Built on land sculpted into “knob and kettle” hills by the Wisconsin glacier 20,000 years ago, this 543-acre park is 76 percent forested. In 1894 the Department of Parks of the City of Brooklyn began acquiring the land that would become Forest Park. Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot designed a plan for a curvilinear main drive through the western side of the park, called Forest Park Drive and constructed between 1896 and 1904, and also offered their general advice on how the park should be developed. In 1911 the newly-formed Queens Parks Department took over Forest Park, and a year later landscape architect Charles Downing Lay added newly-designed roads, paths, and lakes.
The western part of the park is devoted to more active recreation, including a sports complex opened in 1927 with baseball, handball, basketball and a running track; a carousel built in 1903; several ponds; a bandshell; and an eighteen-hole golf course. The eastern side of the park is dominated by a 165-acre forest of oak, hickory, pine and dogwood, with hiking trails, paved paths, and seven miles of bridle paths. The two halves are split by Woodhaven Boulevard and residential development.