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Winter Wonderland! Brooklyn: New York Harbor-Bensonhurst to Verrazzano Narrows Bridge Photography & Nature Walk


Winter Wonderland! Brooklyn: New York Harbor-Bensonhurst to Verrazzano Narrows Bridge Photography & Nature Walk

Click HERE for the FULL SCHEDULE of NYC Wild! Adventures

To see the short list of dates and destinations, scroll down to the bottom of this section—with LINKS to each New York City WILD! Walking Tour to reserve your spot NOW on Eventbrite!

This is a Winter Walk! If spending hours outside in the cold doesn't sound like your idea of a good time - this walk may not be for you. However, if being the first to lay tracks through the snow and returning with ruddy cheeks to the warm indoors sounds "cool" - DO come along!

Bensonhurst Park to Owl's Head Park, Brooklyn, along the New York Harbor!

This is an exhilarating winter walk along the lower New York Harbor. In the winter, one can get more of a feeling of what it must have been like for a sailing ship to come in from the open ocean to the protected harbor just north of the narrows. Now, the “narrows” is traversed by the great Verrazano-Narrows Bridge – which held the title of “longest suspension bridge in the world” for 33 years after it was completed in 1964. Yes the wind may be cold, but the rocks and water can be alive with birds and mammals much more suited to this climate than we are! Seals may be seen frolicking in the harbor, Purple Sandpipers and Ruddy Turnstones are likely to be picking among the rocks at the harbor edge, and ducks, geese, loons, grebes, gulls and cormorants will surely be seen plying these frigid waters with complete comfort. How, oh how do they do it? The walk from Bensonhurst to Owl’s Head Park should give us ample time for sightings of winter wildlife. Approximately 5 mile walk.


Meeting Time and Place (Manhattan): Meeting Time and Place (West Village, Manhattan): We’ll meet at 10:45 am at the West 4th Street, Manhattan DOWNTOWN D Train platform at the DOWNTOWN/first car of the train. We’ll take the first D Train that pulls into the station after 11:00 am. Take the D Train to Bay Parkway Station in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Then we will take the B6 Bus down Bay Parkway toward the harbor (or walk).

Meeting Time and Place (Brooklyn): If you are already in Brooklyn, we can meet at approximately 12:00-12:15 am at the D Train Bay Parkway Station in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Let me know if you will be meeting us there.

The Walk and Return: We will walk approximately 5 miles along the harbor to Owl’s Head Park, and return by the R Train from the Bay Ridge Avenue Station.

$: 2 Metrocard fares. Train to bus FREE transfers. Bring your own LUNCH to eat along the way.



An “urban wilderness” walk is not an oxymoron. Keith Michael has been exploring the remotest corners of New York City for decades, gaining a collective eclectic knowledge that cannot be found in any guidebooks. These walking tours will bring you to his favorite destinations around this vast metropolis, taking the guesswork out of the legwork! With carefully researched information about where to go, what to see, how to get there, AND the camaraderie of fascinating people to enjoy the "there" with, each excursion provides a unique off-the-grid out-of-the-tour-bus immersive experience in the natural wonders (as well as architectural and historical highlights) available within one of the largest cities in the world. Once you do, you’ll be inspired to do even more and take advantage of the myriad other FREE tours offered by many parks and organizations throughout NYC—there is always more to see and learn!



Follow instructions on the Eventbrite site.

See the full schedule and descriptions of the currently scheduled 2019 NYC Wild! Walking Tours by clicking HERE!

To see the short list of dates and destinations, scroll down to the bottom of this section—with LINKS to each New York City WILD! Walking Tour to reserve your spot NOW!



There are various ticket prices for New York City WILD! Walks. Buy an "Early Bird" Discount ($10 - only 5 available with no additional fees), a $15 One Day Wonder Ticket, or Become a NYC Wilder! The $50 SIX-MONTH PASS gives you access to ALL upcoming NYC Wild! Walks January through June 2019 or the $90 FULL YEAR PASS provides you with UNLIMITED adventures in 2019 (upwards of 90 events to choose from) - what a deal! BUY the PASS as a Great GIFT IDEA too!

