Top 10 Largest City Parks in the World

Parks have been seen as part of a city’s critical urban infrastructure since the very early days when towns and cities began to form. Parks therefore represent vital components of city planning that contribute to community building and enhance the quality of life for urban residents, with a recommended rate of over 1,000 acres of parkland per 100,000 residents. Parks within cities are thus essential green spaces within urban environments, providing residents and visitors alike with a place to reconnect with nature, engage in recreational activities such as hiking and picnicking, and find respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

These city parks often also serve as the lungs of a city so to speak, improving the local air quality and enhancing the local ecosystem. The largest city parks in the world are especially more than just expanses of grass and playgrounds. They are grand in scale, containing diverse landscapes from mountains to forests and even historical sites, providing natural, recreational, and cultural value to their respective cities.

The following ranking lists the world’s ten largest city parks by total parkland size. Only true and real city parks are qualified in the ranking, meaning urban parks that are located entirely within a city’s city limits. Parks that stretch over the city limits are not defined as city parks as per this ranking. Likewise, park systems that include several parks are not accounted for collectively, but individually.

The 10 Largest City Parks in the World

ten largest city parks in the world

1. Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain National Park seen from the northernmost portion of the park with downtown Cape Town below

Park size: 22,100 ha / 54,610 acres

Park location:
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Park owned by:
Government of South Africa
Park managed by: South African National Parks (government agency)

Table Mountain National Park is the by far largest city park in the world. The park is located in the southwestern part of Cape Town, South Africa, makes up almost ten percent of the city’s area, and belongs to the most visited city parks in the world. The park includes and is named for Table Mountain, the iconic landmark that dominates Cape Town’s skyline with its world-famous flat-topped peaks. The park is owned by the South African government and managed by the government-led South African National Park agency. While the park is very expansive, covering more than 22,000 hectares / 54,600 acres, it is still located entirely within the city limits of South Africa’s second-largest city.

The park is part of the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site, hosting thousands of plant species, many of which are endemic and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Table Mountain National Park provides panoramic views of Cape Town and the surrounding ocean(s). Visitors can reach the summit of Table Mountain from the park via a cable car or by hiking one of the numerous trails in the park. The park also stretches southwards to the scenic Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, making it an absolute must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Cape Town.

Aside from the mountain, Table Mountain National Park is also inhabited by a variety of wildlife, including baboons, antelope, and the elusive Cape leopard. The world’s largest city park also offers a multitude of recreational activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, and picnicking, making the park very popular with locals and tourists alike.


2. Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains State Park as viewed from Wyler Aerial Tramway station, looking at Western El Paso

Park size: 10,776 ha / 26,627 acres

Park location:
El Paso, Texas, USA

Park owned by:
State of Texas
Park managed by: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (state agency)

Franklin Mountains State Park stands as the second-largest city park in the world. The park is nestled within the city of El Paso, Texas, USA, right at the US-Mexican border. The park is centered around and is named after the Franklin Mountains, a relatively small mountain range in the Chihuahuan Desert, one of the largest deserts in the world. The park covers over 10,000 ha / 26,000 acres, making it the by far largest city park in the United States. The state is owned by the State of Texas and managed by Texas’ Park and Wildlife Department. The park also serves as an important cultural and historical site. It contains pictographs and mortar pits left by early native inhabitants

The park lies at and around the Franklin Mountains and El Paso’s urban areas encompass the park. Franklin Mountains State Park therefore represents the most prominent natural feature of the city, while also offering the opportunity for a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

Residents and visitors can explore over 100 miles of trails that provide stunning vistas of the surrounding desert, into the bordering city of Juarez, Mexico, and the city of El Paso itself. The park’s Wyler Aerial Tramway offers another way to experience the beauty of the area, with a gondola ride that takes you to the top of Ranger Peak, the tallest of the Franklin Mountains.


