Tuesday, February 16, 2021

NYS Parks set attendance record at 78 million visitors 

parks and trails nyNew York’s State parks, historic sites, campgrounds, and trails welcomed a record-setting 78 million visitors in 2020. The milestone marks nine years of steady visitor growth and represents an overall increase of 34 percent, or more than 20 million visitors since 2011.

This increase was driven by unprecedented growth during the spring and fall seasons, as New Yorkers turned to State Parks facilities for safe, healthy outdoor recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more.

Statewide Empire State Trail Completed

New Yorkers have a new way to explore all their state has to offer with completion of the 750-mile Empire State Trail, a year-round, multi-use recreational trail for cyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers and snowshoers.

The trail runs from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada, and from Albany to Buffalo along the Erie Canal. Three-quarters of the trail is off-road. Projections call for 8.6 million people to use it each year.

Connecting 20 existing regional trails, the Empire State Trail was created by building more than 180 miles of new off-road trail and connecting 400 miles of previously disconnected, off-road trails. There are 45 gateways and trailheads along the trail, which includes signage, interpretive panels, bike racks and benches. Navigating the trail can be done through the trails web site empiretrail.ny.gov, which includes an online map and the ability to print itinerary sheets for specific trail segments. Learn more.

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6 Responses

  1. Hugh says:

    I did notice larger than usual crowds at the parks over the summer

  2. Vanessa Banti Vanessa says:

    Wow that’s a lot of people! Keeping in mind that many of them may also be going to places besides for the Adirondacks. It certainly reinforces what we already know – that outdoor recreation is popular!

  3. JohnL says:

    One relatively small urban state park (Green Lakes SP in Syracuse) had almost 1 million visitors by itself last year. It’s doesn’t have the solitude and wildness of the Adirondacks but it’s one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve been running its’ golf course, woods, campgrounds, and of course its’ lakes, for 40 years or so, and I never tire of the place. Many, if not most, of my runs were before work, and also before dawn, so, I know that place better than most. All things said, New York has some of the greatest parks in the country, and that’s why so many people visit them.

    • Boreas says:

      Nice place! In a previous life, I often did a lap around Green Lakes on my bike when biking the Old Erie Canal towpath. Loved riding the towpath as well – E. Syr. to Rome. Skiing in winter.

    • Balian the Cat says:

      Many a pleasant visit to GLSP when I was going to school in SYR.

  4. Hugh says:

    I plan on hitting the hiking trails come spring. I could stand to loss several pounds!

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