my other post “Staten Island’s Blue Heron Park” to see more nature trails in Staten Island.

I took photo while walking the white trail today. See map to identify which trail that is.

Check out my post on another blog of mine One American Mind, on my climb up Moses Mountain, another great nature trail in Staten Island.