This fall, embrace the magic of strolling through Central Park while crisp colorful leaves drift through the air. Most of the park's fall foliage is at its peak right now, meaning you should get there ASAP to experience this autumnal wonderland in the heart of Manhattan.
The Central Park Conservancy's new fall foliage map indicates that leaves are at their peak in seven different parts of the park's 843 acres. The park is home to more than 18,000 trees, all cared for by expert arborists who keep an eye on where to find the best, brightest foliage.
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Here's the conservancy's full report on peak fall foliage locations in Central Park right now, from north to south:
1. North Woods
This rural part of the park glows in vibrant colors. As one of the park's three woodlands, the North Woods offers a peaceful, natural oasis. Find the North Woods around 101st to 110th streets.
2. Conservatory Garden
Beautiful anytime of year with its landscaped paths and formal gardens, this area shines during fall with reddish orange leaves. The fall hues make a perfect backdrop for the garden's chrysanthemum display in the jewel tones of autumn. See it on the east side of the park around 104th to 106th streets.
3. The Pool
The conservancy touts The Pool as one of the best areas for fall foliage viewing in the park. Here, you'll see red oak, hickory, tupelo, bald cypress and sugar maple trees with their festive fall colors. Plus, because The Pool offers a more secluded landscape, turtles, birds, fish and other wildlife make their home here. Don't miss the rustic bridge just east of The Pool. The Pool is located on the west side around 100th to 103rd streets, leading into the North Woods.
4. North Meadow
Continuing southward around 97th to 102nd streets, the vast North Meadow serves up views of hickory, sugar maple and flowering dogwood trees, along with a rocky, hilly terrain.
5. The Reservoir
You can't miss the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, the largest body of water in Central Park and a popular destination for runners. The Reservoir gets a lot of attention during cherry blossom season, but it's also a great spot for fall. On the west side, the Kwanzan cherry turns bronze and red in the fall, while on the east side, the yoshino cherry transforms into a sea of yellow. The Reservoir stretches from 86th to 96th streets.
6. The Ramble
Designed to look like the forests of upstate New York with winding paths, rustic bridges and densely packed plantings, The Ramble is a popular spot for bird watching. While you're keeping your eyes to the sky looking for winged creatures, also admire the colors of the red oak, sweet gum, pin oak and sassafras between 73rd and 79th streets.
7. Hallett Nature Sanctuary
Though this is the smallest of the park's woodlands, it packs a big punch with colorful black cherry, sawtooth oak, gray birch and tupelo at the southeast end of the park around 60th to 62nd streets. Grab a bench or find a spot near the scenic overlook to take a few minutes to meditate among the fall splendor.
Bonus: The Mall and Literary Walk
Technically, the yellow leaves of the American elms surrounding this formal promenade around 66th Street have passed their peak, but it's still worth stopping by to see what's left of the golden archway.
The leaves peak at different times because of variations in temperature and light in different parts of the park (sometimes referred to as “microclimates”), so get there soon to admire the rest of the leaves while they're at their finest.