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Secret trails of New York City’s Central Park reopen after 80 years

A four-acre portion of Central Park, one of New York City's best running spots, reopened to the public this month for the first time in more than 80 years.

Central Park

A four-acre portion of Central Park in New York City reopened to the public for the first time in more than 80 years on May 10. The section, which includes chip trails, will be open from 2-5 p.m. three days a week until June 30 and four days a week between July 1 and Aug. 31 with yet-to-be-determined hours.

The portion of the park that was reopened is known as Hallett Nature Sanctuary.

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Central Park, one of the world’s most famous parks, is the focal point of New York City and is often filled with runners. The final portion of the New York City Marathon finishes in Central Park and a number of other high-profile NYC races includes sections of the park as part of their race route.

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The portion was originally closed because Robert Moses, the park commissioner in 1934, wanted to turn the area into a bird sanctuary. Workers began clearing the area 15 years ago to make it accessible to the public. Between then and now, it has been intermittently open on select occasions.

Central Park is one of the more runner-friendly spots in New York City as the roads are closed to traffic for eight hours Monday through Friday as well as on weekends.

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The newly-opened area is located at the southeast corner of Central Park near the zoo and Wollman Rink.