PLEASE NOTE: Participants cover their own public transportation costs (NYC Metrocard and PATH train fares) as well as lunch/dinner and beverages—either a bring-your-own-picnic or conviviality at a local eatery depending on the individual walk itinerary.



BAD WEATHER: Trips will only be cancelled under extreme weather conditions. New York City weather is fickle! Rarely does the same kind of weather last all day, and the weather forecast for Central Park may be vastly different than what actually occurs on a far outer-borough beach. Most walks will go on rain or shine under the optimism that an inclement forecast will change. However, primarily beach walks WILL BE cancelled or rerouted if there is any threat of thunderstorms.

CANCELLATIONS: Participants will be notified by e-mail 24 hours in advance if a forecast of extreme weather is imminent. You will recieve a FULL REFUND of your ticket OR you can transfer your order to another New York City WILD! outing by contacting bmV3eW9ya2NpdHl3aWxkIHwgZ21haWwgISBjb20=. (A REFUND can take 7-10 business days for your refund to be processed.)

"No Shows" WILL NOT be refunded.

Any request for a refund must be made within 4 days after an event has ended.



Please carefully note meeting places and times. Trips will leave promptly from designated meeting sites. For meet-ups on a subway platform, we will generally leave on the FIRST TRAIN after the designated departure time. Return times are approximate.

NYC Wild! Walks are GREEN in more ways than one! Walks frequently meet on a subway platform to take a train (average 45 minutes to an hour+) to and from the starting point of the walk. Please carefully note whether the meet-up location is on the UPTOWN or DOWNTOWN platform AND whether it is at the FIRST or LAST car of the train! Please arrive with a charged phone (!) and filled MetroCard so that trains or buses are not missed while you wait in line to put more money on your card.

Alternate meeting locations can be arranged en route to the destination if this is more convenient for individual travelers.

ALWAYS check the MTA Weekender online before you leave home for planned service changes on your subway lines! Leave additional travel time for delays in weekend service. Some Walk meet-up locations or destinations may be changed if subway service is unusually cumbersome to our starting point.



To get to the "cool places" that we go on New York City WILD! Walks, these outings are estimated at 4-6 hours in length (including travel time to and from the starting point of the actual walking tour) and range from 2-6 miles depending on the itinerary. Know your own abilities and stamina.

It is difficult to catch up with the group if you are late - please be on time for the MEET UP. Most walks are a loop so it is also difficult to leave early. Please take this into consideration.

NYC Wild! Walks move at a casual pace to encourage observation and conversation. These ARE NOT "exercise walks" or "power walks" or "hiking." Pauses for photography are accommodated though sometimes we may need to keep moving to fulfill the walk's itinerary.

These walks are usually not suitable for participants younger than 10 years of age.

Even though some of these outings may seem "pet friendly" such as a walk on the beach or a ramble through the woods, please do not bring your dog or or even your parrot with you. We are looking for birds and wildlife along the trails, and domestic animals tend to chase them away!

Most NYC Wild! excursions follow primarily level established trails though the walking surface can vary from city sidewalks to woodland path, boardwalks, grass, minor rock scrambling or sandy beach. Some stairs or a rise and descent in terrain are part of individual walks.

Insects should be a minimal concern, but mosquitoes, ticks and bees DO EXIST in New York City. Be mindful and take suitable precautions.

Restrooms are not always conveniently located or available. Take this into consideration.



BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH/DINNER. We will stop for a picnic along the way—outside. Bring your picnic with you rather than expecting to stop along the way to "pick something up". Some walk itineraries may include end-of-walk conviviality at a local eatery—watch the listings for these scheduled festivities.


Dress appropriately for the forecasted weather—hat, jacket, layers to take off or put on if temperatures change. In general, it can be windier and cooler (or hotter) at these locations than in Manhattan. Bring an umbrella for surprise changes in weather.

Sturdy closed-toed walking shoes that you aren’t too concerned about getting muddy or wet. No sandals or flip-flops.

Binoculars if you have them. If not, we will share.

A camera. Each walk offers endless photo opportunities.

