Harlem Meer

Harlem Meer

The northern end of the park was the last to be constructed as the blocks from 106th to 110th Sts. were the last to be purchased. Nestled up in the north east corner is the Harlem Meer, at 11 acres the second largest manmade body of water inside the park and, since its renovation during the mid-nineties, considered to be one of the loveliest.

Meer is a Dutch word meaning lake and is a nod to the original Dutch roots of the name Harlem. The creation of the Meer itself was not near as straightforward a process. While Olmsted’s brilliance in design is celebrated universally his abilities as a manager, especially dealing with the arcane parochialism (nice way of saying corruption) that constituted much of New York’s political landscape at the time, were relatively pedestrian. By 1861 the comptroller Andrew H. Green was in charge of most of the day to day operations involved in the construction of the park, while Olmsted was relegated to a more advisory position. Green was able to complete construction of the northern end of park under budget. He faithfully executed Olmsted and Vaux’s plan to retain the northern end’s rugged topography. What was once a swamp was now the lovely Harlem Meer, to which was added the naturally beautiful waterfall at the end of the Ravine.

By the early 1950’s the Meer had exchanged it’s easy going charm for a more fenced in, concrete aproned look. But in 1993, the Meer’s shoreline was returned to Olmsted’s original vision. Now you can see families gathering during the day and early evening to take advantage of this very relaxing setting. Surrounding the Meer are some of the Park’s most impressive trees: oak, bald cypress, beech, and ginkgo (some of which are considered heritage trees which were probably there before the park was built.)

Around the Meer there are a great variety of family-related activities: catch-and-release fishing; two playgrounds with water features; Park-related tours and exhibits and talks at The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center; the nearby Conservatory Garden; and Lasker Rink for skating or swimming.
There is a summer jazz festival every year and dancing on the terrace at 110th Street adjacent to The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center while the sun goes down.

Location: Eastside from 106th to 110th Street

Walking Tour Overview

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Book Risk Free: Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Free reschedule or full refund in case of bad weather
  • Tickets: Both printed and mobile tickets accepted

The walking tour covers all most beautiful sights of the southern half of Central Park. You will walk through some of the 58 miles of trails the park has to offer passing a lake, rocky outcrops, bridges, arches, sculptures and more.
This tour takes you off the beaten path to sights both the bikes and pedicabs cannot reach - book here.

Bicycle Tour Overview

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Book Risk Free: Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Free reschedule or full refund in case of bad weather
  • Tickets: Both printed and mobile tickets accepted

The bicycle tour provides a complete journey through 843 acres of Central Park, guaranteeing that you will see the most out of any tour available. Your tour guide will provide background information, historical insight, and point out some of the most photogenic sites for you to capture photos!
This tour covers about six miles in a casual, smooth pace with lots of stops for walking and photos. It's the ultimate way to discover Central Park - book here.

Pedicab Tour Overview

  • Duration: 1 hour, 2 hours or 3 hours
  • Book Risk Free: Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Free reschedule or full refund in case of bad weather
  • Tickets: Both printed and mobile tickets accepted

The most comfortable way to explore Central Park. No need to walk or peddle - just sit, lay back and enjoy beautiful views and insightful commentary.
This is a private tour for you and your party. A complete, relaxed, and personalized experience of Central Park. You can choose from 1 hour, 2 hours or 3 hours tour options.  Custom pick up/drop off spots are available too - book here.

Combination Tour Overview

  • Duration: 2 hours or 3 hours
  • Book Risk Free: Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Free reschedule or full refund in case of bad weather
  • Tickets: Both printed and mobile tickets accepted

The Combined Pedicab & Bicycle Tour is ideal for parties when one part part prefers to ride their own bikes, and another part prefers the comfort of the pedicab – on this tour all the group will stay together and have stops for walking and group pictures - book here.


About Central Park

Find all the information you need to enjoy your visit to New York City's iconic Central Park.


Things To Do

From The Philharmonic on the Great Lawn to Shakespeare in the Park to SummerStage, Central Park offers an endless array of things to do, see, hear - and, with two full service restaurants and several cafes, taste.  You can visit The Shakespeare Garden, take in a performance at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, take a ride on the Carousel - or just sit and people watch at Bethesda Terrace!


Contact Us

Contact Info

5th Ave. 
New York, NY, 10028

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