Where: Greenwood Cemetery (Brooklyn)
What: Walk (road, unpaved path)
Snacks: King’s County Distillery (Brooklyn)
Today was a day of urban exploration. Did you know that Greenwood Cemetery was one of the first green spaces in NYC and one of the top three tourist attractions of the 1860s? Rounding out that list are Niagara Falls and Mt. Vernon. The cemetery is also an arboretum boasting thousands of trees. A popular website feature is an interactive tree map. I dub Greenwood Cemetery a great place for an outdoor excursion, if a touch macabre.
Today didn’t involve your traditional hike. Instead it was a cemetery tour – both with a guide and later self guided. The guided portion was for the Cemetery’s Dead Distiller’s tour. Part trolly, part walking tour I got to learn all about distilling in NY in the late 1800s.
Casual side note, I love a pretty mausoleum and the Cemetery has so many from the golden age of mausoleums including the Steinway (of piano fame) with spaces above and below ground with the ability to hold more than 200 people (not pictured).
After a solid education, we took the Cemetery trolley to the streets of Brooklyn and headed to King’s County Distillery at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. It happens to be the oldest Distillery in Brooklyn (2010). Here we got a tour of the distilling process and samples. To get the most out of the tour, you should have an appreciation for bourbon and moonshine.
Back to the cemetery armed with a map for some self guided meanderings! We have a lot of ground to cover – 478 acres, just a touch smaller than Prospect Park. The Cemetery is a lattice work of paths, roads, ponds. If you’re deep enough on the grounds you can forget that you’re in Brooklyn. If you’re paying attention you can see the Statue of Liberty from Battle Hill. Rumor has it it’s the tallest point in Brooklyn.
If you go, do yourself a favor and go in through the main entrance so that you can experience the archway – something I regret not getting a photo of.
I rounded off the day with a hazelnut magic bar and an oat milk cortado from Bakeri in Williamsburg. Because what is Brooklyn without a little extra something?
See you on the trails,