If you’ve ever been to New York then you probably have already ventured to Central Park, or at least seen it from afar. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions there is, as it is home to acres of beautiful land and hosts some of the most unique spots to explore, such as The Boathouse or The Central Park Zoo. There is a vast number of things you can do in Central Park, however, I would like to tell you about one thing in particular that I did recently that allowed me to see more of Central Park then I probably would have any other way.
My sister just came to visit me for a few days and because we had both been to Central Park before we wanted to go with the more non-tourist approach to seeing it again. We have walked through parts of the park before and have seen many beautiful things, but we never had the time to see it all. So this time we decided to try biking through the park.
We found a place near the park and rented bikes for a very cheap price, which also included a helmet and a bike lock. We had selected the 2 hour time slot for our ride, though you could select others, like 1 hour or even 4 or more hours. We were able to bike around the whole park on the bike trails and return to the rental place with time to spare and it was the most fun I have had since coming to New York.
The park has many paths built through it and one of the great things about biking is that there are paths made exclusively for bikes so you don’t really have to worry about cars or people walking/jogging getting in your way, because they have their own paths. Biking through the park gives you the opportunity to see, literally, the whole park. We saw the boathouse, the great lawn, the Belvedere Castle, and many more iconic spots in the park all without getting off our bikes. Of course, there are places where you need to walk through them to really see them, such as the Belvedere Castle, but the great thing about biking is that you can see all of these places and then when you are done with your ride you have a good idea about the spots that you would like to go back to on foot and explore a bit more like my sister and I did.
And did I mention that it is a great workout?
Who really enjoys going to the gym on weekends? When you are in New York for the semester, if you want to get a good workout in, but you don’t want to be stuck inside, skip the gym and instead grab a bike and go for a ride where the weather is beautiful and you see more than a white wall in front of you. The ride is a few miles long, which can seem intimidating, but in all honesty it flies by and you have fun doing it.
Here are just a few of my tips for if you do decide to bike through the park…
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
- Bring a backpack with your own water bottle (the water being sold in the park could have a higher price, because they know so many people are exercising)
- Keep said backpack light (you do go a little uphill in just a couple of spots on the path and you don’t want a heavy backpack weighing you down)
- Be cautious about who you are buying your bike rental from (watch out for scammers standing around the park - I suggest looking for places online first)
- Observe your surroundings and enjoy your day as much as possible!
So the next time you are in New York, whether it is just to visit, or if you are with the New York Arts Program, I 10/10 recommend biking through Central Park. It is one of the most beautiful things to witness and you will not regret it.
Written by: Madison Buechler
Photos by: Madison Buechler