Sun screen and insect repellent. Insects should be a minimal concern for most trips.

PLEASE use your cell phone sparingly for emergencies only (and generously for taking memorable photos of the walk!)

Enthusiasm and a sense of adventure.



YES. You will be asked to sign a liability waiver statement, agreeing to release and hold harmless Keith Michael and New York City WILD! from any and all liability arising out of or resulting from your participation. Your participation in these walks is on a completely voluntary basis and you are responsible for your own personal safety and well-being. Read the complete statement included with this event listing.



Write to bmV3eW9ya2NpdHl3aWxkIHwgZ21haWwgISBjb20= for any additional information. All outings are available for private walks, group bookings, or other events. When making inquiries, please indicate the date and destination of the walk for which you have questions. More detailed information about each walk will be sent by e-mail to participants a few days before each scheduled outing.



KEITH MICHAEL is a self-styled urban naturalist, avid birder, photographer, and a dedicated explorer of New York City's five boroughs. He has led 100s of walks throughout NYC. Watching birds drives his focus, but the breadth of NYC history, and the wealth of vistas, trees, wildflowers, grasses, mushrooms, butterflies, dragonflies, as well as scaled, slithery and furred fauna that can be observed within the city is truly remarkable. Mr. Michael has published four books of writing and photographs: Let’s Go Out!: A Birder's Year in the West Village (2015); Take Me to the River (2014); Once Around the Block (2013), and 1000 Days: World Trade Center Rising (2013); leads New York City WILD! nature walking tours, co-leads Hudson River Park WILD! walks, and is a monthly contributor to WestView News: The Voice of the West Village.

When not adventuring in the city and taking photographs, Mr. Michael is a ballet choreographer, having created The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies, Mother GOOSE! and The Nutcracker for New York Theatre Ballet, and is the Dance Production Coordinator at The Juilliard School. For more information about walks, books or photographs visit

Photo of Keith Michael by Valerie S.



New York City WILD!

Waiver/Release/Assumption of Risk Agreement

New York City WILD! is an urban nature walk series organized by freelance urban naturalist Keith Michael.

As used in this agreement, "The Coordinator" means collectively New York City WILD! and Keith Michael, its employees, representatives, independent contractors and/or affiliate organizations involved in the selected program/activity, members, leaders, organizers, volunteers, co-participants and all others involved in the selected activity/program.

As used in this agreement, "you" means the person who signs this agreement or on whose behalf this agreement has been executed. It is anticipated that you are accepting this agreement as a prerequisite to your participation in a New York City WILD! activity/program. If a person under 18 years of age participates, that person's parent or legal guardian must also accept this agreement.

In consideration of the services provided by The Coordinator and the opportunity for you to participate in the selected activity/program, you AGREE TO AND ACKNOWLEDGE the following:

1.) New York City WILD! nature walks are entirely volunteer activities. Other participants are not outdoor recreational or educational professionals.

2.) New York City WILD! activities have inherent RISKS, HAZARDS AND DANGERS. Such risks, hazards and dangers may include, though not limited to: adverse weather, crossing streams, falls from heights, travel, exposure to insects and animals; remoteness from shelter, restroom facilities, food, water, medical care and emergency rescue services; graded trails, uneven terrain, mechanical or equipment failures, and misjudgments by leaders, volunteers and/or co-participants. You acknowledge these and other risks, and you ASSUME THE RISKS of participating in the New York City WILD! activity and travel to and from the activity/program.

3.) The Coordinator cannot guarantee your health or safety. You are responsible for your own health and safety. You warrant that you have skills and overall health and physical conditioning adequate for the program/activity you have selected. If required, you will provide your own appropriate and adequate clothing, equipment and supplies. You will cooperate with the leader(s) and organizers to achieve a meaningful and safe experience for the group.

4.) You hereby RELEASE AND AGREE TO HOLD HARMLESS The Coordinator from any and all liability arising out of or resulting from your participating in a New York City WILD! program or activity. You and your agents, heirs and assigns HEREBY WAIVE ANY AND ALL CLAIMS against The Coordinator in any court, forum, tribunal or jurisdiction, whether for personal injury, wrongful death, property damage or loss, breach of contract, economic loss or consequential damages from delays, cancellation or changes in program or schedules.

