Hallett Nature Sanctuary

This four-acre woodland is located on a rocky hill overlooking the Pond in the southeast corner of Central Park.

The smallest of the Park’s three woodland landscapes, the Hallett Nature Sanctuary offers visitors an intimate experience of nature just steps from the busy streets of midtown. Rustic trails wind up and down the hill, leading to various overlooks and sitting areas near the shore of the Pond.

Originally called “The Promontory” by the Park’s designers, the rocky hill was a prominent feature in the landscape, but without any walking paths it was not a place that visitors could explore. In the 1930s, it was fenced off and designated a bird sanctuary. In 1986, it was renamed in honor of George Hervey Hallett, Jr., an activist, nature enthusiast, and birder. Still closed to the public and very minimally cared for, it became overrun with invasive plants and feral cats. In the early 2000s, the Central Park Conservancy began a program to restore the Hallett, which included the removal of invasive plants, the addition of more native plants, and the creation of trails for public access. We completed this major restoration project in 2016.

Stroll around the Hallett Nature Sanctuary

Join us for a virtual stroll through this woodland landscape and listen for the calls of some of the hundreds of bird species that fly through the Park each year.

View with audio description

Also in the area

Read more

  • Park Information

    How to be an Instagram Pro in Central Park

    Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an amateur wielding a phone, here are some of our favorite shutter-worthy spots in the winter.

    Tags: Winter

  • Things to See and Do

    Make Central Park a Part of Your Thanksgiving Tradition

    Celebrating Thanksgiving in New York City can be especially magical, and we want to help you make lasting memories.

    Tags: Families / Fall / Tips for Visiting

  • Things to See and Do

    10 Date Ideas in Central Park

    Whether you're visiting for a first date or a longtime anniversary, here are 10 ideas for a fun getaway in the Park.

    Tags: Tips for Visiting

  • Restoration and Maintenance

    The Story Behind Central Park’s Rustic Architecture

    Rustic architecture has been an instrumental part of the Park’s design since its creation in 1858, and that tradition continues today through our Conservancy staff.

    Tags: Rustic Architecture / History

  • Wildlife

    From Central Park to Central Mexico: The Great Monarch Butterfly Migration

    When it comes to skipping town—and the cold—Central Park’s monarch butterflies go the distance: a pilgrimage that starts in southern Canada and the northeastern United States and ends in Mexico.

    Tags: Conservancy Staff / Spring / Flowers / Pollinators / Nature Lovers

  • Wildlife

    Flying in Plain Sight: The Bats of Central Park

    Nine species of bats live in New York State, and Central Park’s 843 acres of sprawling meadows, woodlands, and water bodies play a crucial role in their health.

    Tags: Pollinators / Nature Lovers

  • Restoration and Maintenance

    A Year of Improvements: Planning, Design & Construction in Central Park

    Whether we're improving access or rebuilding infrastructure, the Conservancy works year-round to preserve the Park.