3. South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park from Dobbins Lookout, with downtown Phoenix in the background

Park size: 6,589 ha / 16,283 acres

Park location:
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Park owned by:
City of Phoenix
Park managed by: Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department (municipal agency)

South Mountain Park comes third among the largest city parks in the world. The park is located in Phoenix, the capital and largest city in the U.S. state of Arizona. The park is owned by the City of Phoenix, which makes it the world’s largest city-owned city park. Spanning over 6,000 ha / 16,000 acres, the park is a mountainous desert landscape that provides a stark contrast to the urban environment surrounding it. The park is named after the small mountain range south of Phoenix, hence the name. The park features a range of elevations, with its highest point, Mount Suppoa, standing at over 2,600 feet.

With more than 50 miles of trails, South Mountain Park is a paradise for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. The trails range from easy to challenging and offer breathtaking views of the Phoenix metropolitan area. One of the park’s highlights is the scenic drive up to Dobbins Lookout, where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city below.

The park is also home to several ancient petroglyphs carved by the Hohokam people, who inhabited the area until the 15th century, making the park likewise historically relevant and the park carries an important additional function to preserve Phoenix’s historical and cultural heritage.


4. Topanga State Park

Topanga State Park, with downtown Los Angeles in the background and the Pacific Ocean on the right

Park size: 4,664 ha / 11,525 acres

Park location:
Los Angeles, California, USA

Park owned by:
State of California
Park managed by: California Department of Parks and Recreation (state agency)

Topanga State Park ranks fourth among the largest city parks in the world. The park is located in the Topanga neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, the United States’ second-largest city. More precisely, the park is located within the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles and covers over 4,000 ha / 11,000 acres. The wilderness of the park in Western Los Angeles stands as a remarkable contrast to the otherwise very urban city. Topanga State Park is owned by the State of California and managed by California’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The park also has historical significance with evidence of Native American settlements throughout the park area.

Topanga State Park also offers a diverse range of landscapes, from dense chaparral-covered slopes to open grasslands and oak woodlands. The overall wilderness of the park in Western Los Angeles stands as a remarkable contrast to the otherwise very urban city. It boasts over 36 miles of trails, which cater to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.

One of the main attractions of Topanga State Park is the panoramic views it offers of the Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles basin. The park’s extensive trail network includes the popular Eagle Rock and the Topanga Lookout Trail, which lead to stunning views of the ocean and LA.


5. George Bush Park

George Bush Park in Western Houston seen from above, with downtown Houston in the background

Park size: 3,156 ha / 7,800 acres

Park location:
Houston, Texas, USA

Park owned by:
Harris County
Park managed by: Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner

George Bush Park completes the Top Five of the largest city parks in the world. The park is located in Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States and the largest city in Texas. It is located in Western Houson and spans over 3,00 ha / 7,800 acres. The park is named in honor of George Bush, the 41st President of the United States, who before his presidency was also the Houston area’s Representative in the U.S. Congress. George Bush Park is owned by Harris County, which includes Houston, and the park is managed by the county’s Fourth Precinct Commissioner.

The park is designed as a large, multifunctional green space that provides a variety of recreational opportunities for the city’s residents. It features numerous forests, ponds, and a vast network of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. The park furthermore offers various sports fields, shooting ranges, playgrounds, and even a model airplane airport.

Aside from its recreational value, George Bush Park primarily plays a crucial role in flood control within Harris County. Its vast open spaces and wetlands act as a natural sponge for Houston, absorbing excess rainwater and reducing the impact of flooding in the city. The park thus has a multipurpose function, offering both recreation and environmental protection for the residents of Houston.


6. Newport News Park

Newport News Park with Beaverdam Creek on the left and residential areas of Newport News on the right

Park size: 3,120 ha / 7,711 acres

Park location:
Newport News, Virginia, USA

Park owned by:
City of Newport News
Park managed by: Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (municipal agency)

Newport News Park comes sixth among the largest city parks in the world. The park lies in Newport News, the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Virginia. The park named after the city makes up around ten percent of the entire city area, covering over 3,000 ha / 7,700 acres. The park is owned by the City of Newport News and is managed by the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. It is a major hub of outdoor activities and natural exploration in the region and includes numerous very lush forests, meadows, and waterways, including Beaverdam Creek.

