Gotham Woods is a giant forest on the outskirts of Gotham City, separated from the vast majority of the city through the Gotham River. The woods are the location of the Slaughter Swamp, as well as many different lakes, cabins owned by various people and a bridge that connects two parts of the forest separated by the river. Deep into the woods, a secret bunker built by Jeremiah Valeska spawned an underground maze, until the complex was destroyed by Valeska himself. In the north-west, the Gotham Woods also wrap around the suburb Sommerset and the nearby airport. At another location, the forest reaches to the edge of the Gotham Cemetery, with the city itself beginning right behind it. It is connected with the Arkham District island through the Trigate Bridge and with the rest of the city through an unidentified bridge and various old steam tunnels. The woods appear to be sparse and even non-existent in some southern regions, where the Spa Bo'sh Sumka is located near the Tricorner island.
When Thomas Wayne caught wind of the experiments occuring at Pinewood Farms, he shut the program down and paid to put the surviving test subjects into hiding. One of the people experimented on was Karen Jennings, who was born with a crippled arm that was mutated into an reptilian claw. Thomas hid Jennings in a cabin deep in the Gotham Woods and formed a sort of father-daughter bond with her. He visited her on a regular basis, spent time with her and bought her gifts such as a music box for her birthday.
Thomas Wayne and his son Bruce had a yearly tradition of hiking and camping in the Gotham Woods. Every year they would watch the sunrise and leave behind stones with Bruce's and his father's initials on them, resulting in a pile of rocks over the years.
Four years after graduating and becoming an engineer, Jeremiah Valeska started construction on his hideout, an underground maze bunker in the forest on the outskirts of Gotham City. He planned on hiding there in case his brother Jerome Valeska would ever try to track him down. Jeremiah finished construction approximately two years before the Wayne murder happened. He then started to reside in his secret office and hired Ecco as his proxy and assistant.
Sal Maroni owned a cabin located in the Gotham Woods. He took Oswald Cobblepot in a trip to the house after Fish Mooney called, saying that Oswald was a snitch for rival mob boss Carmine Falcone. Maroni then played a "loyalty game" with Oswald, with Maroni telling big secrets (like "Fish Mooney said that you work for Falcone) while Oswald telling useless secrets (like "I don't like tea). Maroni then said that he should tell him a big secret, and Oswald told him that he's got Maroni's revolver. Maroni then told him that the pistol is loaded with blanks, Penguin attempts to kill Maroni but finds out that Maroni was telling the truth. Maroni then knocked out Penguin and brought him to Duffy's Salvage to be killed via a car crusher.
Even though his father was no longer alive, Bruce Wayne decided to continue the yearly tradition the two had of hiking, camping and watching the sunrise in the Gotham Woods. While preparing at Wayne Manor in order to leave and honor this tradition, Alfred Pennyworth offered Bruce to come with him, though it was rejected. During his journey in the woods, Bruce came across a pile of rocks with his and his father's initials on them, from years previous. In a fit of rage, he knocked the pile over and began throwing them everywhere. He then sinked to his knees crying, and soon afterward, he fell down a steep slope, badly spraining his ankle. At this point it was already dark and Alfred secretly followed Bruce into the woods in order to go look for him and arrived at the hill where Bruce had set up his campsite. Bruce struggled to get back up the hill and attempted to climb the slope with his sprained ankle. When he finally did after a long crawl to reach the top, he discovered Alfred, who had been there for over an hour, sitting next to a campfire with food and drinks. After helping up Bruce, Alfred suggested that they wait and watch the sunrise like Bruce did with his father. Bruce agreed and the two stayed the night, watching the sunrise, as Bruce and his father did.
When Gertrud Kapelput was killed by Theo Galavan and his sister Tabitha, Penguin began hunting Theo in order to avenge his mother's death. Shortly after raiding Theo's Mayor victory party with the rest of his men, Cobblepot got confronted by Jim Gordon and shot by Tabitha Galavan. Even tough wounded, Oswald managed to escape and drove into the Gotham Woods were he began hiding in an abandoned trailer.
