12 HIDDEN SECRETS in Central Park | New York City

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Hey what’s up everybody? It is a beautiful day and I’m hanging out in Central Park, my favorite place in the City. And today I’m gonna take you around and show you some of the hidden secrets in the Park, like where to find a hidden nature sanctuary, how to navigate using the lampposts, and even where to find some ruins.

But my favorite is the forbidden cave. People have no idea that just across the pond there is the secret bird sanctuary. There’s only one entrance, and it’s guarded by a lady with a clipboard. The sanctuary’s only open for a few hours a week, so make sure you check the schedule so you can actually get in here. But it’s got some nice views over the lake and they’re always adding new trails so it’s exciting to come in here.

Cute. I love the sanctuary, if you want to see a lot more of it, click the link up here, because I made an entire video all about just the sanctuary. Next hidden secret is right between Heckscher Playground and the Heckscher Ballfields: It’s Rat Rock. Which isn’t a secret because it’s a giant rock in the middle of the Park. The secret is that it’s great for bouldering.

You can see all the chalk from people’s hands as they’ve been climbing around this thing. It’s a little beyond my ability but it’s got some pretty good handholds here. Maybe I could do it. Carousel’s over 100 years old! Oh-la-la.

There’s the dairy. There’s the checker’s house. There. And through that tunnel back there was the carousel.

When Olmsted and Vaux create the Park, they put all these fun stuff all close together because this was supposed to be like the kid’s area. Now, this bad boy here predates the Park. It’s an original survey bolt from 1809. So it’s over 200 years it’s been sitting there.

Ah, Central Park wants to keep the location of this thing a secret so it doesn’t get vandalized, so I’m not gonna tell you exactly where it is, but think of where the roads intersect and check those intersections, and that’s how I found it. The Mall is by no means a secret, but it’s fantastic and you should come here anyways. Coming up on Bethesda Terrace, you’ve got these little sculptures in here. It’s the day: so there’s sunrise, wake up, do your work, and then you come home and do your reading, it gets dark out and the owls come and play, and then apparently it turns into halloween. Probably the most useful secret you’re gonna learn today, is right here in the middle of Bethesda Terrace, you’ve got bathrooms. There’s men’s, women’s behind me.

If you want a better view of the Bow Bridge, just come over here, jump up on this rock, and there you go. Do NOT take what these guys give you. They’re NOT real monks.

TOTAL SCAM. Super easy to get lost in the Ramble, so there’s a lot of hidden secrets in here, but my favorite is the forbidden cave. If you follow the edge of the lake, you’ll eventually find this. The cave is directly below this.

Ok? And the way to get down there… is through here. You take the steps.

Now this is sealed off, obviously, but it used to be open. And people on their boats would come up here and just dock and hang out. But there were some stupid guys in there that would harass the women and now they closed it off. And out! Out here is the Lady’s Pavilion. This used to be out at 59th Street and Central Park West.

It was built as a station for trolley passengers to wait. Nice views of the lake and midtown, too. If you’re ever lost in the Park, just find a lamppost, because there’s always going to be numbers.

Right now we’re at West 78th Street. The “02,” if you’re on the loop road, they don’t mean anything. They just count up. Because right over here, is 7801.

So odd and even on the loop road don’t mean anything, but on the other lampposts, sometimes they’re horizontal, sometimes they’re vertical, but the first two numbers is your street, the second two numbers on these lampposts: if it’s odd, you’re on the West side, if it’s even, you’re on the East side. So the Swedish cottage here was literally built in Sweden in the 1800’s, taken apart and then reassembled in Philly for the centennial celebration, and then brought here to Central Park. Right behind the Swedish cottage is Shakespeare’s Garden, and all the plants in here were mentioned in his plays. And throughout the garden, you’ve got these little plaques with quotes from his plays and then those flowers are around it.

And just above Shakespeare’s garden is the whispering bench. You can whisper into that side and hear it over here. So we’re gonna try it with the camera. Can you hear me?

I’m not very good at whispering, but hopefully you can hear me. Not so secret castle in the Park, but the secret is I proposed to Isa, right there. The obelisk is between the Met and the Great Lawn, and it’s legit from Egypt, built in 1450 BC! Yeah, it’s more than 3500 years old!

Crazy, huh? 85th Street, on the west side, this whole area used to be a prominent African American community called Seneca Village, but the only thing you can see now is this little part of the foundation. Did you know that all of water in Central Park is New York City drinking water? That’s right, the pond, the lake, the pool, the meer, all of the waterfalls in the Loch, it’s ALL New York City drinking water. And everything north of 96th Street is fed by this one pipe. It goes down there, and comes down here.

Although I was exploring one time and I found this pipe back here. See it? I don’t know what that one’s for.

I think I’m right by a nest, because he seems pretty mad at me. But he’s cute! Up at the northeast corner of the Park now this is Fort Clinton, looking out over the Harlem Meer. This cannon has a secret of its own. It’s been here since like the 1860’s and for 130 years, it was fully loaded with a cannonball and gunpowder, but nobody knew it because it was capped off and no one looked inside until 1996, and they’re like, “Oh, wow.

Maybe we should do something about that.” This used to be on top of that hill. We’re gonna go up this path and find some ruins.

There’s a blue jay. And these are the ruins – the foundation – for Mount St. Vincent. I don’t recommend coming up in this area because there’s shady business happening.

Hey bud, what are you doing up in the daytime? That’s the Dana Discovery Center, and if you want, you can give them your ID and you can fish for free! They’ll give you a rod, and the gear, and bait, and everything!

We’re gonna head into the North Woods which was designed to feel and look like the Adirondacks. Did you know the entire Park is completely manmade and designed? Which I think is awesome because the Park is amazing! This is the other bouldering wall, it’s just to the west of the Meer on the very north side of the Park.

And the final hidden secret is another War of 1812 fortification, this is the Blockhouse. It’s locked up, you can’t get in it. Believe me, I’ve tried. It’s on the west side of the Park, about even with Powell, do NOT come up here at nighttime it is super sketchy in the dark, but it’s alright in the daytime. Well that’s it for me. Thanks so much for watching!

Thumbs up if you like the video. Comment below if you think I missed anything. Definitely subscribe because I’m in Central Park all the time.

So if you like the Park, you’re gonna see a lot more of it. I also travel and do a new thing every single day, so you will see a new video tomorrow and yeah. Hope you guys have a great day!

This is the Oak Bridge. Check out this view! Another great path to run on.

It’s well lit, it’s pretty.