Central Park Outer Loop

A 6-mile loop around New York City's iconic Central Park.

Hiking Easy

Distance
9.8 km
Ascent
103 m
Descent
103 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
5 m
High Point
36 m
Gradient
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Central Park Outer Loop Map

Description

With nearly 40 million visitors a year, Central Park is one of the busiest tourist attractions in the world. Its geographic prominence makes it one of the most iconic and internationally recognized landmarks in New York City.

The idea for the park was conceived in the mid-1800s during a time of massive population growth in NYC. The boulder-ridden swamp it used to be has now been groomed into a beautiful, iconic landmark and the centerpiece of the city. Though the years, the park has seen drastic changes and improvements and now serves as the most popular destination in NYC for a hike, run, bike ride—or whatever you're into.

Accessing the park by car can be a daunting task, but there are countless options for you. Parking garages, metered parking, and other options exist, though public transportation is another popular option to get there. For a comprehensive list of options, visit the park's website: https://www.centralpark.com/visitor-info/parking/

This 6-mile route around the park follows the outermost paved loop and is accessible at countless points. At the 10k mark, this loop is popular among runners and hikers alike. In many cases, an adjacent trail or mixed surface pathway parallels the road. Do not be afraid to venture off the path and explore the beautiful architecture, picturesque ponds, and wonderful scenery that Central Park has to offer. At times, it's often easy to forget that you're tucked into the middle of Manhattan.

In addition to the 4-mile loop, this route circles around the Great Hill and Laser Rink to the north, and the Central Park Carousel and Sheep Meadow to the south.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CentralPark#History https://www.centralpark.com/news/central-park-third-visited-tourist-attraction-world/

Difficulty

Easy

Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area