I see this often: an appealing waterfront park is overshadowed by a grander, more famous one nearby. That seems to be the case with Five Islands Park in New Rochelle. Tucked away at the end of a narrow road lined with municipal garages and a water treatment plant, is this 15 acre city park of small islands connected by a series of bridges.
While many are familiar with nearby Glen Island, this unique space along Echo Bay remains somewhat obscure. Five Islands doesn't have the Jazz-Age design or manicured feel of Glen Island, but instead has a more natural, even rugged landscape. Pathways wander through wooded areas skirting an untamed shoreline of exposed bedrock and glacial erratics. It is easy to imagine this is what Glen Island looked like a century ago.
As with many shoreline parks, the big drawback here is that Five Islands is restricted to city residents. But on a recent September visit, I had no trouble entering the park and enjoying the beauty of a sunny, late summer afternoon.