Borough(s): Queens, Distance: 4.9 miles, Elevation: 160′, Terrain: Flat roads and bike paths, Ride Rating: @
Did you know?
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is the city’s second-largest park, with the most usable space, Flushing Meadows has everything: swimming pools, skating rinks, playgrounds, ball fields, courts, barbecuing, fishing, a zoo, a marina, skate parks, and cycling. This ash dump was transformed into a park for the 1939 World’s Fair, was the temporary site of the United Nations (now the Queens Museum), was the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, and is designed as a playground for the people. It’s easy to go for a ride and make a day of it. The Flushing Meadows Corona Ride is both an excellent ride in its own right, or just one component of a full day outside.
Riding through the park
There are many ways into the park. We start this ride by the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. Because it’s just past the two train platforms you will be exiting. If you take the train here.
The ride goes around the building counter-clockwise and heads for the Perimeter Road, which you’ll turn right to join and start riding around the park clockwise. On this ride, you’ll get a good look at just about everything the park has to offer.
After passing the aquatic center, you’ll scan right and view the manicured walkways that focus the eye’s attention on the Unisphere, the 12-story high stainless steel globe that was built for the 1964 World’s Fair. Originally, the walkways helped take World’s Fair visitors from the Unisphere to various pavilions. This formal design is a contrast to the more natural design of the southern part of the park, which you’ll see after making a left turn and heading for Meadow Lake.
Meadow Lake, at 93 acres, is the city’s largest lake. It’s also man-made, and great for boating. When riding clockwise around the lake, you’ll see the various playgrounds that are contained in the park. You’ll pedal past cricket fields, a marina for rental boats, a field for flying model airplanes, baseball fields, a grilling section, and even playgrounds for kids.
When you ride over the Meadow Lake Bridge back to the northern half of the park, you’ll come across more ruins from the two World’s Fairs. Some have been dismantled, some have been utilized as great skate parks, and some have been formally re-purposed into theatres and museums.
Ruined by Men in Black
After passing through the ruins of the World Fairs, you’re almost to the Queens Museum of Art, and almost finished with the ride. Our preference is to do another lap, stopping at the Unisphere to reflect. Then grabbing a hot dog from a cart, before stopping in to check out the exhibitions.
Snacks, drinks, meals
During the warmer months of the year, there are food carts set up by both the tennis center and the mini-golf center, and you will also find carts scattered throughout the park. The tennis center usually has something set up in the winter as well. For more of a sit-down meal, you’re less than a mile away from the international dining experience known as downtown Flushing.
When you want more than just cycling
The Queens Museum of Art is not only the start and finish of the ride, but a great cultural institution. Probably best known for The Panorama, a scale model of the entire city, it is much more. While it has diverse collections, it is very hands-on in its approach to what it exhibits. New York City as its main focus.
If you’ve got kids riding with you, the New York Hall of Science is the ticket.
Specs (Flushing Meadows Corona Ride)
Distance: 4.9 miles
Terrain: Flat roads and bike paths.
Ride Rating: @
Notes: A feat of engineering and design, though it’s hard to notice. Check out the features made for the World’s Fair. Bike rentals in warmer months.
Q05 is nearby.
Includes: A PDF with intelligence and a GPX file to upload to your bike computer or mobile device.