Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

September 02, 2011

Peter Brancato
Dan Keefe

Commissioner Harvey Tours Parks Damaged by Irene

Park staff working furiously to ready parks for Labor Day weekend

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey toured several State Parks in the Mohawk Valley to assess damage from Tropical Storm Irene. Harvey witnessed significant damage, but expressed confidence that the park system will be ready to serve New York's citizens for the holiday weekend.

"Many of our State Parks and Historic Site were not immune to the storm that devastated so many families and businesses," Harvey said. "But even in difficult times such as these, our citizens look to their parks for a distraction from the stresses of life. Much of our State Park staff has been working non-stop to get our facilities back in shape for Labor Day weekend. I urge our visitors to be patient as we continue to the work to recover from the storm."

State parks and historic sites in the Long Island, Palisades, and Taconic and Saratoga-Capital Regions bore the brunt of the storm damage. Parks have been impacted by downed trees and branches, power outages, flooding damage and debris, erosion of roadways, parking lots and trails, and damage to drinking water systems. The 1766 Guy Park Manor State Historic in Montgomery County, which houses the Walter Elwood Museum of the Mohawk Valley, suffered severe damage due to flooding. Some parks and park areas remain inaccessible to facilitate clean-up and ensure public safety.

The following is a status report on affected regions as of Friday afternoon. Before going to a park, visitors should contact the respective regional offices for the most up-to-date information on availability of facilities and hours of operation.

Long Island – (631) 669-1000

Most Long Island region parks are opened. Please take note of the following exceptions and limitations:

  • Bethpage State Park – Picnic area and Trails closed. Red, Black and Yellow courses open. Call for updates on Blue Course will open with 9 holes Saturday, and will five course will open for the usual schedule on Sunday. The Clubhouse/Catering Hall are open
  • Brookhaven State Park is closed until further notice.
  • Caleb Smith State Park Preserve - North side of park - north of Route 25 - will reopen Sunday, 9/4.
  • Wildwood State Park picnic areas and beach will reopen Saturday, 9/3. Campground is closed until further notice.
  • Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve - Partial Opening – Trails and fishing area remain closed.
  • Captree State Park - open with portable toilets; no food service, bait, tackle or fuel sales.
  • Jones Beach State Park – Field 2, Field 4, Central Mall, Field 6 and Field 10 (Fishing) are open. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater shows will go on as scheduled. The West Bathhouse is closed for the season. As of Saturday Sep 3; food service concession available ONLY at Central Mall and Field 6, limited food and beverage service will be available on the boardwalk.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center is closed. Softball and volleyball are suspended indefinitely.
  • Some trails at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park remain closed.
  • Robert Moses State Park – Fields 2, 3, and 5 are open. Gilgo and Sore Thumb four-wheel drive areas remain closed.
  • Sunken Meadow State Park – Main beach and picnic area are open. No food or beverage services available. All three nine-hole golf courses are open. Tails closed.

Palisades – (845) 786-2701

  • Bear Mountain State Park and Zoo to reopen Saturday. Pool will remain closed for the season.
  • Lake Welch area of Harriman State Park will reopen Saturday.
  • Minnewaska State Park will reopen Saturday for hiking, picnicking and swimming at Lake Minnewaska and climbing at the Peter's Kill area. Biking and equestrian use will not be permitted. All hikers must park in the Awosting Parking Lot and all climbers must park in the Peter's Kill parking lot.
  • High Tor State Park will reopen Saturday. Camping at Beaver Pond and group camps at Harriman State Park is unavailable until further notice. (Sebago Cabins are open.)
  • Sebago Beach at Harriman is closed for the season.
  • Tiorati area of Harriman is closed until further notice.
  • Tallman Mountain State Park is awaiting power to reopen.
  • The Shore Trail from Haverstraw to Rockland Lake State Park is closed until further notice.

Taconic – (845) 889-4100

  • Clermont State Historic Site is open. Trails are closed.
  • Rockefeller State Park Preserve is closed due to downed trees. Park will reopen with limited trails on Saturday, Sept. 3.
  • John Jay Homestead State Historic Site house is closed. Grounds are open.

Saratoga-Capital Region – (518) 584-2000

  • Cherry Plain State Park will remain closed for the season.
  • Swimming Beach at Thompson Lake State Park will remain closed for the season. The campground is open through Labor Day Weekend.
  • Schodack Island State Park will reopen Sunday, 9/4.
  • The pool at Minekill State Park will remain closed for the season. The rest of the park is closed until further notice.
  • Max V. Shaul State Park will remain closed for the season.
  • Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is closed until further notice.
  • Guy Park State Historic Site is closed until further notice.
  • Hudson-Mohawk Bike Path is inaccessible due to major washouts and downed trees.
  • Thacher State Park is open. However, some trails are closed to the public.
  • Peebles Island State Park has reopened with limited trail access.
  • Grafton, Moreau and Saratoga Spa state parks are fully open.