A record number of people visited New York state parks, historic sites, campgrounds and trails in 2023, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced Wednesday.
The number of visits to those sites totaled 84.1 million last year, an increase of nearly 4.7 million, or 6%, compared to 2022, which also set its own record for the 11th consecutive annual increase. Over the last two decades, state park attendance has climbed steadily, increasing nearly 60%.
“These numbers reflect New Yorkers’ strong demand and appreciation for places to swim, hike, camp, gather with friends and family, and enjoy safe, healthy recreation,” Hochul said in a statement.
Last year saw some improvements at state parks, including:
- Opening the new $46 million Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Welcome Center at Niagara Falls State Park
- A new $6.8 million multi-use trail at Allegany State Park
- $3 million in improvements at Green Lakes State Park in Onondaga County
"State Parks is welcoming many millions more visitors than ever before to see all our improved facilities have to offer," State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. "With continued support from Governor Hochul and the hard work of our State Parks team, more exciting projects and programs are coming as we celebrate our State Park Centennial this year, and I am confident we will keep seeing more visitors, who help drive many local economies across the state.”
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the New York state parks system.