Central Park Bridle Path
at West 90th Street, next to the
There are three bridle paths in Central Park: this one, which goes around
the Reservoir, another around the North Meadow, and another in the southern
part of the park. They were originally meant for equestrian use, but since
the last riding stable in the area closed in 2007, they are now used
mostly by runners who prefer a softer surface. In 1934, Robert Moses
The surface of the bridle paths, especially in Central, Prospect, and Van
Cortlandt Parks resembled concrete. This material was removed and
approximately 21 miles of bridle paths were resurfaced.
This includes the 4¼ miles of Central Park bridle path.
Bridle paths were but a small piece of the massive workload of 1934 paid for
(as noted in the same document) by "Work Relief Funds" and accomplished
with work relief labor[3,4].
- Gray, Christopher, Whinny
if You Miss Central Park's Horses, New York Times, July 5, 2013:
“Construction of the bridle paths was a serious engineering project,
and in 1860s the Board of Commissioners experimented with the depth of fill,
type of rubble, gravel, sand and other materials. The paths were sprinkled
in the morning to settle the dust, and raked and rolled at the end of the
day. They were treated to as much care as prize rosebushes.”
Report of the Department of Parks to August 1934: Memorandum on 1935
Budget Request of the Department of Parks, NYC Department of Parks archive.
- Rosenzweig, Roy, and Elizabeth Blackmar,
Park and the People: A History of Central Park, Cornell University Press
- New Deal Assistance in
NYC Parks Department Projects, 1934-43.