The Dene

The Dene is a quintessential Central Park landscape. Its name, an English word for “valley,” evokes its topography created by steep hills and dramatic rock outcrops.

Located in a busy section of the Park near the Mall and the Central Park Zoo, this small landscape feels especially peaceful. The rustic summerhouse perched on a huge rock outcrop high above the Dene is a focal point in the landscape as well as a place to rest and take in the views. The area’s Billy Johnson Playground is one of the Park’s most distinctive playgrounds, popular for its design inspired by the surrounding landscape.

In addition to the various rock outcrops often used for climbing and exploring, visitors can also explore Dene Slope, a meadow planted with native grasses and wildflowers.

The Dene in spring, with the skyline visible behind budding branches, and a rustic summerhouse in the background.

Support the Park

Become an honorary gardener and keep Central Park blooming by contributing to the Central Park Conservancy’s work.

Donate Now

Also in the area