Van Cortlandt Park is a 1,146-acre (464 ha) park located in the Bronx in New York City. It is the fourth largest park in New York City, behind Pelham Bay Park, Flushing Meadows Park and Staten Island Greenbelt. The park was named for Stephanus Van Cortlandt, who was the first native-born mayor of New York, and the Van Cortlandt family, which was prominent in the area during the Dutch and English colonial periods. Contained within the Park is the Van Cortlandt House Museum, the oldest building in the Bronx.
The park is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The eastern side of the park is served by the Woodlawn subway station (4 train), and the western side by Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street station (1 train). Van Cortlandt Park contains New York City's largest freshwater lake.
The Van Cortlandt Golf Course, the nation's first public golf course, opened in 1895 and is located centrally on the park grounds. The "Parade Ground" north of the museum in the western part of the park is one of New York's principal cricket fields. The Putnam Trail, an unpaved trail, runs north through the woods to the east of this lawn and west of Van Cortlandt Lake, through the golf course and along Tibbets Brook and the former New York and Putnam Railroad line into Yonkers
where it connects to Westchester County
's paved South County Trailway
. Another bikeway runs east from the golf course's clubhouse to connect to the Mosholu Parkway bike path. The Old Croton Aqueduct Trailway begins in Van Cortlandt Park.
The park is home to the Manhattan
College Jaspers college baseball team.
In Popular Culture:
Van Cortlandt Park was referenced in Jose Rivera's play Marisol as a place where neo-Nazis burn homeless people alive in the apocalyptic World
of the play. In Sol Yurick's book The Warriors, the meeting called by Ismael Rivera, leader of the Delancey Thrones, takes place in Van Cortlandt Park.