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Ramble

The Ramble
Early Spring Ramblers in the Ramble by lhedrick

The lush Central Park woodland, known as the Ramble, is composed of 38 acres of winding pathways between 73rd and 78th streets.

Described by Frederick Law Olmsted as a "wild garden", the Ramble's maze of trails amidst its abundant flora and fauna contrasts spectacularly with the formality of nearby attractions, such as the Bethesda Terrace. The Ramble is often noted for its bird watching opportunities, where birdwatchers can catch a glimpse of some of the approximately 230 species found in the woods. Visitors can stop to take a look at the Gill, the man-made stream that runs through the Ramble, where one might find a small animal such as a raccoon having ventured out from the underbrush.

While the Ramble's flora consists of many species of plants both native and exotic, several of these plants have taken up much of the woodland, such as the Black Cherry and Black Locust, due to lack of proper care. Other species found in the woods include American trees such as the American sycamore, several oaks, the Kentucky coffee tree, the Hackberry, the Yellowwood, and the Cucumber Magnolia, in addition to plants not indigenous to the country, such as the Sophora and the Phellodendron.

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One notable fact about the Ramble is its status as a gay icon, which has developed since the early 1900's. A well-known site for private homosexual encounters throughout the 20th century, the woodland is now an important part of LGBT history.

The Ramble has been the subject of an ongoing restoration project by the Central Park Conservancy since 2006. The plan includes taking steps to give appropriate care to woodland vegetation and wildlife as well as controlling the amount of influence on the land by Park visitors.

— Jesse M. Wheeler

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Top of Page Header Photo: © Aric Boyles 2014
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