Newport News Park is also equipped with a wide range of facilities, including two 18-hole golf courses, archery ranges, and campsites. It is also home to the Newport News Discovery Center, which provides educational programs about the local ecosystem and wildlife. The park’s extensive trail system is regionally popular with walking, running, and biking enthusiasts, as well as overall nature lovers. The

With its large scale and diverse habitats, the park is also an important area for wildlife conservation. This makes the park also a very popular spot for Birdwatchers, who flock to Newport News Park to observe the numerous bird species that inhabit the park area.


7. Mission Trails Regional Park

Mission Trails Regional Park from Cowles Mountain, with the Eastern parts of San Diego in the background

Park size: 2,922 ha / 7,220 acres

Park location:
San Diego, California, USA

Park owned by:
City of San Diego
Park managed by: San Diego Parks & Recreation (municipal agency)

Mission Trails Regional Park is the seventh largest city park in the world. The park is situated in San Diego, California, the state’s second-largest city and the eighth-largest city in the United States. It is named after the Spanish Christian Catholic missionaries who arrived in San Diego in the late 18th Century and established a mission inside what is now the park. The park encompasses almost 3,000 ha / over 7,000 acres and is renowned for its many rugged hills, valleys, and open areas that offer a taste of California’s diverse landscapes within San Diego city’s limits. The park is owned by the City of San Diego and operated by its Parks & Recreation department.

The park is located in the Northern parts of San Diego and is designed as both a natural and cultural resource. It offers an extensive trail system, which includes over 60 miles of trails, catering to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders of all skill levels. The park’s centerpiece is Cowles Mountain, which is the highest point within San Diego and offers stunning 360-degree views of the city, the Pacific Ocean, and on a clear day even the bordering town of Tijuana, Mexico from its summit.

Mission Trails Regional Park is home to the Old Mission Dam, an officially recognized National Historic Landmark that represents the Spanish-era history of San Diego. The park’s visitor and interpretive center also offers exhibitions and educational programs that highlight the area’s natural and cultural history. With its combination of recreational opportunities and historical significance, Mission Trails Regional Park is thus seen as a vital component of San Diego’s green infrastructure, but also a significant cultural-historic sight and attraction.



8. Verkiai Regional Park

Verkiai Regional Park in Northern Vilnius with the Neris River flowing through

Park size: 2,673 ha / 6,605 acres

Park location:
Vilnius, Lithuania

Park owned by:
City of Vilnius
Park managed by: The Directorate of Pavilniai and Verkiai Regional Parks (municipal agency)

Verkiai Regional Park ranks eighth among the world’s largest city parks. At the same time, Verkiai Regional Park is the largest city park in Europe located entirely within a city. It is situated in Vilnius, the capital and largest city of Lithuania. Spanning over 2,600 ha / 6,600 acres along the banks of the Neris River, the expansive park covers almost the entirety of Verkiai, the Northeastern district of Vilnius which the park is named after. It is owned by the City of Vilnius and managed by the Directorate of Pavilniai and Verkiai Regional Parks, a municipal authority specifically dedicated to the maintenance of the Verkiai Regional Park and the neighboring smaller Pavilniai Regional Park.

At the heart of Verkiai Regional Park lies Verkiai Palace, a popular neoclassical 18th-century palace that once served as a residence for Polish and Lithuanian noblemen and noblewomen. The palace is surrounded by vast lush greenery, while the park overall features many small forests, meadows, and wetlands. The park also includes numerous trails popular with hikers, cyclers, and nature lovers. Around a quarter of the park area is used specifically for recreational purposes.

Beyond the park’s natural appeal, Verkiai Regional Park also offers a high historical and cultural significance for Vilnius. The park’s numerous archaeological sites bear witness to centuries of human habitation, with traces of ancient settlements dating back to the Stone Age. The park also features many more modern historic landmarks aside from the Verkiai Palace, such as the 17th-century Verkiai Calvary, or the old Verkiai Watermill, making Verkiai Regional Park a multipurpose park attractive both for locals and tourists alike.


