When I was in graduate school I dated a girl who lived in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, across the street from Prospect Park. She’d get up for her 9-to-5 and because I kept weird grad-school hours, I spent many a morning exploring the park’s trails and landmarks, devising this grand walking tour. It’s not a definitive tour: it neglects the northeastern part of the park, Grand Army Plaza, the Litchfield Villa, the Vale of Cashmere. But it takes you down lots of secret trails, passes lots of other landmarks, and gives you a sense of why Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park, considered this to be their crowning achievement. Wearing comfortable hiking shoes? Got at least two hours to kill? A bottle of water? Let’s take a walk!
(I took a friend on this walk last weekend, and she suggested you not try it during the hottest part of the day during a heatwave. However, I did it with the vestiges of a fever, so c’mon. Also, it’s a good idea to study if not print out the Prospect Park Alliance’s printable pdf map. I’ll name landmarks throughout, so at least you’ll be able to get a sense of where we’re going in case I lose you at some point. Most of the roads and paths and trails mentioned below are on this map, but not all of them.)