Hallett Nature Sanctuary
Surrounded by the Pond at the southeast corner of Central Park is the four-acre Hallett Nature Sanctuary, a peaceful haven just feet away from some of Central Park's busiest paths.
Hallett Nature Sanctuary is one of the Park's three woodlands (along with the Ramble and North Woods). It was originally called "the Promontory" by the Park's designers. The underused and inaccessible landscape was closed to the public and preserved as a bird sanctuary by NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses in 1934, and in 1986 renamed in memory of George Hervey Hallett Jr., a birdwatcher, naturalist, and civic leader.
The sanctuary remained untouched until 2001, when the Central Park Conservancy took up its restoration and maintenance. Hallett Nature Sanctuary is a perfect example of how even the "wildest," most naturalistic habitats in Central Park require constant planning and care in order to thrive. As a result of the Conservancy's removal of invasive plant species and introduction of native plants, the sanctuary is more diverse and healthy than ever, supporting various wildlife populations. To learn more about the Hallett Nature Sanctuary from Doug Blonsky, the Conservancy's President & CEO, click here.
The absence of visitors played a large part in the Conservancy's successful restoration of the Hallett Nature Sanctuary. In fall 2013, the Conservancy began offering open hours in the sanctuary, a rare opportunity to explore one of Central Park's best-kept secrets and learn about what it takes to revitalize and care for a seemingly natural landscape.
For questions about the Hallett, please call (212) 794-4064, Tuesdays – Sundays, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Visiting the Hallett Nature Sanctuary
There are two ways to visit:
- You can explore the Hallett with Conservancy guides on an Official Tour.
- Central Park Conservancy will host open hours in the Hallett Nature Sanctuary at the following times:
April 1 - June 30
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
July 1 - August 31
Monday & Friday: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
During the month of August there will be periodic path closures in the Hallett Nature Sanctuary in order to improve the trail system.
The Hallett Nature Sanctuary remains closed on holidays. In the case of extreme temperatures or inclement weather, including heavy or prolonged rain, Hallett open hours are canceled. As space is limited, access is on a first-come, first-served basis, and may require a wait to enter. In order to balance management of the landscape and the immersive experience, visitors are allowed to enter as others leave. Sorry, no dogs, bicycles, or strollers are permitted.
The Hallett is located south of Wollman Rink. Enter at Sixth Avenue and Central Park South (closest Park entrance): Go down the stairs between the Conservancy information kiosk (left) and the statue of Jose Marti on his horse (right). As you approach the Pond at the bottom of the stairs, turn left. Follow the path up the hill. At the intersection, turn right, and shortly after, the gate will be on your right.
East Side from 60th-62nd Streets just south of Wollman Rink.