9. William B. Umstead State Park

William B Umstead State Park in Raleigh, with Raleigh-Durham International Airport in the background

Park size: 2,266 ha / 5,599 acres

Park location:
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Park owned by:
State of North Carolina
Park managed by: North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation (state agency)

William B. Umstead State Park comes ninth among the largest city parks in the world. The park is located in the Northwesternmost part of Raleigh, the capital and second-largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Spanning over 2,200 ha / 5,500 acres, the park is named in honor of William B. Umstead, a former Senator and Governor of the state, who died after not even two years into his governorship. The park is owned by the State of North Carolina and managed by the state’s Division of Parks and Recreation office. The park is designed as a large sprawling natural wilderness, offering a big contrast to the urban area of downtown Raleigh, which is just a short drive away.

The park features lush woodlands, several lakes and ponds, and numerous winding trails. William B. Umstead State Park is thus very popular with outdoor enthusiasts in the entire region and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. The park’s three man-made lakes, including the by far biggest Umstead Park Lake, also provide opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

As one of the world’s largest city parks, William B. Umstead State Park is perhaps also among the most unusual ones in terms of the wide contrast of wilderness surrounded by urbanness it provides to the local residents of Raleigh and the surrounding metro area, underlined by the fact it is located right next to the Raleigh-Durham International Aiport.


10. Bitsevski Park

Bitsevski Park in the Yasenevo District in southern Moscow, looking northwards

Park size: 2,208 ha / 5,457 acres

Park location:
Moscow, Russia

Park owned by:
City of Moscow
Park managed by: Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the City of Moscow (municipal agency)

Bitsevski Park, commonly known as Bitsa Park, completes the Top Ten of the largest city parks in the world. The park is located in Russia’s capital Moscow, the by far largest city of the country and one of the largest cities in the world in total. Covering an expansive area of over 2,200 ha / 5,400 acres, the park is situated in the Yasenevo District in Moscow’s southern parts and is reached by the underground Moscow metro system through its own metro station. The park is named after the Bitsa River, which flows through the park area. The park is owned by the City of Moscow and maintained by the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

The park represents one of Moscow’s two major giant urban outskirts parks, smaller than Losiny Ostrov National Park, which, however, stretches mostly well beyond Moscow’s city limits and can therefore not be regarded as a city park. Bitsevski Park, on the other hand, lies entirely within the city limits. The park features a mixed landscape of dense forests, open meadows, numerous ponds, and trails, making the park hugely popular among the residents of Moscow’s southern districts.

The park’s extensive network of pathways offers opportunities for walking, jogging, and cycling, and designated areas for picnicking and barbecuing additionally provide spaces for gatherings in the summer months. Furthermore, Bitsa Park plays a significant role in providing ecological benefits to Moscow’s environment, serving as a vital green lung that helps improve air quality in the city. The park is also home to a very rich array of flora and fauna, with over 500 plants, and over 100 species of animals inhabiting the park’s diverse habitats.


The 10 Largest City Parks in the World:

Location of park: Size of park:
1. TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARKCape Town, Western Cape, South Africa22,100 ha / 54,610 acres
2. FRANKLIN MOUNTAINS STATE PARKEl Paso, Texas, USA10,776 ha / 26,627 acres
3. SOUTH MOUNTAIN PARKPhoenix, Arizona, USA6,589 ha / 16,283 acres
4. TOPANGA STATE PARKLos Angeles, California, USA4,664 ha / 11,525 acres
5. GEORGE BUSH PARKHouston, Texas, USA3,156 ha / 7,800 acres
6. NEWPORT NEWS PARKNewport News, Virginia, USA3,120 ha / 7,711 acres
7. MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARKSan Diego, California, USA2,922 ha / 7,220 acres
8. VERKIAI REGIONAL PARKVilnius, Lithuania2,673 ha / 6,605 acres
9. WILLIAM B UMSTEAD STATE PARKRaleigh, North Carolina, USA2,266 ha / 5,599 acres
10. BITSEVSKI PARKMoscow, Russia2,208 ha / 5,457 acres
The ten largest city parks in the world by total parkland size. Only true city parks that are located entirely within a city’s limits are counted in the ranking. Parks that extend beyond a city are disregarded. Parks that are part of larger park systems are counted individually, not collectively.

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