The Lake

With its span of 20 acres, The Lake rivals the Reservoir as sheer size. It is the heart and soul of the rowing community of New York City – this is the place to go when you want to rent a boat or go for a trip with a gondola in Central Park. You can rent them from the Loeb Boathouse.

The Lake, along with the Ramble, were vital centerpieces of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s plan for the park. It used to be a swamp before the Greensward plan for the building of Central Park was placed in action.
In the Greensward Plan, the Lake was designed as an ice-skating rink in winter, and as a place for boating in summer. The skating was a total hit – more than 300 skaters participated in the opening ceremony.
Attendance peaked at the Christmas of that year with more than 8.000 skaters.

Skaters today have specially-designated rinks and don’t use the Lake for this purpose anymore, but the tradition of boating stands to this day.
On the other hand, the removal of the rink allowed to all the wildlife to return to its former habitat, so if you’re an avid bird-watcher, then this is your place to go. Also, The Lake provides an amazing vista towards Bow Bridge and the city skyline.