I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ridden my bike along the Belt Parkway, and have been mesmerized by Fort Wadsworth just across the water. The former military installation, located right under the Verrazano in Staten Island, was officially shut down in 1994, but long ago stood as a defense point for the area.
While Fort Wadsworth is a great place to bring the dog for a walk, take a quick jog or simply stroll around, the real interesting spots are beyond the “Closed Areas” signs. There are tons of places to explore – Battery Weed (the large, uncovered fort that you see sitting right on the water) is the least of these places. Because of its visibility, the windows of the fort are sealed so that you cannot enter, as is its front entrance.
As you walk down the path there are plenty of structures to explore. Once you get to the water, walk back along the sand toward the main fort. On the way you will see a tunnel that was once hidden in the slope. Exposure to the elements both uncovered and buried the structure, leaving a very cool spot to explore, but a spot buried in dirt slides. Be careful (here, and everywhere). Once you get to Battery Weed, loop around and head back up the highly exposed, closed-off, paved road up. I know how crazy that sounds, but there are some awesome spots on the way up that you should hit.
The wisest advice I can give you is to bring a strong flashlight… and to beware of the cave crickets you will encounter in every deep crevice you find. I’m not going to lie – these things are hella creepy. Do yourself a favor and watch the ceilings… you know, with that strong flashlight I mentioned.
I always thought it would be harder to explore, but it isn’t. For us Brooklyn residents, it is right in our backyard. Regardless if you choose to explore any dark areas, it is worth a visit just to walk around and enjoy the view.