Secret Wetlands Tour at Alley Pond

You won’t want to miss this social ride this Saturday the 15th to Alley Pond Park/Alley Creek. Local street safety group Transportation Alternatives’ Queens Volunteer Committee is collaborating with the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC), a nonprofit working to protect, conserve and restore the green and blue space in New York City. Restoration Project Assistant Sara Donatich will lead a walk to a hidden area along the Cross Island Expressway, where NAC is working to reclaim and restore a salt marsh habitat.

The salt marshes of Alley Creek in northeast Queens have experienced many changes over the last few decades. Part of the salt marsh was once home to Kiddy City, an amusement park. Today, the Natural Areas Conservancy working to restore these vital areas, which are an important habitat for migratory shorebirds, horseshoe crabs, and many more native animals and plants. The tour will begin at the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC). We will walk north of Northern Boulevard to visit future restoration sites along the outer shore of Alley Creek. Join us on the marsh to learn about our plans to preserve the critical habitat and other ecological benefits that Alley Creek provides!

There are two starting locations & times—one in Jackson Heights, one in Little Neck. Both of these will be traveling a short distance on Northern Boulevard (in the street or on the sidewalk depending on safety conditions). You can help make Northern Boulevard safer right now by signing the Eastern Queens Greenway’s petition.

Little Neck—LIRR station: Meet at 11:00 am

Jackson Heights—Diversity Plaza: Meet at 10:15 am

From Jackson Heights, the ride will trace some of the prime terrain of the NYC Century Ride: Jamaica Bay Promenade, Brooklyn-Queens Greenway, Joe Michael’s Mile, and Motor Parkway. We will also pay attention to some new bikelanes and several locations where we are campaigning for bike infrastructure.

On our way back to Jackson Heights, we’ll stop at the secret location oldest tree in NYC–the “Queens Giant”, over 450 years old–and then have drinks at Fillmore’s, a Prohibition-era tavern—staying with our recent theme “Queens swamps & beer history.”

Please note:

Total mileage from/to Jackson Heights is 26.5 miles—in moderate pace. If you don’t want to ride all of it, you could skip the ride back and get on the LIRR in Bayside or Douglaston after the marsh walk. (But you would need to get a $5 LIRR bike pass ahead of time if you don’t have one already!)

Bring food, water, and a lock. We will lock up our bikes at the Alley Pond Environmental Center and have lunch at the picnic tables of the Alley Pond Environmental Center before we start our marsh walk.

Total time walk time will be ~40 minutes + time for stops in the marsh.
Wear comfortable shoes that can get wet and dirty and appropriate outdoor attire—long trousers. Sun screen and bug spray!!! Bring a tube and patch kit!

Jackson Heights–Alley Pond route details:

Ride to Alley Pond Environmental Center where we lock up, 11.4 miles (

Leaving Alley Pond ~2:00 pm via Motor Parkway to Fillmore’s, 7.4 miles (

From Fillmore’s back to Diversity Plaza, 7.5 miles (

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