If you’ve ever had the luck of stumbling upon Wagner Cove on the southernmost tip of Central Park’s great Lake, you’ll probably feel as if you’ve come across a secret spot out of a fairytale. A small, cozy structure is there, made of rustic wooden beams with two quaint benches perfect for enjoying the view or reading.
Wagner Cove actually originally served as a boat landing. Though now you can rent row boats or even gondolas to float across the Park’s gigantic lake, back when it first opened in the late 1800s, sailing across its waters became a regular past time for New Yorkers thanks to a touring passenger boat.
Six different structures were built that functioned as small docks where boaters could stop for a rest and take in the views, one of them being Wagner Cove, the Central Park website shares. The boat would travel around the lake, picking up and dropping off passengers at each little landing, plus Bethesda Terrace.
Still, the charming alcove in place to today is not the original. Most of the structures were torn town during the 1900s as they succumbed to the wear and tear of nature, but in 2016 the Central Park Conservancy reconstructed five of the landings — analyzing historical photos and documents so they could be as close to the originals as possible. The other reconstructed boat landings along the Lake include:
- Western Shore Boat Landing (West Side at 73rd)
- Bow Bridge Boat Landing (Mid-Park at 73rd)
- Hernshead Boat Landing (West Side at 72nd)
- Bank Rock Boat Landing (West Side at 76th)
The Wagner Cove Boat Landing used to be called the Cherry Hill Boat Landing due to its proximity, but was later renamed after 1950’s NYC mayor Robert F. Wagner, according to CentralPark.com.
But be warned, because it is so picturesque, many proposals take place there and even intimate wedding ceremonies. It’s probably best to head there early in the morning or around dinner time when everyone is leaving the park in search of sustenance.
To find it, you must head east from the 72nd Street and Central Park West entrance to the park. It’s just west of Cherry Hill, where it can be accessed via a short path that is marked with a small plaque!