Forest Park in Queens has rolling hills, numerous marked trails, and 165 acres of trees. During the COVID-19 stay-at-home I’ve explored every trail and acre of the park and I know most of the trees on a first name basis. These photos are of some of the parks most notorious Tree Monsters. Locals avoid the park after dark, when, legend has it, some of the Tree Monsters still spring to life.
But first a little park history. Before European conquest and 17th century Dutch settlement, the area that is now Forest Park was inhabited by Rockaway, Lenape, and Delaware Native Americans. In 1834, it was included in the independent City of Brooklyn. The New York State Legislature authorized creation of a park in 1892 and the Brooklyn Parks Department started purchasing the land in 1895. Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, also designed Forest Park. The park was part of Brooklyn until 1911 when management was shifted to the Borough of Queens. It is the third-largest park in Queens and contains the largest continuous oak forest. Several trees here are more than 150 years old. It also has the fossilize remains of terrifying Tree Monsters.