IZMAYLOVSKY - BITZEVSKY - ELK ISLAND - MESCHYORSKY - NESKUCHNY SAD
1. Neskuchny Sad The most centrally located "shady shelter". The garden is stretched between Leninsky Highway and the Moskva-river. There are several deep ravines, old stone bridges, quiet ponds, a white pavilion erected for the 800 years of Moscow anniversary and straight linden alleys from the times of Neskuchny being a private estate. You can go down to the river - it is shady there before noon - and walk to the Gorky park.
2. Izmaylovsky Easily reachable by metro, this place is more like a natural forest, than a manicured city park. Izmaylovskaya metro station is an on ground platform with the forest bordering it on one side. The net of paths - some are paved and others are of more natural character - will offer you enough routes for at least 2 hours stroll.
3. Elk Island (Losiny Ostrov) Twice the size of Izmaylovsky, Elk Island is a place people indeed mooses and deers quite regularly. Here you can find not only shade, but also enough solitude. At the same time the regular net of paths won't let you get lost. The nearest metro is Schyolkovskaya.
4. Bitzevsky This park in the South of the city is comparable to Izmaylovsky by its size, but offers more diverse terrain - its territory is crossed by several deep ravines. Being not too close to the most of the surrounding metro stations, the park is not overcrowded. The nearest metro is Novoyasensvkaya, at the end of the line 6.
One of our Nordic walks runs through this park.
5. Meschyorsky Just a couple kilometers from MKAD, but the air, and even temperature, are notably different. Meschyorsky has wide straight alleys in its northern side, while its further (from Moscow) half is richer with smaller paths weaving among pines. There is a bike rental at the parking lot.
We wrote about Meschyorsky in the post about cross-country skiing - it is one of the most poplar sites for this kind of sports.