Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Erie Blvd. Syracuse, NY
Heritage Areas
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Explore the past; look into the future in state heritage areas

Discover New York's rich legacy at the State Heritage Areas, special places where we honor history, celebrate the present, and plan the future of our communities. Whether you are seeking to stimulate your mind, exercise your muscles, or delight your senses, you'll find something to enjoy at a Heritage Area.

The Heritage Area System (formerly known as the Urban Cultural Park System) is a state-local partnership established to preserve and develop areas that have special significance to New York State. From the Great Lakes to the eastern tip of Long Island, the Heritage Areas encompass some of the state's most significant natural, historic, and cultural resources, as well as the people and programs that keep them vital.

Start your visit at a Heritage Area Visitor Center, then tour the Heritage Areas and all they have to offer—glorious vistas, exquisite architecture, informative exhibits, lively festivals, enticing shops, dynamic downtowns, and fascinating stories.

From rural charm to urban hustle and bustle, Heritage Areas offer something of interest to everyone. We invite you to explore the past and look into the future in New York State's Heritage Areas! For information on visiting a Heritage Area, make your selection from the drop-down list below. Learn more on grants for carrying out Heritage Area projects.

Business & CapitalSince its beginnings as a fur-trading post, Albany has been a center for world trade, finance and government and a pivotal force in the development of the state and the nation. For visitor information, call (518) 434-0405.
Buffalo - Michigan StreetView Map (pdf)
Reform MovementsThe Michigan Street Baptist Church, the home of Reverend Dr. J. Edward Nash, and the Colored Musician's Club have been center stage in the epic history of Buffalo's African American history, culture, and reform activities. For visitor information, call (716) 852-2356.
Buffalo - Theatre DistrictView Map (pdf)
Flowering of CultureSince the mid-19th century, when Buffalo was booming with lake, canal, and rail traffic, the city has supported a broad range of entertainment and culture, a tradition that lives on in the city and its Theatre District. For visitor information, call (716) 852-2356.
Hudson-Mohawk - RiverSparkView Map (pdf)
Labor & IndustryAt the confluence of two great rivers, natural resources and cutting-edge technology were harnessed in the region's transformation from an agrarian to an industrialized society. This heritage is visible today in the landscapes and streetscapes of the RiverSpark communities: Cohoes, Colonie, Green Island, Troy, Waterford and Watervliet. For visitor information, call (518) 274-5267.
KingstonView Map (pdf)
TransportationThe city of Kingston began in the narrow streets and stone houses of the colonial Stockade District, which served as the first capital of New York State, and grew to include the bustling Hudson River port of Rondout. For visitor information, call (800) 331-1518. For Rondout, call (845) 331-7517. For Uptown, call (845) 331-9506.
Lake Erie Concord Grape BeltView Map (pdf)
Fruitful vineyards, hospitable communities, breath-taking vistas, and healthy flavors abound in the 50 miles of Lake Erie shoreline that form the world's oldest and largest Concord grape-growing region. For visitor information, call 716-326-2003.
Long Island North ShoreView Map (pdf)
From the historic mansions of the Gold Coast to farm stands in Orient Point, from sunny vineyards and well-worn fishing piers to luxurious estates, Long Island's North Shore Heritage Area (LINSHA) abounds in cultural, historic and natural resources.
Mohawk Valley Heritage CorridorView Map (pdf)
The dramatic landscapes of the eight Mohawk Valley counties are layered with centuries of history, from Iroquois encounters with fur-traders and missionaries, through European settlement, colonial wars, the Erie Canal and industrialization.
New York City - Harbor ParkView Map (pdf)
Maritime Trade & ImmigrationHistoric waterfront sites around New York's harbor tell the epic story of growth from a colonial trading post to post-Civil War ascendancy as the world's largest seaport and immigration destination. For visitor information, call (212) 344-3491.
Niagara Falls Underground Railroad
Niagara Falls played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad, abolitionist movement, and other reform activities in the region. Follow in the footsteps of the freedom seekers and see the roaring Niagara Falls from an historical perspective.
OssiningView Map (pdf)
Reform MovementsIn this historic Hudson River village, unique landmarks like the Old Croton Aqueduct and Sing Sing Prison display state-of-the-art advances in 19th-century civil and social engineering. For visitor information, call (914) 941-3189.
Rochester - High FallsView Map (pdf)
Natural EnvironmentWhere millraces and waterwheels once captured the power of the mighty Genesee River, Rochester's High Falls area now welcomes visitors day and night to revitalized factories, dramatic archaeological sites, and magnificent scenery. For visitor information, call (716) 325-2030.
Sackets HarborView Map (pdf)
DefenseThe War of 1812 Battlefield, historic Madison Barracks, and quaint village streets bear witness to Sackets Harbor's role as a military stronghold defending the northern border during our country's turbulent first centuries. For visitor information, call (315) 646-2321.
Saratoga SpringsView Map (pdf)
Natural Environment"Queen of the Spas" in the 19th-century, Saratoga continues to attract visitors to its bubbling mineral springs, racetracks, Victorian architecture, vibrant downtown and flourishing cultural life. For visitor information, call (518) 587-3241.
SchenectadyView Map (pdf)
Labor & IndustryFounded in 1661, Schenectady grew from a stockaded village in the wilderness into a thriving Erie Canal port, then burgeoned as the 20th century's "Electric City," birthplace of General Electric and the American Locomotive Company. For visitor information, call (518) 334-1346.
Seneca FallsView Map (pdf)
Reform MovementsThe righteous spirit of reform earned Seneca Falls a place in world history as the setting of the first Women's Rights Convention in 1848. Today, the historic mill town features a classic main street, canal promenade, restored landmarks, and modern monuments to women's activism. For visitor information, call (315) 568-1510.
SusquehannaView Map (pdf)
Immigration & Migration and Labor & IndustryThe historical, cultural and natural resources of Broome and Tioga counties tell the stories that helped shape New York's Southern Tier, including Native American influences, the American Revolution, agricultural settlement, early industrial development, progressive labor practices, immigration, and modern manufacturing and innovation. For visitor information, call the Binghamton Visitor Center at Roberson Museum and Science Center (607) 772-0660, or the Endicott Visitor Center (607) 757-5355, or the Tioga County Visitor Center (607) 687-7440
SyracuseView Map (pdf)
Transportation and Business & CapitalSalt, a precious natural resource, first put Syracuse on the map, but it was the Erie Canal that transformed the city into a modern center of business and capital. For visitor information, call (315) 471-0593.
Western Erie Canal Heritage CorridorView Map (pdf)
The Erie Canal brought pioneers, the fervor of social reform, and industrial progress to the fertile landscapes of Western New York, a legacy that survives in the fascinating cities, towns and sprawling farms that line today's canal. For visitor information call (315) 573-1479.
WhitehallView Map (pdf)
DefenseWhitehall's harbors, parks, charming main street, and Skenesborough Museum evoke the village's history as home base for Benedict Arnold's Lake Champlain fleet during the American Revolution and as a prosperous port on the Champlain Canal. For visitor information, call (518) 499-1155 or (518) 499-0716.