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Monday, December 25, 2023

Central Park Lagoons

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023

The Central Park lagoons are part of the park's most visited attractions. They range from small ponds like the Conservatory Water to the huge Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, central park, NY

See also:

 What to see in Central Park?

Get to know the lagoons ordered from south to north to facilitate your tour (in the Central Park guide you can review the other places of interest):

1.The Pond

To the southeast of the park - at the corner of 5th Avenue and Central Park South- is located The Pond, the fourth largest lake in Central Park with an area of ​​about 1.4 hectares.

The pond, central park
The pond, central park

This pond is in a kind of valley below street level, so the noise of the city disappears and peace is surprising in the middle of one of the noisiest cities on the planet.

The Pond is renowned for being a refuge for migratory birds and for the beautiful views at sunset.

Towards the north end of The Pond is the beautiful Gapstow Bridge that you see in the photo.

2.The Lake

Central park Lake
The lake, central park

Between 72nd and 77th streets to the west of Central Park is The Lake, one of the largest Central Park lagoons (second only to the Reservoir).

It is the lake crossed by the romantic Bow Bridge, the most photographed bridge in Central Park.

Bow Bridge
Bow Bridge, central park, NY

It is part of the original design by landscape designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. It was designed so that small boats could navigate in summer and in winter it became a skating rink.

Today the boats still ply The Lake, but since 1950 it is not allowed to skate when it freezes.

In the history of cinema we will see important actors rowing on this lake. For example, Jane Fonda and Rod Taylor in Sunday in New York (1964), or Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford almost a decade later in The way we were (1973). Check out other movies filmed in Central Park.

3. Conservatory Water

Conservatory water, central park, NY
Conservatory water 

The Conservatory Water, located to the east of the park between 75th and 75th streets, is not part of the original design, it was incorporated later for the navigation of scale and remote-controlled boats.

Here adults and children come to play with these scale models. If you are traveling with children you can rent little boats around the pool to navigate them.

Next to the pond you will find the famous climbable statues of Alice in Wonderland and Hans Christian Andersen.

4.Turtle Pond

At the foot of Belvedere Castle lies Turtle Pond, at 79th Street, right in the middle of the park.

Turtle pond, central park
Turtle pond, central park, NY

This pond gets its name from the more than 5 species of turtles that inhabit it, many of them were once pets that needed a bigger house when they grew up and they found it in the Turtle Pond.

It's close to the Delacorte Theater - where the Shakespeare in the Park Theater Festival takes place in the summer - and the Shakespeare Garden.

5.The Reservoir

Central park reservoir
Central park reservoir

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is the number one lagoon in Central Park. It stretches between 86th and 96th streets the width of the park.

It was built between 1858 and 1862 as a drinking water reservoir for the city of New York. Today it only feeds the other lakes in Central Park.

Scenic Running Track

Running track, central park
Running track, central park

The Reservoir is known for having one of the most scenic running tracks in the world along its perimeter.

An interesting fact is that it bears its name in homage to Jackie Kennedy Onassis who regularly ran on this track, like other celebrities such as Bill Clinton and Madonna.

Woody Allen lovers will remember an important scene from Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) in which Allen walks along this track reflecting on the meaning of life.

This 2.54 kilometre long track is sportsmen's territory, so look carefully when you walk that here they have the preference (read more about sports in Central Park ).

6.Harlem Meer

At the northeast end of Central Park, between 106th and 110th streets, this lake is located with a name that reminds us that New York, before being an English colony, was New Amsterdam, a Dutch colony.

Harlem meer
Harlem meer, central park
Image source: Flickr/ajay_suresh

The Harlem Meer is small, only about 11 acres. The interesting thing is that fishing is allowed on the condition that the fish are returned to the water (a sport called  catch-and - release fishing in English).

Another feature is that it is surrounded by huge trees, making it an ideal place to isolate yourself from urban New York for a while. A place to visit when in Harlem.

Other Central Park attractions:

  • Central Park Statues
  • Sports in Central Park
  • Events in Central Park


Thanks for reading Central Park Lagoons

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