Tents on the Great Hill. Photo by Randi Lauren Klein.

Registration is now open (and will close soon) for a lottery to go camping in Central Park on Saturday, August 19.

The Urban Park Rangers lead the event, which is at The Great Hill, on the west side of the park near 105th Street. The rangers provide tents (unless you’d like to bring your own) but you should bring your own food. There are no campfires allowed in the park. Campers can also take a guided bird-watching hike in the morning.

It’s a reminder that “in this city that can seem so impossibly crowded, so removed from natural beauty, you can still experience at least a taste of wilderness,” wrote Urban Oyster in a blog post from 2011.

Enter the lottery here. Registration is set to end on August 12.

NEWS | 20 comments | permalink
    1. wombatNYC says:

      The rats will have a field day with all the food scrapes . Good luck to all and make sure you zip those tents up tight

    2. Ellise says:

      Is anyone going to be guarding this campsite from deranged people or criminals? I wouldn’t feel safe walking in the park at night, let alone sleep overnight. Good luck with that.

    3. WestsideReader says:

      I’ve done it. It was family fun. It is geared to teaching children about nature. Park Rangers rotate shifts to make sure families are safe.

    4. Eric says:

      Hmmm …
      105th St in Central Park at midnight.
      Thus are tragic Daily News front pages made.

    5. Violet says:

      “A taste of the wilderness” = Rats. It’s better to go to a real remote camping location, not the center of a major city.

    6. Chris says:

      After all the stories about rats in the park, I thought this was a joke. I guess not. Good Luck.

    7. Eln says:

      Maybe some cuddle racoons can join you too.

    8. Christina says:

      I think I’d rather take my chance in the woods where there would be a smaller risk of running into bears than criminals, rats and raccoons! Good luck!

      The only time I camped out in Central Park was to get up close and personal when Simon and Garfunkel were playing free in the park the next day in 1981. There were tons of people doing the same thing. Don’t think it would ever happen now.

      • GG says:

        I remember this like it was yesterday. What a show!! One of the best concerts I have ever seen and it really was a historically landmark performance.

        The other day I was listening to the album on my iPod while relaxing on the Great Lawn. It was cool thinking back almost 40 years when it was happening live.

        Those really were the days.:)

    9. Jenna Cooley says:

      Wonderful idea, but rats seem to be rampant in the park right now!!

    10. MQue says:

      Only in nyc can you enter a lottery to be homeless for a night

    11. Brie Hoffman says:

      Umm, where’s the bathroom?

    12. Jill Sears says:

      I so want to go!

    13. Chris says:

      Will the Mayor be cooking Smores around the camp fire?