Central Park Running Tour

43 Ratings
  • Live Guide
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Group Tour
  • E-Ticket

“Nature first, second, and third -- architecture after a while,” was the motto of the Central Park architects. It’s hard to imagine that everything in Central Park was put there by design, but that’s exactly what you’ll experience on The Lower Central Park running tour. The lower portion of the park features the most ambitious landscape architecture ever implemented in the United States and magically escorts the viewer out of the city and into a peaceful park surrounding.

Itinerary Details

Operated by: City Running Tours New York City

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Pass By: Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle, named for Christopher Columbus, is a major landmark and point of attraction in Manhattan. Completed in 1905 and renovated a century later, it is located at the intersection of Broadway, Central Park West, Central Park South (59th Street), and Eighth Avenue, at the southwest corner of Central Park. The traffic circle was designed by William P. Eno, a businessman who pioneered many early innovations in road safety and traffic control, as part of Frederick Law Olmsted's vision for the park, which included a "Grand Circle" at Merchants' Gate, its most important Eighth Avenue entrance.

Stop At: The Dakota

The Dakota, constructed from October 25, 1880 to October 27, 1884. The architectural firm of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh was commissioned to do the design for Edward Clark, head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The firm also designed the Plaza Hotel.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Strawberry Fields, John Lennon Memorial

Strawberry Fields is a 2.5 acre area of Central Park that pays tribute to the late Beatle, John Lennon, singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist. To commemorate his life, talents and memory, on March 26, 1981, City Council Member Henry J. Stern designated this area, the Lennon and Ono’s favorite in Central Park, as Strawberry Fields. Named after the title of the Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever," the teardrop shaped region was re-landscaped by the Central Park Conservancy with the help of landscape architect Bruce Kelley and a generous $1 million donation from Yoko Ono.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Bethesda Terrace

Offering breathtaking views of both the Central Park Lake and woods, the Bethesda Terrace, located at 72nd Street Cross Drive, is an architectural marvel. The terrace was one of the very first structures to have been built in Central Park; its construction began in 1859, continued throughout the Civil War, and was completed in 1863.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Bow Bridge

This handsomely designed cast-iron bridge measures a total of 87 feet and spans across 60 feet of the Lake, linking the flowering landscape of Cherry Hill with the sprawling woodland of the Ramble.

Duration: 2 minutes

Stop At: The Ramble

The lush Central Park woodland, known as the Ramble, is composed of 38 acres of winding pathways between 73rd and 78th streets.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Belvedere Castle

Named for the Italian meaning "beautiful view," Central Park's Belvedere Castle offers park goers exactly what its name implies. With its two balconies, it supplies wonderful panoramic views that include some of Central Park's most beautiful and famous landmarks: the Delacorte Theater, the Great Lawn, the Turtle Pond and the Ramble.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Seneca Village

During the first half of the 19th century, it was home to Seneca Village, a community of predominantly African-Americans, many of whom owned property. It ran from W 83rd Street to W 89th Street.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Cleopatra's Needle

Though often referred to by its nickname, Cleopatra's Needle, this ancient artifact was in fact commissioned by Pharaoh Thutmosis III around 1450 BC in celebration of his 3rd jubilee (or the 30th year of his reign).

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Central Park Zoo

Since the 1860's, animals have been found at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street in Central Park. At first, the collection was simply a growing group of donated animals - from 72 "white swans" to a black bear cub.

Duration: 5 minutes
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