The other day I explored Central Park, I read on the site about waterfalls in the park and on a whim I decided find them for myself. I used the information on Central Park’s site as a starting point for my search. I got off the C train at the 81st street stop in order make a little hike out of it and following the site’s directions I meandered up towards 102nd, hitting some beautiful little spots along the way.
The first landmark I came across was the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (or Central Park) Reservoir. While I’ve seen the classic aerial photos of the park with the large bodies of water in it, seeing one of them close up was stunning.
There’s also a really lovely walking trail around the reservoir that measures a little over four miles. I had a goal in place today, so I didn’t take this loop, but I’d like to go back and stroll around it sometime.
After heading further up I came across the Tennis Courts, I mainly stopped here for the public restroom, but the view of tennis courts stretching across the park seemed picture worthy.
I then structured the rest of my hike around major landmarks, using only Central Park maps periodically displayed on sign posts to guide me toward The Loch, where I knew I had follow the stream running off to find the falls. Once I made my way to the Loch it was run over with tourists taking photos of the foliage. To their credit, there was a lot of picturesque scenery here, but I didn’t want to wait in line to get a photo of a tree, so I found the stream and began following it into the North Woods.
The North Woods are a beautiful and unexpected section of the park. It’s a protected and conserved forest area in the middle of Manhattan. After moseying about in the woods for some time I stopped to eat some lunch and this was my view. But while it certainly looks remote, I was constantly reminded that I was, in fact, in Manhattan. All around (you can see it in the picture) was a thin fence denoting where people are allowed to walk, as I sat a police cruiser rolled by on the path making a routine check, and in the distance the din of horns and sirens was still audible.
After stopping for a break, I pressed on. I had passed a few smaller falls closer to the mouth of the stream, but I still hadn’t seen the one in the photo on the site, so I figured there must be one further in. Fortunately I had some help from the Central Park Conservancy on Twitter:
Finally, I found it. While it’s clearly a man made structure (notice the concrete slabs) there was still something tranquil about watching this waterfall as all around the sounds and chaos of Manhattan were drowned out.