One of the most popular spots for running in Central Park, this 1.58-mile loop is prized for its views of the Reservoir and the surrounding cityscape.
Walkers are also welcome to keep with the counterclockwise flow of traffic—just be aware of hopeful marathoners breezing past.
Although a path always encircled the Reservoir, it was primarily for maintenance and it was not regularly used for running until the 1960s, when running became more widespread as a fitness activity. The loop was further popularized following the 1976 film Marathon Man, in which Dustin Hoffman, the film’s star, regularly runs around the Reservoir.
Originally, the Reservoir was encircled by a cast-iron fence, but this was replaced in 1926 with a seven-foot-high chain-link fence, which obscured views. In 2003, the Central Park Conservancy completed a project to reconstruct a new fence. The design of the replica was based in part on a section of the fence that was discovered by scuba divers at the bottom of the Reservoir. The new fence was fabricated with steel posts, rails, and pickets with cast-iron finials. The lower and more ornamental fence greatly opened views from the track, allowing runners and all visitors to better enjoy the scenic beauty of the Reservoir.
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A gift of friendship from the government of Japan in 1912, Central Park's blooming Yoshino cherry trees are not to be missed!
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Want to get moving in New York City’s backyard? We’ve got you covered.
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The TCS New York City Marathon has always had a deep connection to Central Park.