Turtle Pond

Turtle Pond

Of Central Park’s many man-made water bodies, Turtle Pond may have the most famous residents. No fewer than five species of turtles inhabit the Pond year-round. Adding to the appeal of this popular picnic spot are close-up views of Belvedere Castle, which towers over the Pond’s southwestern end.

The Pond’s most popular turtles are the red-eared sliders; distinguished by red spots around the ears, they spend their days sunbathing on the banks of Vista Rock, and sliding into the water to cool off. Turtle Pond is also home to snapping, painted, musk, and box turtles. When the weather turns cold, they burrow into the mud at the bottom of the Pond.

Turtle Pond is considered Central Park’s newest water body, but it was physically formed in 1937. When the receiving reservoir of the Croton Water System was filled in to create the Great Lawn, a small, jagged-edged pond remained. It was referred to as Belvedere Lake until 1987, when Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern renamed the pond in honor of its inhabitants.


Mid-Park at 80th Street

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