Gliding across snow strewn open spaces it is hard to remember one is in the middle of the world's biggest cities.
Yet every winter when Mother Nature graces Central Park with a mandatory 6” and more of base snow many New Yorkers head out with their cross country skis. Hilly and flat terrains provide fun and some challenges to beginner and expert alike.
Here are some suggestions for a unique urban winter treat:
Many skiers head for Sheep Meadow, located mid Park towards the West Side from 66th up to 69th Streets. For the historically curious two statues can be found here. One is the 19th century bust of Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini and the other a crouched Native American with his faithful dog entitled Indian Hunter.
The Great Lawn offers 55 acres, from 79th Street to 85th Street, to trek through the mid Park. Here where Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel once gave a reunion concert, their popular hit “The Sounds of Silence” describes one of the joys of this winter activity.
During summer the crack of a baseball bat is most often heard all through the North Meadow. Snow transforms baseball diamonds to glittering pathways for swooshing away a few hours around 97th Street in the mid Park area.
Although no cross country ski rental facilities are in the city the good news is there is no fee to use your equipment in Central Park.
Location: Sheep Meadow, the Great Lawn, and other large meadows in Central Park.
When: Cross country skiing is allowed only when there is a base of snow of at least six inches.