Harlem Meer

Located in the northern-most reach of the Park, the Harlem Meer is a glimmering, man-made lake surrounded by majestic stands of oak, bald cypress, beech, and ginko trees.

Families flock to the Meer for catch-and-release fishing, skating and swimming at Lasker Rink and Pool, or to explore the nearby playgrounds. On the northern shore of the Meer stands the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, a visitor center run by the Conservancy.

Before Harlem became part of New York City in 1712, it was a bustling village that included the current upper regions of Central Park. The village encompassed common grounds for cattle grazing, taverns for travelers to restore themselves, and the homes of Dutch families that traded fur and tobacco. The name “Meer” (the Dutch word for "lake”) was chosen by Central Park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to commemorate this fascinating history.