- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 2 Long Island City Office (M-F, 8:45 AM - 4:45 PM), (718) 482-4900; [email protected]
- Enforcement Matters: 1-833-NYS-RANGERS (1-833-697-7264) or 911
- Location: Staten Island, Richmond County
- Map: Goethals Pond Map (PDF) || Google Earth || DECinfo Locator
Located just northeast of the toll gate to Goethals Bridge in northwestern Staten Island, the Goethals Pond Complex is a splendid natural area comprised of a beautiful 67-acre freshwater pond surrounded by lush wetland vegetation and dense forested wetland. It is within this incredible setting wherein a variety of passive recreational activities are frequently enjoyed, including hiking, nature observation, photography and fishing.
Goethals Complex provides a vital space within which a wide assortment of plants and wildlife can flourish in the New York metropolitan area. As the area provides a large expanse of critical nesting and breeding habitat for many species of birds, it has also become one of the most popular areas in Staten Island for bird watching.
There are three sections of the complex:
Once a salt water tidal marsh, Goethals Pond was transformed into a 3-foot deep freshwater pond when roads and railroad crossings located just downstream began to restrict drainage out of the area. Fortunately, Goethals Pond has since evolved into a wonderful mixture of fresh and salt water which continually provides critical habitat for a wide assortment of aquatic plants and animals, in addition to numerous species of waterfowl.
Many migratory species and shorebirds can be seen making use of the extensive shallow water area as they make their way to and from other nesting and foraging islands in the area, especially during the spring and fall migrations when the pond is a concentrated collage of color.
To help reclaim and beautify the landscape, Goethals Field was planted with many fast growing poplar trees, growing large and straight, and lending to the area's characteristically cultivated feel. The replanting efforts undertaken here have not only increased the available habitat for local wildlife, but they have also helped turn what was once merely a neglected and vacant plot of land into a veritable treasure for the neighboring community.
Consisting of 22 acres of amazing wetland, the Bridge Creek site demonstrates how even minimal restorative efforts can completely transform the landscape. The crystal clear creek for which this site is named winds its way through the lush vegetation, creating beautiful and critical natural habitat in which fish, plants, and wildlife thrive. Still somewhat hidden from the eyes of the multitudes, Bridge Creek provides a peaceful respite amongst a somewhat primitive natural area.