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I visited the Harlem Meer once, after I left the Central Park Convervatory Garden. It was memorable to me because I never knew there was such a lake at the upper end of Central Park. My travels through Central Park usually consisted of the lower half of the park, unless I was rollerblading. I saw several people fishing, catch and release is allowed, and noticed a good sized lake. I could not see the full expanse of the lake, it is pretty sizable. I may head back for a visit this coming summer, in 2009. For those visiting or living in the vicinity of the upper half of Central Park, I think this is a great place to visit, especially since there is an ice skating rink there. For everyone else, its definitely worth a trip if you have never seen this area of the park.
A little bit of history on this section of the park. The Harlem Meer was an addition to the original park, which ended at 106th Street. Central Park now ends at 110th Street. The Harlem Meer is about eleven acres and is near the Lasker Rink and Pool, which I only found out about at this writing. Surrounding the lake are some of the park's most impressive trees, such as oak, bald cypress, beech and ginkgo (the yellow ginkgo leaves are exquisite this time of the year). There are two playgrounds near-by, and of course it is adjacent to Conservatory Garden, which I really enjoyed visiting. In the summertime, there is a jazz festival.
Check out some great pictures of this area and you can find more pictures on Flickr. A couple years ago, the art installation, Christo's Gates also made it through the Harlem Meer.
Have you been to Harlem Meer? What is it that you like best about this area? Check out my other posts on Central Park.