Hiking FDR Four Freedoms State Park, How To Guide


Hike Four Freedoms Park, our guide, follows the advice of Governor Andrew Cuomo who offered New York State Parks as safe, healthful places during the coronavirus crisis. With that in the rearview mirror now, his advice is still good.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island News

Restrictions were everywhere, but at every turn, we had our parks. Roosevelt Island is especially blessed with green spaces, and Four Freedoms is the gem among them.

The southern tip of the Island is all green and easy to access. Tranquility is the password to the treasure.

Here’s our guide to a safe and simple hike in FDR Four Freedoms Park

Whether you walk or take a free RIOC Red Bus, enter the matched parks first by way of Southpoint. There’s a stop right out front. Buses run at 15-minute intervals.

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Southpoint Park features natural space for strolling and short hikes along rolling, tree-filled rises. It makes a nice stop on the way to Four Freedoms. Convenient public restrooms are near the main entrance.
Reach Four Freedoms Park by passing the Smallpox Hospital, an historic site designed by James Renwick, now under restoration.
Pamphlets for visitors and advice await after the front gate and make a voluntary contribution as you pass. Inside, spectacular skyline views emphasize the quiet in this big city oasis.
Your choice of trails includes the most popular, barrier free walk along the waterside toward the monuments below.
A similar path passes the Queens side, but if a few steps are okay, enter the meadow directly after a brief climb. (Shown here: Temporary installation of the City’s largest Pride Flag in 2019.
In season, the tapered meadow hosts events like Kite Flight for Peace on International Peace Day.
But in winter and early spring, it’s a tranquil stroll toward the bust of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
For some, a hike through Four Freedoms Park is best experienced through the intricately shaded path below still leafless tree branches.

It’s about peace, tranquility and FDR’s dream for human rights…

FDR Bust - Four Freedoms State Park
America’s greatest president greets visitors at the bottom of the meadow.


Four Freedoms Park is currently open every day, except Tuesday, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The hike and the peace are free, but voluntary contributions are accepted.

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