Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

March 27, 2015

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

State Parks Encourages New Yorkers to Vote in the Final Weekend of Nationwide Contest for Best State Park

Final Push Needed to Keep Letchworth in First Place in National Poll

Watkins Glen Holding Steady in Third Place

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) today encouraged New Yorkers to help Letchworth State Park and Watkins Glen State Park remain at the top in the final weekend of voting for the 2015 USA TODAY Readers' Choice Award for Best State Park. Letchworth is currently in the lead for the honor, but has fluctuated between first and second place for weeks. Watkins Glen has consistently ranked third. Voting closes March 30.

"Abundant with natural beauty, wondrous waterfalls, and adventure all ages can enjoy, both Letchworth and Watkins Glen State Parks are exceedingly worthy of the Best State Park in the United States designation," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "We need a strong weekend of voting to keep Letchworth in the number one spot until the deadline. Each and every vote will help!"

Letchworth State Park, located in Castile, NY, is renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East." The grandiose Genesee River runs through the park over three major waterfalls, through cliffs as high as 600 feet in some places, and surrounded by lush forests.

Watkins Glen State Park, the most visited of the Finger Lakes State Parks, has a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound with a gorge path that winds over, under and near 19 waterfalls along its course.

20 state parks across the country were nominated from more than 6,000 state parks considered for the contest. New York, California and Florida are the only states represented with more than one state park in the poll.

Votes can be submitted at until Monday, March 30 at 11:59am EST.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 62 million people annually. A recent study 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.