Central Park is the most-visited urban park in America, featured on the must-see list of many tourists visiting NYC. Over 40 million visitors come to the 843-acre park each year to enjoy its lush green environment, attractions, and everything to do in between. A welcome retreat from the chaos of the world outside, the Park is perfect to enjoy a tranquil stay amid a natural world and man made charms. Even though the park is world renowned, as one of the major icons of NYC, there is still a lot about the Park that people do not know. By being aware of the variety of options in the Park, you will be able to take advantage of opportunities many tourists miss.
Here are 6 things you did not know about Central Park –
- It was planned for the East Side
Yes, it’s true! The park was originally planned for the East Side of the city, and it was supposed to be on the Jones Wood Estate. Luckily, it never panned out like that, courtesy of the efforts put in by some very influential locals. If the same plan, however, had gone through this park would not exist in the center of the city, making it easily accessible.
- Sheep Meadow once had actual sheep
Until the early 30’s, Sheep Meadow had real sheep roaming the green expanse. The field was grazed solely by sheep, and you would not find tourists and locals relaxing on the grass. This is no longer the case, as it’s one of best places in the park to lay on the green grass and enjoy a peaceful moment.
- There are over 1,400 animals in the zoo
NYC has 5 popular zoos, one of them being in Central Park. Opened in 1934, this 6.5 acre zoo has seen significant growth in its number of animals over the years. Presently, over 1,400 animals are housed here including polar bears, sea lions, snow leopards, and much more.
- There’s a hidden message on the lamp posts
Many tourists think that the lamp posts they see are just that – lamp posts. This is not the case, as they are actually signs to know your location in the park. The four digit number displayed on each post denotes their actual location in the park. So, if you can decode these numbers, you can figure out your current whereabouts.
- Guided tours are available in the park
Guided bike tours are available in Central Park, where an expert rides along with you on a 2-hour journey. You will cycle along the scenic, bike-friendly paths as your guide shares historical facts about the landmarks and sights you pass. Central Park bike tours are the easiest way to visit multiple attractions in a shorter amount of time.
- Fishing is permitted there
Many people may not be aware that fishing is available in the Park. For those interested, they can head to the Harlem Meer and enjoy catch-and-release fishing for hours. This opportunity, however, is only available between April and October each year. If you choose to partake, you will receive a fishing pole, bait and some instructions absolutely free.