After its trees and open landscapes, Central Park is likely most recognized for its wide collection of statues. There are numerous notable statues scattered throughout the park’s 800-plus acres. Many of the statues are synonymous with the park itself. Therefore, they are a vital part of the rich heritage of the famous green space. A bike tour Central Park is the perfect way to take in the various statues and then learn about their history and significance. Luckily, you can rent bikes and then head out into the park for a day of fun. Here are four of the oldest sculptures you may then want to include on your bike tour.
You’ll want to stop by the Delacorte Clock when you cycle Central Park. This statue is near the park zoo. Therefore, it is a favorite for Central Park visitors. The clock sits on large brick arches and features an assortment of sculpted animals depicted with various instruments. Plan your visit between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The clock plays an assortment of music on its chimes every hour and half hour during this time.
You can reach this entirely granite monument by biking just off of East Drive, west of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This historic piece from 1880 depicts the famous American statesman. It is by Carl Conrads, and the sculpture shows Hamilton in period clothing with thirteen stars just above the statue’s pedestal. These represent the original 13 colonies.
Bike over toward Sheep Meadow, and then, hop off your cycle. You’ll then encounter a bronze sculpture of a Native American holding a hunting bow with his dog by his side. This famous statue came to the park in 1869 and was the first of the park’s statues to be sculpted by an American.
No bike tour Central Park is complete without a visit to the Bethesda Fountain. Just off of Terrace drive, this fountain features a large central statue named Angel of the Waters. The design features a winged angel at the center of the fountain with water spouting from below its feet. The cool mist from the fountain’s flowing water is a perfect way to cool off from your bike ride. If the view here looks familiar, you’ve likely seen this fountain in multiple television shows and on film. The fountain and its statue came to Central Park in celebration of the Croton Aqueduct, which opened in 1842 and provided fresh water to the city. The sculpture’s designer, Emma Stebbins, was the first female to receive public commission from the City of New York for a major work of art.