Spanning 843 acres, Central Park might seem like it offers more than enough space for crowds to thin out and for you to find a quiet, secluded spot to yourself. But depending on the season, many of the most popular areas of the park can get to be quite packed.
Thankfully, with all that acreage, the park offers a lot of hidden nooks and corners to explore. If you are willing to seek them out, you can find some off-the-beaten-path spots which are perfect for a quiet picnic with your family or just to relax on your own and enjoy some fresh air and the boundless delights of nature.
Not sure where to start? Check out the list below to discover some of Central Park’s most secluded places.
1. Bank Rock Bay
You’ll discover Bank Rock Bay between 77th Street and 78th Street, west of The Ramble. The “bay” is actually a northern inlet of Central Park Lake. While it is a spectacular spot for bird-watching, surrounded by colorful foliage (it is particularly breathtaking during the fall), a lot of people miss out on it entirely.
2. Conservatory Garden
The Conservatory Garden is actually one of the best known destinations in Central Park. Because of that, it can get crowded during peak season. But it is worth a mention in this list for a couple of reasons. First of all, it is a designated quiet zone.
Secondly, the French, Italian and English-style gardens feature a number of small, quite paths to explore. You may very well be able to find some seclusion on a hidden bench among the trees and flowers.
3. East Green
If you are looking for more of a cultivated park atmosphere rather than the wild woodland ambiance of Bank Rock Bay and The Ramble, you can head to East Green. Located north of the Dene, this is another of Central Park’s designated quiet zones.
East Green tends to be less crowded than some of Central Park’s other lawns. The lush green grass offers many spots to read, picnic, exercise, or do any other quiet activity under the shade of magnolia, cherry, and crabapple trees.
4. Shakespeare Garden
If you enjoyed the Conservatory Garden, but you are still looking for something even more secluded, consider the Shakespeare Garden, which you’ll find near the Belvedere Castle and Swedish Cottage. With its narrow walkways and tall, dense bushes and trees, it is a wonderful setting for screening out both noise and crowds.
Tourists often miss the Shakespeare Garden altogether. They visit the more famous Conservatory Garden, and don’t even realize that there are other beautiful gardens in the park as well. That is something to take advantage of, whether you are a visitor or a local yourself.
5. Hallett Nature Sanctuary
You will discover this four-acre preserve at Central Park South and 5th Avenue. It has been a haven for birds and small mammals in the park since 1934. They are able to find some solitude and tranquillity in the preserve, and so can you.
6. The Blockhouse
The oldest building in the park is known as the Blockhouse. It is located at 108th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd. The history of the Blockhouse is interesting; it was a fortification constructed clear back in the early 19th century. You cannot get inside, but you can enjoy a nice view of Harlem from the Blockhouse in relative solitude.
7. Turtle Pond
Between 79th Street and 80th Street, you will find Turtle Pond, another designated quiet zone in Central Park. Watch dragonflies buzzing by you and keep an eye on the water to spot fish, frogs and (of course) turtles. This is a great place for any nature-lover to visit, but should go over especially well with children.
8. The Ravine
One more Central Park destination to add to your list to escape the hustle and bustle of the city is The Ravine. Located near 103rd Street in the North Woods, it is a manmade sanctuary which was constructed with care to resemble a wilderness environment. The trees grow densely here, hiding the skyscrapers from view, and the peaceful sound of the waterfall blocks out other noises from nearby.E
Because the spots we’ve shared above are so secluded, many of them tend to be a little bit out of the way. While this is the exact reason for their charm, it does mean that you may not have time to walk to each of them while you are visiting the park.
How can you visit more of these serene destinations? Consider taking a Central Park pedicab tour. A pedicab tour allows you to relax and get off your feet, touring more of the park within a shorter period of time. You’ll also have a friendly guide who can tell you more about each of these locations and share additional ideas for secluded spots to visit.