Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

July 01, 2010

Eileen Larrabee
Dan Keefe

New York State Parks Attendance Soars

Summer promotion launched for rising number of visitors

 State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash today announced an increase in park attendance while introducing a new summer campaign to encourage even more New Yorkers to visit and support their state parks and historic sites.

"New Yorkers love their state parks and strongly connect with the variety of experiences and adventures these special places provide," Ash said. "As we head into the holiday weekend, we expect continued strength in visitor numbers. The Find Your Fun campaign will build on that momentum all summer long by promoting awareness of the parks and sites and encouraging people to both visit their favorites as well as discover new properties and activities.

"With school out and vacations getting underway, families are looking to plan their escape. Our parks continue to be a premier destination of choice as more and more people are looking to enjoy the great outdoors," said Ash.

Park attendance up 11 percent over last year

According to Ash, state parks attendance has increased by 1.3 million visitors, up 11 percent from last year, while July 4th holiday weekend camping reservations reflect 90 percent occupancy. Additionally, sales of the park system's $65 annual pass, the Empire Passport, increased statewide 1.5 percent over 2009 numbers, with more than 40,000 passes sold this year.

"Find Your Fun" campaign

The statewide Find Your Fun social network and web-based initiative will run through September and utilize the agency's website ( as well as Facebook and Twitter. Regular updates and highlights will be provided about summer-related Find Your Fun suggestions and activities going on at state parks and sites to engage visitors. Park staff will offer an insider's look at popular spots, hidden gems and interesting facts, and visitors will be encouraged to share photos, recipes, and favorites, while programs, activities and trip suggestions will also be promoted.

Ash also encouraged New Yorkers to visit the agency's calendar of events at for a listing of great events and programming happening throughout the season. Support state parksAsh is also encouraging New Yorkers support parks and historic sites by joining Friends Groups, volunteering at parks or making financial donations to the park through the agency website (

"I urge park supporters to visit our parks and sites, get involved and volunteer their time. Our state park system is the best in the nation and it is gratifying that people throughout the state are getting out there and appreciating our wonderful beaches, trails and campgrounds."

Last year, the state park system recorded nearly 56 million visits. The 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