Ramble Stone Arch

The Ramble Stone Arch is one of the most distinctive architectural features in the Ramble, the most well-known of the Park’s woodland landscapes.

Located in the northern section of the Ramble, the bridge was constructed with rough-hewn stones between two massive rock outcroppings, making the arch blend with the scenery. Walking through the narrow archway suggests the feeling of traversing a gorge or ravine. The top of the arch offers a vantage point with beautiful views of the surrounding trees. Its shape echoes the Natural Bridge of Virginia, one of America’s most popular natural attractions at the time Central Park was built.

Central Park’s arches and bridges are an integral part of its circulation system. The Park’s designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, created an intricate system of pedestrian paths, a bridle path, and carriage drives to allow visitors to experience the Park’s landscapes in a variety of ways. However, for this system to work safely and in a relatively small space, it had to limit interactions between potentially conflicting forms of traffic. The Park’s arches and bridges separate this traffic by carrying one form of transportation over another.

Between 1859 and 1866, 27 arches and bridges were built in Central Park. All were designed by Vaux—in some cases with the assistance of fellow architect Jacob Wrey Mould. Each one is unique, designed with various materials and decorative motifs and with careful consideration of its placement in the landscape. Over time, six arches and bridges were added and three were removed, bringing the total to 30 ornamental bridges and arches in the Park today. There are also additional bridges in the Park’s woodlands that are smaller, constructed with wood, and typically cross over streams.

Another key part of this circulation system are the transverse roads that allow City traffic to cross the Park. The transverse roads are sunken below the grade of the Park with bridges crossing over them. These bridges were designed as more utilitarian structures and weren’t intended to be seen—but they allow pedestrians and other traffic to seamlessly move through the Park. There are 13 transverse road bridges (one of which, Denesmouth, is also considered an ornamental bridge).

A couple about to walk through the arch in summer

Give Back to the Park

Arches and bridges support every visitor’s journey through Central Park. You can support these integral structures by helping the Central Park Conservancy maintain them and the landscapes that surround them.

Donate Now

Also in the area