Waters of Central Park – the best way to cool off in a hot summer day!

things-to-do Sep 25, 2020

Central Park, with its 840 acres is home to a very diverse geographic and natural landscape – large meadows, green woods, deep lakes and even waterfalls. The latter are a very popular attraction in the hot summer days. Besides being cool (in both meanings) they offer a lot of things to do, which turns them into some of the most popular places to go when visiting the park.

The Lake

the lake

Let’s start with the big one! The Lake forms an essential part of the park along with the Ramble, and it’s the biggest natural water source in the park.  The Lake is the only place in Central Park where you can rent kayaks and even go for gondola tours. They can all be rented at the Loeb Boathouse. You can go for a delicious meal after your “sailing” experience, because the Boathouse has one of the most iconic restaurants in whole of Manhattan.

The Lake had the first ice skating rink in Central Park, which was used up until the 1950s, when the Wolman Rink was open.

The Lake is located next to the Burns Lawn, where you can place your blanket, relax, have a picnic and enjoy an amazing day in the park!

The Reservoir

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, as it is called since 1994, is the largest body of water in Central Park. It was created in 1862 to provide water to Manhattan, but never served this purpose, providing only water to the Pool, the Loch, and the Harlem Meer.

The Reservoir is a very popular jogging location, providing a scenic view towards the city skyline. It is also a popular cycling and fishing location. It also provides an amazing lookout point.

And a fun fact – the Reservoir holds over a billion gallons of water!

Conservatory Water

Do you love model sail boating? Then this is the place to go (and you’ve probably been there a million times)!

An interesting fact is that it wasn’t a part of the Greensward plan, but Olmsted and Vaux included it after drawing inspiration by the Grand Basin model boat pond in Paris. The boating seasons spans from April to October. In winter (with the right temperature) Conservatory Water turns into a free ice skating rink (you just need to bring your own skates).

Turtle Pond

As the name suggests – it is a home to a whole lot of turtles! The first ones were released pets who found a great home in the Pond.

The Turtle Pond is right next to the Great Lawn which sets it right in the center of one of Central Park’s most visited attractions. Don’t worry about the noise because The Turtle Pond is a designated quiet zone, which turns it into one of the preferred escape locations.

conservatory garden
Conservatory garden

The Pond

Not to be mistaken with the one above!

Do you know that the Pond is the home of more than 240 migratory bird species? And did you know that the Pond provides amazing sunset views? No? Well, now you know! It is located in the far south part of Central Park, so do not hesitate to pay it a visit!

Harlem Meer

“Meer” is the Dutch word for “lake”. The more you know!

A fairly large lake, it is located in the north most part of the park, in a close proximity to the Conservatory garden and the North Woods. The vegetation of the area is very rich, with flowers blooming through spring, summer, and fall. Another interesting landmarks nearby are Fort Clinton and Nutter's Battery – military “memories” from the 1812 war.

A notable body of water that is nearby is the Lasker Pool, where you can go for a swim!

The Loch

Meers, lochs…it’s all just a friendly nod towards New York City’s national diversity.

The Loch is located in the Northern Woods, and was first intended to be a large lake, but was reverted to a stream during the construction of the park.

Bonus: Waterfalls!

When it comes to waterfalls, we all imagine the ones in Niagara. And this is completely normal; they are one of the most epic creations of Nature. But do you know that there are several waterfalls right in the center of Manhattan. That is right; Central Park has about five waterfalls. All of them are man-made, but are nonetheless gorgeous and can be considered as oases of calm and serenity, as well as a great place for a date! Most of them are located in the Ravine and the Loch at the Northern Woods.

Nothing is better than a picnic next to some lake (or a meer, or a loch) in a sunny day. So, get your blankets, your drinks and some snacks and head over to some of the waters of Central Park for some good time!

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