Located in Queens, New York, Hillcrest is a small, residential community. It is located roughly 13 miles outside of downtown Manhattan. Union Turnpike is the only major road that cuts through this neighborhood and it is home to many of the commercial buildings that can be visited for a variety of needs. In Hillcrest, you will find chain businesses and local restaurants, ethnic grocery stores, several schools, a major hospital, and St. John’s University – Queens Campus. Unfortunately, there are no pet-related businesses in Hillcrest—but there is a local groomer and pet store less than a mile away that you can utilize if you need to.
Hillcrest experiences all four seasons, sometimes with a particularly long and brutal winter. Temperatures can range from 0° - 100°F, so bundle up during that winter season! And, on those hotter summer days, try to avoid walks when the city’s concrete sidewalks may burn your dog’s sensitive paws.
Contrary to what its name might suggest, Hillcrest is not too terribly hilly. The northern part of the neighborhood is at a slightly higher elevation than the southern part of the neighborhood so, depending on your walking route, you may encounter some hillier areas if you venture up north. This may be a good idea if you're looking for more of a challenge in your daily walk. Additionally, like most of this urban area, Hillcrest is largely artificial terrain. The residential parts of the community, however, do have well-maintained sidewalks and grassy areas which will be helpful as you plan your daily walks!
The borders of Hillcrest include 73rd Avenue to the north, Utopia Parkway to the east, Grand Central Parkway to the south, and Parsons Boulevard to the west. These, along with Union Turnpike, seem to be larger roads and may have more high-speed traffic which means they should probably be avoided during walks.
Unfortunately, there are few public greenways in the Hillcrest neighborhood. The two biggest spaces are sports facilities on the St. John’s University-Queens campus grounds. The second is a small playground next to a local elementary school. So, as you are walking your dog, please make sure he remains leashed at all times in order to prevent any incidents with other pedestrians or children. Remember to clean up after your pup in any public areas, and you should have no problem popping in for an occasional visit.
However, in the next neighborhood over, you will find larger public greenways including Dana Gardens and Cunningham Park. Cunningham Park, only a mile away from the eastern side of Hillcrest, does have an enclosed dog run, so it may be the ideal circumstances for some doggy playtime and socialization with other playful pups. Keep in mind that on hot days, you'll want to bring along plenty of water for your dog.