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Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

#2 of 6 in Outdoors in Bronx
Scenic Drive · Hidden Gem · Park
Pelham Bay Park is a municipal park located in the northeast corner of the New York City borough of the Bronx. It is, at 2,772 acres (1,122 ha), the largest public park in New York City. The park is more than three times the size of Manhattan's Central Park. The park is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks).

Pelham Bay Park contains many geographical features, both natural and man-made. The park includes several peninsulas, including Rodman's Neck, Tallapoosa Point, and the former Hunter and Twin Islands. A lagoon runs through the center of Pelham Bay Park, and Eastchester Bay splits the southwestern corner from the rest of the park. There are also several recreational areas within the park. Orchard Beach runs along Pelham Bay on the park's eastern shore. Two golf courses and various nature trails are located within the park's central section. Other landmarks include the Bartow-Pell Mansion, a city landmark, as well as the Bronx Victory Column & Memorial Grove.

Before its creation, the land comprising the current Pelham Bay Park was part of Anne Hutchinson's short-lived dissident colony. Part of New Netherland, it was destroyed in 1643 by a Siwanoy attack in reprisal for the unrelated massacres carried out under Willem Kieft's direction of the Dutch West India Company's New Amsterdam colony. In 1654 an Englishman named Thomas Pell purchased 50,000 acres (200 km²) from the Siwanoy, land which would become known as Pelham Manor after Charles II's 1666 charter. During the American Revolutionary War, the land was a buffer between British-held New York City and rebel-held Westchester, serving as the site of the Battle of Pell's Point, where Massachusetts militia hiding behind stone walls (still visible at one of the park's golf courses) stopped a British advance.

The park was created in 1888, under the auspices of the Bronx Parks Department, largely inspired by the vision of John Mullaly, and passed to New York City when the part of the Bronx east of the Bronx River was annexed to the city in 1895. Orchard Beach, one of the city's most popular, was created through the efforts of Robert Moses in the 1930s.
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Pelham Bay Park reviews

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110 reviews
  • Visited Orchard Beach for a drive-in movie and we had lots of fun! It's a big open space with plenty of room for all of the cars to get a good view of the movie screen. It was very well staffed and...  more »
  • AS CHUCK BERRY SANG, SOME THINGS CAN SURPRISE YOU…. …..ORCHARD BEACH is way better than one would think. I mean a beach in THE BRONX of all places? And an artificial beach at that? Well that first.....  more »
  • This is an amazing park. It is a great place to ride your bicycles and to explore. There are many paths to ride and it also have play areas for kids near the beach. It also has a outdoor basketball court and they do games there also. The beach is free to go to and it is very big and is safe for kids because the water is sometimes very shallow but if you want to get to deeper water you have to go out further. In the water you can find many creatures hermit crabs witch are harmless.The beach is also a nice spot to lay down and enjoy the sun and is a great place to build sand castles. If you go further down to the west side of the beach were the rocky area is it is a very great spot for a view of the ocean and it is a great spot to find little snails and clams and mussels. And don't worry they have good parking, a bus stop and a place to buy food at the beach.
  • Get there early in the morning if you like to walk. You can walk the track or the park paths. Later in the day parking can be hard to find but you can park on the street. Nice dog park. Wish people would clean up after themselves. The parks department tries but it's a uphill battle.

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