A beautiful oasis in the heart of Manhattan, the lake in Central Park is a must see for any tourist visiting here for the first time. This scenic 22 acre lake offers numerous spots where park goers can lay out a blanket and enjoy the wonderful view of the city skyline just above the trees.
The site where the lake now stands was originally a very large and untamed swamp. City planners bristled at the thought of a having a dirty swamp in their brand new park, so the swamp was packed up and moved across the Hudson river to New Jersey. By 1857, a brand new lake was installed and ready for business.
From 1858 until the mid twentieth century, park goers used the lake for ice skating in the winter months. This practice was discontinued by 1950 due to multiple complaints about Canadian visitors attacking fellow skaters with long curved sticks.
A popular pastime at the lake is a leisurely ride in a rowboat, which are available for rental at the Loeb Boathouse during the spring and summer months. The Parks Department strongly advises all visitors to rent boats from the boathouse only, and not to purchase illegal bootleg rowboats from scam artists who prey on unsuspecting tourists. Rowboats purchased on the street are not allowed in the lake.