The Salt Marsh is a great place to escape from the big city and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Tired of tall building? Take a short journey to the Salt Marsh in Brooklyn. If taking public transport, it takes a little bit of effort to get there, but is well worth the trip.
The Salt Marsh is part of the largest park in Brooklyn, Marine Park with 530 acres. Many birds and animals can be found here in the grasslands and marsh. Egrets, geese, sandpipers, marsh hawks, cottontail rabbits, and horseshoe crabs, to name a few, call this area home. There is close to five miles of shoreline. An ecosystem that is so different from the concrete and asphalt you find in Manhattan.
Visitors have been quoted saying “It felt as though we’d left the city entirely.”
There is a well-marked one-mile nature walk loop that is fairly flat. Do keep in mind the path is dirt and gravel. During the warmer months it is recommended to wear sunscreen (there is no shade) and insect repellant. The nature walk is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Along the nature walk is a slight rise that will give you scenic views of the area. It is also, a perfect stop to enjoy a picnic and ramble over the boulders.
From April 1 to October 31 there is a Nature Center open on the weekends (noon to 4 pm), great to help kids learn about nature. (Also open during schedule events.) The center offers many demonstrations and events. Be sure to check their website for upcoming events.
Opposite from the Nature Center, on the north side of Avenue U is an additional 268 acres of recreational park. There are baseball fields, bocce, tennis courts and “wheel fun” bike rentals available. They have a variety of bike styles beyond the traditional. This includes a four person pedal powered bike.
• The Salt Marsh at one time was a dumping ground for trash and old cars, with debris in some areas as high as 60 feet. It took around 40 years to restore this beautiful marsh to the welcoming home for wildlife that it is today.
• The Salt Marsh is now protected as a Forever Wild preserve.
• The Salt Marsh Nature Center opened on Earth Day April 2000.
• The new World Trade Center can be seen in the distance.
The Salt Marsh Alliance is the organization that helps support the center. It is easy and affordable to join. There are many projects the group is involved in that can use volunteers – have an hour or two to spare? Maybe helping the association is the answer.
Salt Marsh Nature Center, 3301 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11234