Of Railroads and Cattails: Urban Foraging in the Bronx - Atlas Obscura

The Bronx, New York

Of Railroads and Cattails: Urban Foraging in the Bronx

"Wildman" Steve Brill takes Atlas Obscura on an exclusive edible journey through New York City's third-largest park.

Dozens of varieties of edible/medicinal renewable herbs, greens, roots, flowers, and mushrooms grow unregulated and unrecognized in Van Cortlandt Park.

Learn to identify them with certainty, and to use them to make delicious recipes and home remedies, all with no environmental impact, with America's go-to guy for foraging, naturalist/author “Wildman” Steve Brill.
As part of this tour, created specifically for the Atlas Obscura audience, we'll also explore this history and overgrown remnants of an abandoned railroad line, “Old Put", inside Van Cortlandt Park.
Some plants that we are likely to find include cattails (which taste like cucumbers), apple mint, lamb’s quarters (which tastes like spinach), lemony wood sorrel, root beer-flavored sassafras, and wintergreen-flavored black birch.

Each attendee should bring

  • Plastic bags for collecting veggies and herbs.
  • Paper bags, in case we find mushrooms, which spoil in plastic.
  • Drinking water.
  • Digging implements for roots are optional, and there's no smoking at any time.

Additional Details

  • The 2-hour walking tour of Van Cortlandt Park begins at 1 PM, please be punctual as we cannot wait for latecomers.
  • Meet at 242 St. and Broadway. Subway: 1 train to 242 St. Van Cortlandt Park.
  • This event runs rain or shine.
  • This event is all ages but bear in mind that it requires 2 hours of walking.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for going off-trail, including closed toed shoes (be aware: there can be poison ivy).
  • No smoking on this tour, please.


Email Larissa Hayden at larissa.hayden@atlasobscura.com. 

Stay connected! Subscribe to the Atlas Obscura Society New York newsletter and join our Facebook Group for a first glimpse at upcoming events.

Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.