Wagner Cove is one of Central Park's lesser-known treasures. This small location on the edge of The Lake is punctuated by a rustic shelter with two wooden benches. Wagner Cove is home to trees and flowers and is adorned by mid-size slate-gray rocks. This secluded spot is ideal for a date, a relaxed lunch, or quiet contemplation. This oasis is just west of Cherry Hill and East of the 72nd Street and Central Park West entrance to the park. It is east of Strawberry Fields and the statues of Daniel Webster and the Falconer, as well as Bow Bridge.
The shelter at Wagner Cove dates back to earlier years when it served as one of the many docks at which passengers could board rowboats that went to other points on The Lake.
Wagner Cove was named after former New York City mayor Robert F. Wagner, who served in the 1950s and was known for disrupting the Tammany Hall structure, leading to a stronger city democracy. Before the spot was renamed, it was called the Cherry Hill Boat Landing.
Located on the water and surrounded by foliage, Wagner Cove is often cooler in the summer than other parts of the park, and it is fairly private because it is only accessible from a small path on one side and the water from the other side. The cove can be accessed from Cherry Hill, where a small plaque marks the path. Fall is an especially enjoyable time to visit Wagner Cove, as the diverse autumn colors are reflected on The Lake.
Wagner Cove is a desirable Central Park wedding location. It is suitable for parties of up to 20 people and is a short distance from Central Park West. Though generally cars are not permitted in the park, it is sometimes possible to obtain permission for a petty cab drop-off at nearby Cherry Hill. Not only is Wagner Cove an elegant location for wedding photos, but the nearby Cherry Hill Fountain also offers an appealing, uniquely New York background.
Because Wagner Cove is located at the apex of an inlet, it offers a stunning lake view simultaneously with privacy from boaters and guests across the lake. A small ceremony can be held at the cove, followed by a reception at one of the Upper West Side's many restaurant function rooms. Alternatively, a picnic reception can be held just to the south on Sheep Meadow. The shelter at the cove is ideal for the couple to stand under with the officiant, while the guests can fill the larger space adjacent to it. The L-shaped path leading to the cove from Cherry Hill is perfect for a wedding procession and allows the bride to wait out of view, if desired.