Park 79 Hotel, as often remarked upon by our guests, enjoys a terrific location: heart of the Upper West Side rich in historic brownstone homes and elegant apartment houses, national brand stores and chic boutiques. There are street fairs, grand museums, terrific restaurants and pubs, the best transportation in the city (we think!); Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, universities and conservatories. Even with these highlights, guest comments always include Central Park. Without fail: CENTRAL PARK! We agree. This is our garden, and just a walk through charming Theodore Roosevelt Park at the American Museum of Natural History.
Here we highlight the deeply forested enclaves of Central Park beckoning adventurous visitors–and New Yorkers. City sounds disappear, all quiet here. Water falling, woodland birds hiding, maybe a quiet picnic blanket…and you.
Hallet Nature Sanctuary East Side, 60-62nd Streets
April through October, only guided tours bring visitors. A rare opportunity to explore one of Central Park’s best-kept secrets and learn of the revitalization of a seemingly natural landscape. Please visit the Events Calendar of the website for the next opportunity to visit the Hallett Nature Sanctuary.
The Ramble Mid-Park from 73rd to 79th Streets.
The Ramble is a 38-acre “wild garden.” Escape the city’s clamor and be lost in a true forest setting. As amazingly wild and natural it seems, except for the bedrock, it is entirely artificial. Even the water running in the stream and the adjacent Lake is turned on and off like a faucet. Some of the trees date back to 1859 when the Ramble was planted. Here, find a thriving wildlife habitat. The Central Park Conservancy carefully monitors and guards this woodland successfully, especially considering that more than 25 million people enjoy Central Park each year. Because of its location on the Atlantic Flyway of migrating birds in the spring and fall, the Ramble is the park’s center of birding activity. Over 230 species have been spotted, while over 40 other species remain in the Park all year long.
Park highlights close to The Ramble, to be enjoyed along with this woodland adventure, are:
The Pool Enter Central Park West/100-103rd Street
Here a natural stream has been dammed by the original designers, Olmstead and Vaux, offering grassy banks, weeping willows, and rushing waterfall. The water gushing out of a grotto on the Pool’s southern shoreline is actually the city’s drinking water from a pipe hidden deep in the rocks. Many species of birds, fish, and amphibians are found at The Pool, and local residents consider this haven as their private Eden.
The North Woods West 103rd Street
Perhaps the most secluded and peaceful area of Central Park, the North Woods seems more a corner of the Adirondack Mountains, just a few subway stops away from Times Square. This is one of the Park’s three woodlands offering people and wildlife an oasis of nature in the middle of New York City. Fallen trees, are left where they land (unless hazardous or obscuring paths), providing nutrients to surrounding plants, homes to wildlife and a natural look to the landscape.
The Ravine Deep within The North Woods
Though designed to resemble the Adirondack wilderness, the Ravine, as all of Central Park, is completely man made. The Loch, a stream that flows through the North Woods is dammed in several places to create the cascades of the Ravine.
Both iPod and Android have apps to bring Central Park alive!