Green isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City: it’s not called the concrete jungle for nothing. Having grown up in northern California, I didn’t realize how much I missed how I could hike the hills until I got here. During my first semester on campus, I missed what I remembered to be boundless nature as I found myself lost in the bustling city. But amid the skyscrapers and prewar brick, there’s more nature than you think to be found.
New York City is unique in a lot of ways, so it’s no surprise that its parks are too. From sprawling Central Park to the New York City Water Trail, which connects 160 square miles of water, there’s something for everyone, if you’re willing to look. Hiking trails, community gardens and elevated quiet spots in the middle of the city — you name it, you can find it.
Here are eight such unique spots, though this list is by no means exhaustive. Take a look around when you have the time — there’s always more to find.