The Loch is part of the ninety acre northern section of the park known as the North Woods. It connects The Pool to the south and Lasker Rink to the north and lies at the bottom of The Ravine, the only stream valley in Central Park. At the south end is Glen Span Arch, a rather impressive rustic stone arch, and at the north end is Huddlestone Arch, one of the park’s most picturesque bridges. Sitting along the Loch on a deep summer’s day, listening to the frothy chatter of one of the cascades, smelling the forsythia, it would be easy to imagine yourself deep in a northern forest, miles from the honking clangor of the city streets just a thousand yards away.

While the Loch seems to be a pristine and natural woodland setting it is in fact a very carefully executed component of the park topology. Besides the beautifully crafted fountains and meticulously planned walkways, besides the Sheepfold that houses Tavern on the Green and the Carousel that thrills thousands of children every year, the Loch represents one of the more subtle examples of Olmsted and Vaux’s artistry. What is perhaps most representative of their genius is the fact that virtually none of the park’s 843 acres are natural or pristine. Almost every square foot was carefully designed and meticulously laid out. In fact Central Park is probably the most successful, and least noticeable, example of cosmetic surgery in all of Upper Manhattan.

Location: Mid-Park from 102nd to 106th Streets