The 90-acre North Woods is located in the northwestern part of Central Park. Its original design integrated and expanded on the existing topography and landscape, which included hills and large rock outcrops, natural springs, and some established woods. The area also included fortifications built during the War of 1812, of which the Blockhouse is the only remaining example and the park’s oldest structure. Because of its scale, more remote location, and the rugged character of the landscape, the North Woods was and remains one of the least developed aspects of the park.
The most well-known area within the North Woods is the Ravine, a narrow, wooded valley which includes a stream called the Loch. The Ravine is part of a larger sequence defined by water, which was created by widening and manipulating an existing watercourse called Montayne’s Rivulet. The water sequence begins at the Pool on the west side of the park, then leads into the Loch as it flows through the Ravine. The Loch originally drained into the area’s largest water body, the Harlem Meer, though this connection was interrupted by the construction of the Lasker Pool and Rink. The entrances to the Ravine are marked on both the west and east sides by both a cascade and rustic arch, called Glenspan and Huddlestone respectively. Huddlestone was constructed out of boulders found near the site and without the use of any mortar. The North Woods along with all of Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978.