Central Park Woodland Walk: The North Woods

Stroll through an idyllic landscape designed to bring a taste of the Adirondacks to Central Park.

Found in the northwest corner of Central Park, the 40-acre North Woods offers a taste of the peaceful Adirondack Mountains. Under the cover of soaring trees, visitors can wander along winding paths to enjoy the wilderness of the Ravine, birdwatch, or gaze over the waters of the Loch.

Visitors on the North Woods Tour will see historic arches, breathe fresh air in the quiet woods, hear the sounds of a waterfall, watch birds at the Pool, and enjoy the tranquility of Central Park’s largest woodland.

Constructed from 1857 to 1873, Central Park is a unique and long-recognized masterpiece of landscape architecture. For Olmsted and Vaux, the Park was a “single unified work of art,” where visitors could experience varied, but seamlessly connected landscapes. Like every other work of art, the Park is entirely man-made. Its only natural feature is the metamorphic rock, called Manhattan schist, that’s approximately 450 million years old. To create the Park’s naturalistic lakes and streams, low-lying swamps were drained; to create the Park’s vast, undulating meadows, swampland was filled with soil, and rock outcrops were leveled with gunpowder; to create the Park’s three woodland areas, barren rock-strewn slopes were planted with millions of trees, shrubs, and vines.

As you walk along the Park’s paths, notice how scenery changes with the weather conditions and times of day. Come back throughout the year and marvel at the difference that seasonal foliage and vegetation bring to each carefully composed landscape.

This tour is roughly half a mile long and should take about 30 minutes to complete.

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Tour Highlights