Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 21, 2013

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe

New Playground and Campground Facilities Ready at Higley Flow State Park

Projects continue Governor Cuomo's effort to support upstate tourism industry

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey announced that finishing touches are being made on several new projects to improve the visitor experience at Higley Flow State Park. The projects were funded by $500,000 from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's New York Works and Regional Economic Development Council initiatives and support upstate New York's critical tourism industry.

"I'm excited these new amenities will be available to Higley Flow State Park visitors this summer," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "State Parks secure our state's tourism industry and sustain our communities' quality of life. New Yorkers are fortunate that under Governor Cuomo's leadership we are able to improve this wonderful North Country destination."

"Higley Flow is used by thousands of people in every season for camping and boating to skiing and hiking," said Tom French, President of the Friends of Higley Flow State Park. "It is a gem within the Parks System and one of the most visited Parks in the state during the winter months. The Friends of Higley Flow are very excited about these latest enhancements, and the commitment it demonstrates by Governor Cuomo to the State Park system and Higley Flow in particular. We feel especially confident that the new Higley Lodge will create even more all-season educational and recreational opportunities that will increase the park's reputation as a significant outdoor destination in the region. We are proud to have played a part and look forward to a continued partnership with the state to promote not only Higley Flow, but the whole park system."

Improvements include:

  • A new $140,000 playground featuring a multi-platform climbing and sliding structure, swing set, seesaws and rock climbing wall has been installed to replace the worn-out equipment located near the park's swimming area.
  • A new shower/restroom building to serve the park's campground has been completed. The $300,000 facility was built by a North Country contractor, Jordstat Construction of Alexandria Bay, to replace a deteriorated 32-year-old washhouse.
  • The new Higley Trails Lodge, an all-season, multi-purpose facility with rest rooms, heat, shelter, classroom and display areas will be available this summer. Accessible to people with disabilities, the lodge will serve as a site for nature education programs in the summer and provide for a warm resting place for cross-country skiers. With the assistance of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, the Friends of Higley Flow received a $60,000 Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grant to build the Higley Trails Lodge. The lodge was constructed in a joint effort with the Friends, State Park staff and volunteers from local elementary and high schools, Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, and St. Lawrence University.

The park swimming beach opens for the season on Saturday, June 22. The campground opened on May 17.

Governor Cuomo has committed a total of $179 million in total funding -- $90 million in 2013-14 and $89 million in 2012-13 -- through the New York Works initiative to rehabilitate dozens of state parks and historic sites across the state, addressing a backlog of capital needs in parks and spurring job creation and economic development.

In addition, Governor Cuomo redefined the State's approach to economic development by establishing 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) across the State. The REDC and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process have transformed economic development in New York State, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up regional economic growth. Statewide, the first two rounds included $1.5 billion in investments to support more than 1,400 projects, which are creating or helping to retain an estimated 75,000 jobs. As part of round one, Higley Trails Lodge received $60,000 from the EPF, which assists in the development of parks and recreational facilities or to preserve, rehabilitate or restore lands, waters or structures for park, recreation or conservation purposes.

"Developing the full recreational potential of the Raquette River corridor is among the Regional Council's identified priorities for tourism development in the North Country," said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. "With this announcement, Governor Cuomo and the state are once again following the regional plan and helping with its implementation. Together with other projects underway along the Raquette River, this will increase tourism as well as enhance the quality of life for residents. Our thanks to the Governor and all concerned for this latest step forward."

"This project is particularly exciting because it provides year-round access to recreational facilities for North Country residents in their own backyard and contributes to the world-class tourism assets across the region that make us an international destination for visitors," said Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. "By adding value to our State Park lands, the collective marketing of all of the region's robust recreation and sporting opportunities will spawn additional private investment."

Governor Cuomo also recently launched New York's largest tourism campaign in decades, committing nearly $60 million to grow the industry, create jobs and attract even more visitors to the Empire State. As the fifth largest employment sector in New York, tourism supported 714,000 jobs and generated more than $29 billion in wages in 2012. One out of every 12 jobs in New York is tourism-related. The more than 202 million international and domestic visitors that visited the Empire State last year resulted in $57 billion in direct tourism spending, and generated $7 billion in state and local taxes.

Higley Flow State Park is nestled among the Adirondack foothills on the picturesque Raquette River. Spacious campsites, separated from neighbors by pine trees, abound in the park. The terrain is hilly and heavily-wooded and there is a sandy beach on the reservoir of the Raquette River. The scenic river is ideal for canoeing and fishing. Higley Flow State Park is open year-round.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study by commissioned by Parks & Trails New York found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.