Despite the pandemic, 2021 was a record year for visitation across the New York State Parks system.
The state’s campgrounds, trails, and historic sites garnered 78.4 million visits in 2021, according to a release. This is an increase of over 427,000 compared to the previous year.
“During the pandemic, parks and public spaces have become more important than ever—providing New Yorkers with safe and enjoyable outdoor spaces for gatherings and recreation. New York was proud to welcome a record-setting number of visitors to our State Parks last year, and we look forward to modernizing our parks system as we approach its historic 100th anniversary in 2024,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in the release.
Niagara Falls State Park recorded 9 million visits last year. This represents a significant growth of over 3 million visitors compared to 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions impacted tourism.
State Parks also set a new record in 2021 for overnight stays at campgrounds, campsites, cottages, and cabins booked for over 787,000 nights.
“I am grateful that even more people decided they wanted to go to our State Parks and Historic Sites in 2021, even as other recreation options were becoming more available to them,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. “New York has invested significantly in recent years to make its facilities world-class, and even more improvements are coming.”
The first-ever Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park and increased access to the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls State Park are two of the projects that have been completed since the beginning of the pandemic.
To plan your next trip, go here to download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call (518) 474-0456.