June 03, 2010
Memorial Day Weekend Attendance Up 17 Percent at State Parks
Park visitation increased 245,000 visitors from 2009 holiday weekend
New York State Parks attracted more than 1.7 million visitors statewide during the past Memorial Day weekend, a 17 percent increase over the 2009 holiday weekend, State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash said.
"The strong holiday attendance is proof that New Yorkers love their state parks," Ash said. "I'm happy that the citizens across the state who have been expressing their support for state parks are getting out and enjoying them. All of our magnificent parks are open, and I encourage all New Yorkers to fully enjoy all that our state parks have to offer. From swimming to hiking to camping, our parks and historic sites offer something for everyone."
Ash said that attendance over the three-day weekend, May 29-31, totaled 1,705,977 visitors, an increase of 245,296 visitors over the May 23-25, 2009 holiday weekend. In addition, an average of 91 percent of the park system's campsites and cabins were occupied over the weekend, up from 88 percent last Memorial Day weekend.
Ash suggested the following excursions for New Yorkers to experience the variety of the state park system.
- Visit the nation's oldest state park, Niagara Falls, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
- Check out the state's newest state park, the Walkway Over the Hudson, a former railroad bridge converted into a 1.25 mile linear park over the Hudson River.
- Plan a weekend at the remarkable gorge at Letchworth State Park, named a Top 10 Green Destination by I Love New York, or one of many "gorge-ous" parks in the Finger Lakes.
- Stay at one of over a dozen campgrounds along the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands.
Get State Park updates on Facebook and Twitter
Ash also encouraged New Yorkers to visit the agency's calendar of events at www.nysparks.com for a listing of great events and programming happening throughout the season. Visitors can also connect and share experiences through Facebook and follow State Parks on Twitter. Both applications will provide regular updates and highlights about what's going on at State Parks.
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 www.nysparks.com.