In addition to being the home of the wealthy and influential Van Cortlandt family, the land now known as Van Cortlandt Park was home to generations of enslaved people, both African and Native American, going back to the 1600s. The work of enslaved people in the Bronx–building roads, constructing houses, damming streams–is still visible in the landscape of the park. Favorite sites in Van Cortlandt Park, like the lake and Van Cortlandt House Museum, are daily reminders of their labor and lasting legacy.
The Pathways to the Past: Enslaved Africans Legacy self-guided tour will enlighten participants on the true history that shaped Van Cortlandt Park. Visit https://vancortlandt.org/tour_enslavedafrican/ for details. Pathways to the Past signage will be in the park at each location.
To visit all of the sites walk will include uneven park trails and slight changes in elevation.