Despite being a relatively small place, Staten Island actually offers a lot of things to see and if you’re into nature, Clove Lakes Park is highly recommended to check out. It’s a small, yet very scenic park has a lot you can explore. In this post, I’ll show you 9 of them.
How I discovered the beautiful Clove Lakes Park:
Even though I’ve lived in Brooklyn for most of my life, it has only been a few years since I discovered this amazing place and I have to thank my turtle for that.
The reason being is that many years back, I was looking for a vet in Brooklyn and at the same, the only available vets only accepted cats and dogs, and no “exotic animals”, which turtles fall under the category of.
Long story short, the only available vet (closest) was in Staten Island, so when I went there, I ended up crossing Clove Lakes Park. I remember even saying to myself that this is a place I absolutely have to visit when I get the chance.
And so I did. Coming to this place has become a weekly routine for me, sometimes even twice a week. This place is pretty small, but in terms of nature, it is absolutely stunning.
Here is the location of Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island:
There are 3 main lakes that make up this area and they are all connected by 1 river. Now there are pathways you can follow, whether it be the main walking route around the water or through other, none mainstream roads that are a bit outside the lake area. These pathways are located on hills you can take.
Aside from boat rides and even horseback riding, and even a zoo (the Staten Island Zoo is located right next to it) to me personally, the main attraction is the actual nature of this place.
It is absolutely breathtaking, especially in the spring, summer and fall seasons. I personally go there with my grandfather who also loves walking through it.
We find that a simple walk through this park energizes us in indescribable ways. One thing you should note is that if you live in a big city, an escape to ANY nature is very therapeutic and re-energizing.
Another amazing thing is that the people who live around there are very friendly for the most part. Being a New Yorker, I’m just not used to people randomly saying hello to you just out of politeness but you will experience that here and it’s quite refreshing to meet mellow people for a change!
10 awesome things you can do in Clove Lakes Park:
1) If you’re into sports:
You’ll find that it’s great to jog around this place and even do bike riding. People often come to this park with their dogs and play sports in an open field which is close to one of the 3 lakes.
2) Bird watching:
If you love birds, you will absolutely HAVE to come here. I have never seen such a diverse number of birds so openly flying around like they do here. While I don’t know the names of them, you will find ducks, storks, green, blue, yellow, orange types of birds, woodpeckers, and so many more.
In fact, many bird watchers come to this place quite often! So if you’re into this, bring a camera, and trust me, it won’t take a long time for you to find them, they are everywhere here!
Note: I have a site called Binocularsforbirdwatching.com that will be showing you which gear to use if you decide to engage in this hobby.
3) Boat riding.
There are paddle boats, kayaks and other types of boats available. Although there is only 1 area where you can use them in this park, it’s still a wonderful/peaceful experience!
4) General hiking, walking.
If you’re into hiking, but can’t go far, trust me, there’s plenty of space here to hike around on and explore different roads. You can even hike alongside some waterfalls!
There’s more than one open field in this place where you can enjoy a nice day of picnicking.
6) Great nature photography.
Just using your camera phone or a regular camera can also land you some great shots.
Besides exotic birds, you will also find a lot of other wildlife here such as turtles swimming around in the ponds a lot. Most of them are red eared sliders (small pond turtles), but I once saw a gigantic one who appeared to be the size of kid!
8) Feeding ducks.
Wow, the ducks here are particularly brave. Some of them will actually eat out of your hand! But if not, you can still enjoy feeding them. They will come, trust me.
9) Just relaxing.
If you want to rest, and enjoy a peaceful, while listening to the sounds of nature, this place will do it.
10) Trail running:
There aren’t many rugged trails in Clove Lakes Park, but you will find a lot of options to jog around the lakes themselves.
Footage showcasing Clove Lake Park’s beauty:
A simple description of how beautiful this place is simply won’t do.
Ideally, just going there would be the best option, but here’s some footage from some of my visits to this place:
While you can always get some great photos on my Instagram page, I include some taken at Clove Lake’s park as well.
A “hidden waterfall” in Clove Lakes Park:
Now as for other awesome locations in this park to explore, there is a bit of a “hidden waterfall” in one of the sections of this park.
When you enter the parking area, head north.
You’ll pass one of the small lakes that makes up Clove Lakes Park and head over a white bridge.
Under it is a hidden waterfall you can actually hike to. It is a gorgeous waterfall and yet here is what it looks like:
This waterfall is another man made one you’ll find further down the Clove Lakes Park and it’s another shot I made just the other day.
This waterfall is beautiful to watch and take pictures of during every season. And speaking for which:
Clove Lakes Park is also a treat to visit every season:
Whether it’s the warm or cold seasons, Clove Lakes Park always looks amazing in my opinion. I’ve visited this place during every season and there’s always another great shot to take when I’m there.
Even though I have visited some truly amazing places (like these in the pacific west coast, or areas like scenic hikes and drives on the Appalachian Mountains on the eastern end),
Clove Lakes Park is probably the one place I visit most frequently, due to how close it is to me and how peaceful and relaxing it is, year round. My favorite seasons to be here are in the spring and fall.
Questions about Clove Lakes Park (FAQ):
What is there to do in Clove Lakes Park?
The most popular activities in Clove Lakes Park are nature walks, feeding ducks, picnicking, jogging and kayaking.
Do you have to pay to park at Clove Lakes Park?
No, there are multiple free parking areas around Clove Lakes Park.
Is Clove Lake man made?
There are parts of Clove Lakes Park that were made by man including a a few dam waterfalls.
Other nearby places to visit:
And if you’re willing to go further outside of the New York City area, the state itself has many scenic drives and hikes to check out. Here’s a list of the best scenic drives in New York you can enjoy that I’ve done and highly recommend!
And if you’re looking to do hikes and see scenic spots closer to the NYC area, I have a list of the best day hikes near NYC here you can explore too.
If you’ve been to Clove Lakes Park, let me know if you agree!
Other things to explore near Clove Lakes Park (Staten Island area):
1) There is actually a ship graveyard in Staten Island, about 20 minutes away from Clove Lakes Park. This might interest you if you’re looking to explore more areas there.
2) Silver Lake Park is another cool park very close to Clove Lakes worth checking out. It has it’s own beauty and might actually be more interesting to some people vs this one. Either way, if you have time, check out this park too.