Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

May 27, 2021

Dan Keefe | Brian Nearing
(518) 486-1868 |

New York State Parks and Beaches Welcome Visitors for Memorial Day Weekend

Visitors Reminded to Practice Social Distancing and Respect the Rules

Jones Beach Limited to Air Show Ticket Holders Only for Friday, Saturday and Sunday

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) will open 22 beaches, pools and spraygrounds across the state for swimming on Memorial Day weekend. State Park beaches, campgrounds and picnic areas will return to normal operating capacity this summer. Park visitors are reminded to practice social distancing, respect the rules, and do their part to keep parks and beaches open and safe for everyone.

"I welcome residents and visitors alike to kick-off the summer season by visiting a state park or historic site and seeing for themselves all the beauty and history this state has to offer," said Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Thanks to the great progress we've made fighting the covid-19 crisis, families can look forward to renewing their summer traditions and discovering new adventures at our State Parks."

When visiting a park, keep the following guidance in mind:

  • Visitors should continue to maintain 6 feet of distance between parties -- including beach blankets and chairs;
  • Follow guidance to maintain social distance including signage, distance markers, directional arrows, and physical barriers.
  • Unvaccinated visitors should wear a face covering when unable to maintain social distance outdoors;
  • For the safety of park staff, all visitors are required to wear a face covering inside park buildings;

State Parks will continue its social distance ambassador program this summer to encourage social distancing in areas of high pedestrian traffic and prone to crowding, such as boardwalks and plazas. Current density reduction levels and enhanced cleaning measures will be continued in public restrooms.

To encourage vaccinations, 15 New York State Parks are hosting pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites. These 15 sites will offer vaccinations on a first come first served basis utilizing the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  Additionally, every person who gets vaccinated with a first or a single dose anywhere in New York State between May 24 and 31 is eligible to receive a free two-day pass to any New York State Park, which they can pick up and use until September 30, 2021. More information is available here:

State Parks campgrounds will be open for the weekend. Reservations are required. To find a last minute reservation, visit the "Camping This Weekend" feature on the reservation website:

Swimming availability varies by park. Weather permitting, the following State Park swimming beaches will be open Memorial Day weekend;

Long Island

Jones Beach (Due to the Bethpage Air Show, a special event pass is required to enter Jones Beach State Park parking fields for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend; visitors without a pass will be turned away. All passes have been sold out. For weather-related updates, visit: No pass required for Memorial Day, May 31.)

Robert Moses

Hither Hills

Sunken Meadow


Lake Tiorati

Lake Welch

Rockland Lake pool

Capital District

Grafton Lakes

Lake Taghkanic

Moreau Lake

Taconic – Copake Falls

Thompson's Lake

Mohawk Valley

Delta Lake

Gilbert Lake


Verona Beach


Green Lakes

Fair Haven Beach

Southern Tier

Chenango Valley

Finger Lakes

Seneca Lake Sprayground

Western New York

Beaver Island


Additional swimming facilities will open as the summer continues. A listing of swimming beaches with hours of operation is available on the New York State Parks website.

Know before you go: Plan ahead and make a list of alternate destinations. Beaches and trailheads will be busy. Even at full operating capacity, many state beaches and parks may fill to capacity on warm, sunny days. Anyone parking outside of designated areas will be ticketed. Check, or download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app for park capacity closure alerts. 

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.