The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation lists Marine Park, at 530 acres, as the largest public park in Brooklyn (narrowly beating out Prospect Park, which is listed as 526 acres). Marine Park includes an area northwest of Avenue U that includes a jogging track and baseball fields, and an area southeast of Avenue U that includes a golf course and the Salt Marsh Nature Center.
The Salt Marsh Nature Center includes a visitor center and trails on either side of Gerritsen Creek. Northeast of the creek are shorter trails, bounded between the creek and the golf course. Southwest of the creek is a trail about a mile long.
My hiking activities in 2016 were curtailed in part by the fact that I’ve seen many of the parks in the New York City area, in part because it takes longer to get to the parks from south Brooklyn than it did from Queens, where I lived from 2007-early 2014, and in part because my wife tripped on the street and broke her shoulder on August 24. As she began to recover and feel better, we looked for easy places to walk, and decided that Marine Park would be a good place to visit. The first photos below are from a visit on October 30, 2016:
View from southwest of the creek, near the northern end of Gerritsen Creek:
Pale-bellied brant geese (Branta bernicla hrota) enjoying Gerritsen Creek:
The trails run southeast from Avenue U, paralleling the creek. There is one trail close to the creek and one farther away, with a number of connecting trails in between them. The strip of land between the creek and the surrounding neighborhood is very narrow, so there is no risk of being lost in here.
At the beach, dozens of tiny crabs come out at times to scavenge, socialize, or do whatever it is that crabs do. One of these days I may purchase a macro lens, but for now I try my best without one:
Rear view of one crab:
Our next trip to the Salt Marsh Nature Center was three months later, on January 29. This is a view of Gerritsen Creek from the back of the visitor center:
We followed the trail to the end of the park, where we reached a dead end at Plumb Beach Channel, which separated us from Plumb Beach and its bridge.
Marine Beach was at one point a dumping ground, but it was cleaned up in the 1990s. Still, the area could be better tended. The trails were littered with debris that was either blown in from the surrounding community or intentionally dumped by slobs. Furthermore, as we returned to Avenue U by walking along the shoreline of Gerritsen Creek (rather than returning on either of the parallel trails), we saw two vehicles that had probably been stolen and then burned there:
There were also a large number of abandoned boats, though most of them were mere shadows of what they once were:
There were also countless motors rusting away in the water or on the beach.