Just feet away from bustling Fifth Avenue, the Pond provides visitors with a dramatic entrance to the Park as they stroll below street level into the hush of this natural retreat. As you circle the Pond the landscape is constantly changing, offering new scenic views and the chance to see ducks and other wildlife.
While today the Pond is a site of contemplation and sanctuary, visitors in the past also used it as a center for more vigorous athletic pursuits. In the winter, 19th-century visitors glided over the Pond in ice skates—then a novelty for New Yorkers. Skating can still be enjoyed nearby at Wollman Rink. In the summers, early Park visitors could experience the woodland surroundings from a swan boat similar to those found now in the Boston Public Gardens. The swan boats left the Pond in 1924.