Summit Rock

At more than 140 feet, Summit Rock is a massive bedrock outcrop and the highest natural elevation in Central Park.

Visitors can journey up the south slope’s carved stone stairs to enjoy the vista at the peak, sunbathe on the lawn, or sit at the stone “amphitheater” with views to the wooded slopes to the south and east.

Before the creation of Central Park, Summit Rock was a prominent feature in Seneca Village, the predominantly African-American community that existed in the West 80s from 1825 to 1857.

The rock outcrop commanded views in all directions, including of Seneca Village and west to the Hudson River and beyond to the hills of New Jersey. You can still see the river though the corridor of 83rd Street. When Central Park was constructed, the elevation made it a natural place for designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to build a carriage and pedestrian overlook.

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