April 17, 2008
With Soaring Gas Prices and Rising Cost of Living, Camping Remains Popular Vacation Option
New York State park camping reservations are up a remarkable 16 percent over last year, according to Carol Ash, Commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
"The secret is out: You don't have to travel far to take a great vacation," said Ash. "New York State parks offer visitors unique and exciting vacation destinations at affordable prices right in their own backyards, including waterfront camping on the shores of the Atlantic or the state's spectacular lakes and rivers, as well as secluded sites nestled in mountains, forests and islands throughout the state."
Many campers are already planning to take advantage of the diverse offerings at state parks. As of early April, 52,186 reservations were booked at OPRHP camping facilities, up from 45,034 at the same time last year – a nearly 16 percent increase. State parks recorded a total of 186,021 advance and walk-up camping reservations in 2007.
"With gasoline prices soaring, state parks are an attractive and inexpensive option for people looking to get away – without driving too far away," Ash said. "But campgrounds may fill up fast. Whether you're planning to return to a favorite campground or discover a new locale, don't wait to reserve your site any longer."
OPRHP oversees 67 campgrounds with more than 8,000 campsites, 800 cabins and 50 full service cottages. Camping reservations are available through ReserveAmerica, which provides online and phone reservations for campsites throughout New York. Reservations are accepted for campsites and cabins, from one day to nine months in advance of the planned arrival date by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or online, newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com.
Visitors will also find the revitalization of New York state parks and historic sites getting underway in the coming months. The state budget advances a $132 million capital improvement spending plan for state parks – the single largest capital infusion in the history of the state park system. After more than a decade of underinvestment, the revitalization initiative will address the extensive capital needs of our parks system – needs that have been estimated at approximately $650 million.
"Many state parks and historic sites across the Empire State will be getting a facelift," Ash said. "So, if you happen to see construction work underway at your favorite property, pardon the dust and please know it's only temporary."
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.