New York City offers surprising opportunities to connect with nature. You can explore forests, meadows, and beaches without leaving the five boroughs. You can watch an entire urban bestiary fly overhead or swim past.
If you just want slow down and take a contemplative walk in a grassy labyrinth, NYC has that too.
Amble Through the Battery Labyrinth
Located in the northwest corner of Battery Park, the Battery Labyrinth is a walking path that features seven circular rings and a round center. The path is three feet wide and outlined with granite blocks.
If you follow the circular path, you will walk approximately 358 feet to the center core and then 358 out again to the entrance.
Created by Camino de Paz, the Battery Conservancy, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in 2002, the Labyrinth is a site of remembrance for victims of the World Trade Center attacks.
A Labyrinth Is Not a Maze
I recently discovered the Labyrinth and was curious about its history and uses. I learned from the Battery Conservancy site that:
A labyrinth is not a maze, in which confusion is the aim. A labyrinth encourages contemplation on a journey with a clear destination. Its goal is to create an internal balance generated by the rhythm of the walking and the mental state of no decision–making.
If you need a meditative walking moment while in the bustling Financial District (and who doesn’t), I suggest slowly walking this winding path in Battery Park. While you are there, check out the nearby Battery Urban Farm. Here’s a map of Battery Park.
More Labyrinths in New York City
Here are additional labyrinths in NYC for contemplative walks:
Maria Hernandez Park, Knickerbocker Ave in Bushwick (Brooklyn)
East River Park at Houston Street (Manhattan)
La Guardia Corner Gardens at 505 LaGuardia Place (Manhattan)
If you want to find a labyrinth near you — no matter where you live — check out this wonderful Labyrinth Locator.
Where is your favorite place to take a meditative or contemplative walk? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.