Residing in a unique setting to the east of the North Woods and very much in harmony with
that woodland landscape is the Harlem Meer
(the word meer in Dutch meaning "small sea").
It is a large water space stretching from the
east perimeter of Central Park to the central part of
Central Park covering 11-acres in all. Like the Lake it
has a meandering and diverse shoreline.
On its southeast corner just in front of the north
entrance to the Conservatory Garden is
with steps leading down to the water's edge.
Visitors often stop here to read or just contemplate
the beauty of the surrounding native plants and
foliage or the high bedrock outcropping directly
to the west which overlooks the Meer below and
which is the home to one of the Park's historic sites,
The Meer is surrounded by a variety of trees
including ginkgo, cypress, beech, oak and fragrant
black locusts, which sweetly scent the air during
mid spring. In the spring roses can be seen blooming
on its shores and during the summer colorful
hydrangeas grace the entrance of the Cove.
Summer also brings wildflowers that bloom around
the water's edge of the Meer which include Joe-pye Weed, New
York Ironweed, Boneset and Pickerelweed.
Following the westernshoreline around the base of
the rocky bluff that sustains at its heights Fort
Clinton as well as Nutter's Battery, both emplacements
from the war of 1812, is a walkway which follows the
shoreline in a gentle arc west around the rocky
base to the far south central quadrant of the Meer.
There within a mound of golden grasses rising
from the water's surface is Duck Island, a natural
habitat located just off the shore of the Meer.
It is a temporary home to transient species including,
cormorants, egrets and herons as well as Mallards.
Fascinating for its natural majesty and its historic
significance the Meer also offers other forms of
spiritual and intellectual enrichment.
The Charles Dana Discovery Center, aside
exhibit center, offers the implements for Catch
Release Fishing as well as tour guides of the area.