Enjoy a Winter Walk - Prospect Park Alliance

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c. Paul Martinka

Enjoy a Winter Walk

December 07, 2017

One of the best walks on a winter’s day is a route that will take you to Lookout Hill, one of the highest points in Brooklyn, with unparalleled views of the City and beyond. Starting out at the Lincoln Road entrance, cross the drive and follow the path down and to the right under the historic Cleft Ridge Span--a bridge dating back to 1872 and decorated with a rare concrete style known as Beton Coignet. Take the path along the water to the left that leads through the Park’s historic Rustic Arbor (pictured above) and eventually to the Terrace Bridge.

Past the bridge is an important memorial of the Revolutionary War: the Maryland Monument. Designed by Stanford White in 1894, the monument pays tribute to the brave soldiers of the Maryland Regiment who lost their lives during the Battle of Brooklyn, fending off the British as George Washington led his troops to safety across the East River. The stairs beyond the monument will take you to the top of Lookout Hill.

Lookout Hill was of particular interest to the Park’s designers Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who envisioned the site offering sweeping panoramic views of New York Harbor and the Catskills. The sapling trees that dotted the hillside eventually grew into towering maples, which obscure these views except for the winter months. After enjoying the view, walk back past the Maryland Monument toward the recently reopened Wellhouse.

Designed by Calvert Vaux, the Wellhouse was a marvel of technology at its completion in the 1870s. Drawing from one of the largest manmade wells in the world, it was the heart of the mechanical water system that flowed through every stream and waterfall in Prospect Park. Curiosity brought thousands of tourists to the site, which led to the construction of Terrace Bridge to accommodate the carriage traffic. In 2017, Prospect Park Alliance completed the conversion the Wellhouse into an eco-friendly comfort station!

From the Wellhouse, complete your walk by continuing west and heading across the Park drive to Vanderbilt Playground, or extend it by continuing around Brooklyn's only Lake and head to the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, where you can enjoy a hot drink at the Bluestone Cafe and try ice skating, curling and more.

Post pictures of your walk on social media with #prospectpark, and enjoy!