WEEKEND COLUMN: A NIGHT IN CENTRAL PARK ‘WAS THE MOST PEACEFUL SLEEP I’VE HAD IN YEARS’


Three rangers who oversaw the Central Park camping night.

Oona Shanley sent us a note about her experience camping in Central Park. She won a spot after seeing our post about the camping lottery.

By Oona Shanley

Delightful camping adventure in Central Park last weekend. Three Urban Park Rangers provided open sky tents and helped us set them up. Then they led a night time hike through the newly-restored North Woods. There we walked through the Ravine into the Loch (below) over restored bridges hand crafted of rot-resistant Black Locust trees made trees fallen in the park and under the Huddlestone Arch. All the while we were walking on one single rock of bedrock mica schist which makes up almost all of Manhattan.

Under cover of darkness we visited waterfalls, walked under the Huddlestone Arch made from large rocks held together solely by gravity since 1866. Then the climbed up to see the Block House Fortification built in 1812 to defend against the possible British incursion should they reach inside the City.

Saw raccoons 3 times bigger than my small dog feasting on their nightly grub and bats overhead. Then slept beautifully and peacefully under the Big Dipper, the North Star, Orion’s belt. Not bad for an overnight City camping trip with my 90 year old neighbor.

PS the Rangers stayed on duty all night long and it was the most peaceful sleep I’ve had in years! Thanks West Side Rag for another great tip!


Oona’s tent.

COLUMNS, OUTDOORS | 5 comments | permalink
    1. Christine Elbert says:

      Thanks for sharing! We enter the lottery every year but have not yet won a spot – will keep trying!

    2. lynn says:

      Very cute that the family pet was along for the camp out! 🙂

    3. Wendy says:

      Ironic that ‘tent city” NOT allowed for homeless citizens in Central Park. Did the family pet survive sans : ticks, Lyme disease, chiggers, no-see-ums ?

      • Oona says:

        There were no bugs of any sort; neither ticks nor mosquitoes nor any
        the imagination may conjure. Service animals are allowed.

    4. What a lovely experience. Thanks and Bravo, all!