Want to escape from the big city and enjoy the sounds of nature? Then take the short journey to the Salt Marsh in Brooklyn. It takes a little bit of effort to get there, but it is well worth the trip. Visitors have been quoted saying “It felt as though we’d left the city entirely.”
The Salt Marsh is the largest park in Brooklyn with 530 acres of grassland and marsh. Many birds and animals can be found here. Egrets, geese and 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 concrete and asphalt.
There is a well-marked one-mile nature walk loop that is pretty 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.
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. 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.
- 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 Nature Center opened on Earth Day April 2000.
- The new World Trade Center can be seen in the distance.
The organization that helps support the center is the Salt Marsh Association. It is easy and affordable to join. There are many projects the association is involved in that can use volunteers – have an hour or two to spare? Maybe helping the association is the answer.
Directions to –
Salt Marsh Nature Center
3301 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11234
By car: Take the Belt Parkway to Kings Plaza exit, then north on Flatbush Avenue to Avenue U. Turn left on Avenue U and continue west for ten blocks. Pass 33rd Street and look for the parking lot on the right.
Public transportation: Take the B46, B2, or B41 to Kings Plaza, transfer for the westbound B3 bus to East 33rd Street and Avenue U.
Take the 2 or 5 train to Norstrand Avenue, then take the B41 to Kings plaza or B3 west to East 33rd & Avenue U.
Take the N, F, or Q trains to Avenue U, then the B3 Bus East to East 33rd Street and Avenue U.