Secrets of Central Park

Secrets of Central Park

Central Park is one of the most iconic landmarks in New York City, attracting millions of visitors every year. Over 400 movies have been filmed in Central Park, making it one of the most recognizable locations on the planet.  But beyond the well-trodden paths and popular attractions, there are many secrets and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Let’s explore some of the secrets of Central Park that may even surprise New York City locals. 

  1. The Hidden Waterfalls

Did you know that Central Park is home to five waterfalls? That’s right. Like most of Central Park’s water features, the waterfalls are man made. Most are located in an area on the northern end of the park known as the Ravine.

Most visitors to Central Park are familiar with the Bethesda Fountain and its surrounding area, but few know about the hidden waterfall just a short walk away. Follow the path down the hill from the fountain to find a peaceful waterfall surrounded by lush greenery. It’s the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The area of Central Park is known as the Ramble. You might want to go with a licensed NYC tour guide, as even locals get lost in the Ramble.

These waterfalls are the perfect place to find a moment of zen in the bustling city. The Central Park waterfalls are typically free of people, though occasionally you’ll find a local walking their dog or doing a brief outdoor meditation. See if you can find all five waterfalls. If you do, you can truly call yourself a New Yorker. 


  1. The Secret Garden

If you’re looking for a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, head to the Conservatory Garden in the northeast corner of Central Park. This hidden gem features beautiful fountains, meticulously maintained flower beds, and plenty of benches to relax on. It’s the perfect place to unwind and recharge.

Conservatory Garden is actually comprised of three gardens based on three different garden design styles. You will find French, Italian, and English Gardens. Each Garden has a distinctive look and different flora and fauna.

The English Garden is the southernmost in the Conservatory Garden. In the heart of this garden you’ll find a beautiful fountain depicting what appears to be two children, perhaps even nymphs, playing. This is the Burnett Fountain, named for Frances Hodgson Burnett, who wrote The Secret Garden. The figures on the fountain are supposed to evoke the spirits of two characters in The Secret Garden, Mary and Dickon. 


  1. The Bow Bridge

The Bow Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Central Park, but did you know that it’s also one of the best spots for a romantic photo op? The bridge offers stunning views of the city skyline and the surrounding foliage, making it the perfect backdrop for a memorable photo. If you are fans of Spider-Man, this is also where a heartbreaking scene in Spider-Man 3 was filmed. This is indeed the bridge where Mary Jane broke up with Peter Parker.


  1. The Great Lawn

The Great Lawn is one of the largest open spaces in Central Park, and it’s a popular spot for picnics and outdoor activities. But did you know that it was once a massive reservoir that supplied drinking water to the city? Today, the reservoir has been drained and replaced with the Great Lawn, but you can still see remnants of the old infrastructure if you look closely.

The Great Lawn has also been host to some incredible concerts. In 1981, Simon and Garfunkel performed here, bringing in more than 500,000 people to Central Park’s Great Lawn! Ten years later, Paul Simon would perform solo for 600,000 people in the Great Lawn. The Met Opera and New York Philharmonic perform annually in the Great Lawn.

Other memorable events in Central Park’s Great Lawn include the premiere of Walt Disney’s Pocahontas, and an open-air mass led by Pope John Paul II.


  1. Balto

The Balto statue is a beloved monument located in Central Park, New York City. Erected in 1925, the statue commemorates the heroic efforts of a sled dog named Balto, and his team of canines, who helped transport vital medicine to the remote town of Nome, Alaska during a diphtheria outbreak in 1925. The statue features a bronze figure of Balto with his head raised high, standing atop a granite pedestal inscribed with the names of the other dogs on his team. The statue has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike and serves as a reminder of the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and selflessness in the face of adversity. Balto was actually present for his statue’s unveiling, making him the only subject to be present for his Central Park statue’s unveiling. 


  1. Harlem Meer

Harlem Meer is a picturesque lake located in the northeastern corner of Central Park in New York City. The name “Meer” means “lake” in Dutch, and it was named after the neighborhood’s original Dutch settlers. The lake is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and bird-watching, with a variety of fish and waterfowl species inhabiting the area. Visitors can also take a stroll around the Meer’s walking path or relax on one of the many benches situated along the shore. In the summer months, the lake hosts a variety of cultural events, including concerts and festivals, making it a hub of activity and a vibrant gathering place for the Harlem community and beyond.


While exploring these secrets of Central Park, take lots of photos. When you are done, send your photos to so they can be displayed for all on our giant Times Square billboard! 

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