November 25, 2013

Central Park - My Favorite Urban Hike

Start spreading the news……hiking doesn’t always have to be in the woods.  You can hike right through the very heart of it—New York, New York.  My little town blues, they are melting away.

Of course, I’m referring to Central Park. Situated on 840 acres at the center of Manhattan in New York City, Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States.  It is 6 miles around the entire park, 2.5 miles from north to south, and .5 miles from east to west. It is a lovely place to walk, hike, or jog.  From loops to pedestrian pathways, Central Park is the place to be in New York City for anyone looking to enjoy outdoor exercise.

Here is a small glimpse of what Central Park has to offer:

Central Park starts at 59th Street and ends at 110th Street.  East to west, it extends from  Fifth Avenue to Central Park West.   Here is an interactive map of the park. 

Created by landscape designer Frederick Law Olmstead and architect Calvert Vaux in 1857, it is a visual masterpiece.   Here is more history on the park. 

No horse and buggy for me, I want to be a part of it. 

Central Park was the first landscaped public park in the United States.

Early advocates for Central Park included wealthy merchants and landowners who admired the public grounds of London and Paris.  

More than 305 films have been filmed in Central Park making it the most filmed location in the world.  

Scattered throughout the park are many bridges,  playgrounds, benches, arches, and ornamental fountains.   Here is more information on a variety of park features. 

The 15-acre Sheep Meadow was actually home to a flock of sheep from 1864 until 1934.  In 1980, the Sheep Meadow was designated as the park's first Quiet Zone. 

There are 24,000 trees in the park including 1,700 American Elms.

Located near Central Park West between 71st and 74th Streets, Strawberry Fields is a 2.5-acre area of Central Park that pays tribute to the late Beatle, John Lennon.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. 

Central Park has seven bodies of water totaling 150 acres. 

The Reservoir loop is a 1.58-mile soft surface cinder pathway.  Famous runners on this track include President Bill Clinton, Madonna, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (for whom the reservoir was named in 1994). 

The Reservoir loop offers spectacular views of the city.  Stay to the right on this path and hike or run counter clockwise.  Here is a link to running in Central Park. 

If you're not too hot and sweaty after the hike, you may enjoy the Guggenheim Museum located at 89th Street and Fifth Avenue, just steps away from Central Park.  Designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, it is now designated the youngest New York City landmark.  Here is a link to more information about the Guggenheim. 

If you enjoyed hiking in Central Park, no doubt you'll enjoy a casual stroll down the famous Fifth Avenue for some window shopping.

For hiking clothes, be sure to visit the UNIQLO store (which stands for unique clothing), the largest retail location on Fifth Avenue.  It features 100 dressing rooms and 50 cash registers. 

UNIQLO offers extra warm Heattech which has one and half times more heat retention properties than regular Heattech.   Here is more information on UNIQLO.

Not your average department store, Bergdorf Goodman is a luxury goods department store along Fifth Avenue.

Only window shopping for me at Bergdorf Goodman. 

How about some Breakfast at Tiffany's?  

Just like Holly Golightly,  Tiffany's is only a dream for me. 

Hope you've enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed visiting New York City.  I want to wake up in that city that doesn't sleep, but for now, these hiking boots are longing to stray so I can "Keep On Hiking."

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