This post covers the section of Central Park called The Ramble, including what it is, how to get there, what tours are available, and what other attractions are nearby.
- What is the Ramble?
- How to Get Here
- Nearby Attractions
- Things to Do in Central Park
- Tours of Central Park
- Things to Do in NYC
WHAT IS THE RAMBLE?
In the mid-section of Central Park, located just north of the Lake and south of the Great Lawn, you can find the Ramble, a forest-like oasis of shade, with unique plant life and birds.
This 38-acre area of the park was one of the first parts of the park to be created. Central Park is a purposefully planned park.
It was designed by two prominent men, agriculturalist Frederick Law Olmsted and British-born and trained architect Calvert Vaux.
They were sure to create a park with distinct unique areas, some with shady trees like the Ramble, others wide open, like the Great Lawn.
It is this variety of atmosphere that makes Central Park one of the greatest parks in the world.
The Ramble was deliberately placed near Bethesda Terrace, with its iconic fountain in the middle so that one can witness the juxtaposition of the formality of the terrace and the forest-like Ramble.
With winding, shaded pathways, man-made streams, and beautiful wildly landscaped flora and fauna, Olmstead called this his “wild garden.”
For more information about the flora & fauna distinct to the Rambles, see below.
TIP: There is much more to see in the mid-section in addition to the Ramble so check out our GPS-enabled audio tour of the middle section of Central Park.
Also, take a look at our post on things to do in Central Park when planning a visit to the Ramble.
HOW TO GET HERE
The Ramble is located in the middle section of Central Park. Use this Google Maps link to get exact directions from your point of departure.
- Take the A, B, or C train to the "72nd Street Station" at Central Park West (red circle)
- Take the A, B, or C train to the "81 St - Museum Of Natural History" Station (red circle)
- Take the 1, 2 or 3 train to "72nd Street Station" at Broadway
- Take the 6 train to the "77th St Station" at Lexington Avenue.
TIP: If you are new to the New York Subway, our post on navigating the NYC subway may come in handy.
By Bus: M10, M101, M2
This map shows the two closest subway stations (red circles) as well as a number of nearby attractions, listed below the map.
Nearby Attractions (in black boxes on map)
- American Museum of Natural History
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- New York Historical Society
- Belvedere Castle
- Bethesda Fountain
- Alice in Wonderland statue - a favorite with kids
- Strawberry Fields John Lennon Memorial and the Dakota
- Delacorte Theatre - home of Shakespeare in the Park summer series
- Summerstage - home of the famous, annual summer concert series
TIP: Use our GPS-enabled audio tour of the middle section of Central Park to see all the sights in that area of the park.
FLORA AND FAUNA OF THE RAMBLE
Perhaps the most endearing and unique feature of the Ramble, every plant was a deliberate part of the landscape.
The oldest plants to be found are no older than 1869 when the first trees were planted.
Some trees are native, like American sycamore, a variety of oaks (white, black, red, scarlet, and willow), and Hackberry. Others are non-native trees, like Kentucky coffee, Yellowwood, Black cherry, and Black locust.
Some of the more aggressive species have taken over in some parts of the park, and require continued upkeep.
The Ramble is also known for its exceptional bird watching as Central Park is on the Atlantic Flyway (spring/fall migration route).
Boasting over 230 species of birds, 40 of which are here year-long, this is an ideal place for professional bird watchers and novices alike.
Come with your cameras and binoculars to spot a few of the 20 species of warblers the Ramble has to offer.