After he killed his girlfriend Kristen Kringle, Edward Nygma cut her body up and took her to the Gotham Woods to be buried and to say his final goodbyes. During this, he killed a hunter who came across him. He returned to his car to fetch his gear, planning to also dismember the hunter's body, but when he returned, he noticed someone had stolen his sandwich that he took for a picnic. Noticing a blood trail, Nygma began to follow the suspect with the intent to kill them. Hours later he came across an isolated trailer, and when approaching the door got burst open and Nygma was stunned. Placing back on his fallen glasses, he noticed it is Oswald Cobblepot, injured, weak and begging for help.
During the winter months, Edward Nygma was again out in the woods where he buried Kristen Kringle and started to dig up where she was buried, until Jim Gordon sneaked up behind him. Ed heard his footsteps and pulled out the gun, pointing it at Gordon. Ed stated that Gordon did find Penguin, but Gordon said that he only followed him, whereon Ed realized that Gordon set up the scenario in the GCPD with Selina Kyle. Jim asked him how he became what he is, but Ed simply told him that this is who he always has been, and that he was finally admitting the truth to himself. Jim stated he was Ed's friend, but Ed dismissed this, believing that Jim simply pitied him. Jim calls him completely insane, and Ed tells him one last riddle for old times sake: "A nightmare for some, for others, a savior I come, my hands cold and bleak, it's the warm hearts they seek". Jim answered the riddle by saying "Death." and Ed said goodbye to Jim, but then Captain Nathaniel Barnes and Harvey Bullock came from behind a tree and told Nygma to drop the gun. Ed hesitated, saying he was arresting Jim but Barnes said he heard everything he said, and was giving Ed one last chance to surrender. Instead, Nygma decided to make a run for it, until he tripped over a log and fell into the snow, lifting his hands as he was surrounded by GCPD officers.
After looking through his father's computer in the secret lair, Bruce Wayne discovered on Thomas' calendar that he had scheduled a meeting with a woman named Karen Jennings about something called "Pinewood Farms" the same week he was killed. Wasting no time, Bruce and Alfred went out into the Gotham Woods and arrived at Karen's cabin. Inside, they were surprised to discover that Karen had a reptilian claw instead of a left hand due to an experiment. When Karen learned that Bruce is the son of Thomas Wayne, she revealed that Pinewood was a bioengineering program of Wayne Enterprises in which she served as a volunteer after being sentenced to Blackgate Penitentiary after accidentally killing her abusive father in an act of self-defense. Even though promised by Pinewood Farms to fix her crippled hand, Karen was instead given her claw. When Thomas discovered what they were really doing at Pinewood, he closed the program immediately and paid to hide all the survivors of the program. Bruce then deduced that the program had been started up again, and demanded that Karen takes him to the original Pinewood facility.
Months later, Jim Gordon got knocked out by Lee Thompkins who was infected with the Alice Tetch virus. She took Jim to the Gotham Woods, put him in a coffin and buried him near a lake. When Gordon woke up he found himself in a buried coffin with a little of time before oxygen runs out and a CB radio along with a syringe containing the virus. Meanwhile, Lee told the GCPD that they will need to find him quickly or he has to inject himself with the virus in order to get out. They have her arrested whereon Bullock and many other officers go to search for Gordon in the woods. Seeing they won't find him, Gordon injected himself with the virus and then used his strength to get out of the coffin while Bullock sends a unit to the station for evacuation.
While Hospital Brass was being cleared out to make room for more patients, two orderlies brought Butch Gilzean's comatose body to the Slaughter Swamp and dumped it into it's waters. After they left, the biological waste containers from Indian Hill that were dumped into the swamp revived Gilzean in a zombie-like state while also regenerating his hand. Stumbling upon some campers, the amnesiac Butch attacked them when they took action towards him where some of them were knocked out or retreated. Taking the name Solomon Grundy from the rhyme song that was playing, he borrowed some clothes and made his way back to Gotham City.
Months later, Oswald Cobblepot went to Slaughter Swamp and salvaged one of the Indian Hill barrels. He used it to sway Solomon Grundy to his side where he makes plans to find Hugo Strange to see if he can restore Solomon Grundy back to normal.
- Frank Gordon's cabin
- Jeremiah Valeska's maze
- Karen Jennings' cabin
- Sal Maroni's cabin
- Slaughter Swamp
- The Gotham Forest is a recurring location in the DC comics.