Green-Wood Cemetery walk

In the 1860s, tourists, locals and celebrities flocked to this 478-acre outdoor museum. Spend the day hanging out with the ones who never left.

Start: 25th St M/R station
End: 25th St M/R station
Time: 2.5 hours
Distance: 3 miles


Start your walk at the Gothic main gate (Fifth Ave at 25th St, Sunset Park, Brooklyn). That chirping you hear comes from monk parakeets that escaped a shipment to JFK in the 1980s and have nested here ever since. There are bathrooms in the Historic Chapel, to the right of the gate, so empty your bladder now.

Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur


Pick up a map in the cemetery offices, or just bear right and walk down Landscape Avenue toward the chapel. (Feel free to gaze in awe at the interior—designed by the same guys who did Grand Central Terminal.) With the creepy Receiving Tomb on your left (where bodies would be stored when the ground was too frozen to dig), head to the corner of Lake Avenue. Those graves belong to Clifton and William Prentiss, brothers who fought on opposite sides of the Civil War. They were both mortally wounded on the same day (and treated by a nurse named Walt Whitman) in 1865.


Follow the pond on Waterside Path until it connects to Valley Avenue. (That monument with the urn on top is the grave of John Eberhard Faber, the mogul who first put erasers on pencils.) Make a left up Hill Side Path. The insane grave with the carved figure staring up at scenes from the deceased's life belongs to John Matthews, the inventor of the soda fountain.

Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur


Cut across the grass and follow Bluff Side Path until you reach the stairs down to Sylvan Water. Turn left on Lake, stopping by the tomb of Leonard W. Jerome, namesake of the Bronx's Jerome Avenue and grandfather of Winston Churchill.


Make a left on Ravine Path. This incline is steep, so if you need a breather, stop at the headstone marked aloi. No, that's no one famous, but you'll get a nice view of the Statue of Liberty.


At the end of the path, make a right on Oak Avenue (turn around—that green bust is the grave of newspaperman Horace Greeley) and take your first left onto Hillock Avenue.

Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur


Make a left on Landscape Avenue and you'll find the infamous Bill "The Butcher" Poole (think Gangs of New York), behind the huge tree on your left. Otherwise, head up Chapel Avenue and turn right on Thorn Path toward the grave of Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph. The memorial is about 20 feet tall (and it's also a great spot to sneak a sit).

Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur


Double back and make a right on Chapel Avenue. Walk around the immense Steinway family mausoleum (yep, the piano family) and bear right. If you're in the mood, make a right on Locust Avenue and say hi to disgraced powermonger Boss Tweed (left side); otherwise stay on Chapel past Forest and Vista Avenues and make a right on Alder Avenue.


It's time for some twists and turns: Make a right on Central Avenue and then a left on Sycamore Avenue. Next, turn on Greenbough Avenue (you'll pass Henry Raymond, the founder of The New York Times), left on Atlantic Avenue and right on Warrior Path.

Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur


Take the path to the end and climb the staircase to the Civil War Soldiers' Monument. Take a load off on the bench behind it. Not only do you have sweet views of Manhattan, but you're also sitting on the site of the first and largest major battle of the Revolutionary War.


Follow Battle Path to the end, and then turn left on Garland Avenue. When you're even with the big tree, turn right. You're looking at the grave of Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets and, up the hill behind him, the highest point in Brooklyn.


Go straight on Garland, make a left on Border Path and a right down Battle Avenue to the corner of Bay View Avenue. You'll pass the obelisk honoring the victims of Dumbo's 1876 Brooklyn Theatre Fire on your way back to the main gate (it's right in front of you).


You've earned some food, so turn right on Fifth Avenue and head to South (629 Fifth Ave between 17th and 18th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-832-4720), order a beer during happy hour (daily 6--9pm) and make a toast to New York's old guard.

Established in 1838, Green-Wood, with its manicured winding paths, rolling hills and natural ponds, was the model for Central Park.