5.) You are solely responsible for all transportation fares for and food or beverages consumed during this activity.

6.) You acknowledge that The Coordinator or co-participants may produce photographic or video recordings ("images") of programs. The Coordinator or co-participants may use such images to promote The Coordinator and their programs. You hereby consent to such images made while you are engaged in the activity/program and grant to The Coordinator or co-participants all of your rights to use such images and any copies or derivative works therefrom in any manner for promotional and other commercial purposes, in any medium. You release and assign to any right or interest that you may have in those images including rights in your appearance and or your voice recorded by employees, other participants, agents or contractors, whether or not on behalf of The Coordinator or co-participants, and you waive any right of any kind in or over such images including rights of (A) compensation, (B) publicity, privacy or copyright, or (C) review, inspection or approval.

7.) This Waiver/Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement is the entire agreement between you and The Coordinator, and cannot be orally changed or modified.

8.) This agreement entered into in the State of New York, is to be governed by the laws of New York and any suits, claims or actions concerning it are to be brought only in the courts of the State of New York.

9.) If a court with proper jurisdiction determines that any part of this document is invalid, illegal or against public policy, the remaining portions thereof shall remain in full force and effect.

I have read this agreement and I understand its terms and, in particular, that I am giving up substantial legal rights. Knowing this, I am voluntarily agreeing to this Waiver, Release, and Assumption of Risk Agreement.

Fields to be completed on hard copy at the start of the Walking Tour:                                                           

Print Name: __________________________________________

Signature: ___________________________________________

Date: ________________________________________________

Mobile phone #: _______________________________________   

e-mail: _______________________________________________     

Emergency Contact Name:_______________________________  

Emergency Contact Phone Number: _______________________


New York City WILD! 2019 Walking Tour Schedule For FULL SCHEDULE of Adventures Information GO TO

Click on the DATE LINK BELOW to Make Your Eventbrite Reservation NOW!


Tuesday, January 1 - Winter Wonderland! New Year's Day Walk at Fort Tilden, Queens (12:00 noon)

Saturday, January 5 - Winter Wonderland! Mount Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island Photography and Nature Walk (10:00 am)

Saturday, January 12 - Winter Wonderland! Brookfield Park, Staten Island Photography and Nature Walk (9:00 am)

Sunday, January 13 - Winter Wonderland! Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens Photography and Nature Walk (12:30 pm)

Saturday, January 19 - Winter Wonderland! Coney Island, Brooklyn Photography and Nature Walk (11:30 am)

Sunday, January 20 - Winter Wonderland! Full Super Blood Wolf Moon Rise, Hoboken, NJ (3:30 pm)

Saturday, January 26 - Winter Wonderland! Bald Eagles! Croton Point Park, Westchester County (9:30 am)

Sunday, January 27 - Winter Wonderland!Forest Park, Queens Photgraphy and Nature Walk (1:00 pm)


Saturday, February 2 - Winter Wonderland! Bald Eagles! Croton Point Park, Westchester County (9:30 am)

Sunday, February 3 - Winter Wonderland! Staten Island: Fort Wadsworth to South Beach Photography & Nature Walk (11:00 am)

Saturday, February 9 - Lunar New Year Parade! Flushing, Queens Photography Ramble (10:00 am)

Sunday, February 10 - Winter Wonderland! New York Harbor/Brooklyn: Bensonhurst to Verrazano Bridge Photography & Nature Walk (11:00 am)

Saturday, February 16 - Winter Wonderland! Westchester County: Marshlands Conservancy Photography & Nature Walk (10:00 am)

Sunday, February 17 - Lunar New Year Parade! Manhattan Chinatown Photography Ramble (12:00 pm)

Saturday, February 23 - Winter Wonderland! The Bronx: Fort Schuyler Photography & Nature Walk (10:00 am)

Sunday, February 24 - Winter Wonderland! Staten Island: Wolfe's Pond Park Photography & Nature Walk (9:00am)


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