Summit Rock – Central Park’s Hidden Peak

Overhead View of Central Park

Just a few feet from the softball players and sunbathers on the Great Lawn is one of Central Park’s most remarkable features. Summit Rock, on the western edge of Central Park at 83rd St., is the highest natural elevation in the park. Peaking at 137.5, it stands just a few feet above Vista Rock, home of Belvedere Castle. Shielded from the park drive by a thick grove of trees, it is sometimes overlooked by park visitors. It is just north of the site once occupied by the 19th century community of Seneca Village and legend has it that it was traditionally used by the local Native Americans as a meeting place that possessed intrinsic mystical significance.

It can be approached from either the north or south sides, however the path on the southside, just north of Diana Ross playground, is definitely more dramatic. It starts as a gently sloping trail that leads to a stone stairway, cut into the side of the hill. At the top there is a small meadow, while on the eastern side there is a flag stone terrace. On the western side, if you peak through the trees directly up 83rd St., you can see New Jersey. Just in case you were worried it had gone somewhere!

In 1921 an equestrian statue of South American statesman Simon Bolivar was erected on the site and the Bolivar Apartments still stand just across the street. In 1951 it was moved to a . . . → Read More: Summit Rock – Central Park’s Hidden Peak

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