“Well I’ve never been able to photograph from here before! The Lake in Central Park is frozen solid – this is where the row boats normally are!” wrote our photographer Ryan Lahiff on Friday. Lahiff also shared with us a nice photo series he curated comparing The Lake in summer versus now. Instead of the boaters, people were walking over it, taking photographs, frolicking, making ice patterns, and more.

People walking on The Lake

All that being said, it’s beautiful to look at, but stay on the designated paths and walkways (or look from the comfort of your home with these photographs from Lahiff). Please do not go onto the lake yourselves — the ice is not stable. It was 50 degrees yesterday so a lot of melting has occurred. Beth Goffe, an Untapped New York tour guide, and formerly with the Central Park Conservancy says, “Take it from a former Central Park Conservancy employee: do NOT do this! There is a reason why ice skating on the waterbodies ceased in the 1940s. They do not reliably freeze anymore. Even if temps had been below freezing for well over a month, which they hadn’t, it is very dangerous. Parts of the lake weren’t even frozen over today. It is foolhardy!”

In the below photographs, you’ll find the Central Park Boathouse with The Lake frozen on Friday and in peak summertime:

People walking on The Lake

The Boathouse in summer

Below, you’ll find another shot of Bow Bridge in both seasons:

Bow Bridge with frozen Lake

Bow Bridge with boaters in summer

Below, we’ve taken a snapshot of panorama photograph Lahiff took at The Lake. You can see the frozen surface of The Lake shared by humans and birds (not the famous snowy owl however!). The backdrop of the Upper West Side, with buildings like the San Remo and The Dakota, are seen behind the frozen, snowy lake. It reminded us of the historic photographs of people ice skating in front of The Dakota in the late 1800s. However, one of the reasons that Wollman Rink was built in the 1940s was because of the waterbodies in Central Park did not freeze over reliably anymore.

The Lake frozen with Sam Remo in background

Please join us for our upcoming virtual talk, “Wild City: The Celebrity Birds of NYC“! In Central Park for the next fea days, also check out SNOWBANKSY, adorable polar bear snow sculptures with a message