Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced more than 2 million people camped at New York's 66 state park campgrounds this year, surpassing the previous record set in 2014.
"More and more visitors are discovering that New York's campgrounds provide access to this state's unparalleled natural beauty, as well as a wealth of options for recreation and exploration," Cuomo said. "These new record-setting numbers are proof positive of this administration's efforts to promote and invest in New York's world-class campsites."
As of Columbus Day weekend, 2.008 million people have camped at state parks in 2015, up from 1.965 million in 2014. Those visitors booked state park campsites, cabins and cottages for more than 618,000 nights this year. That represents a 4 percent increase over last year's record of 594,400 overnight stays.
New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "Gov. Cuomo is helping to lead a renaissance of our state parks, and I encourage all New Yorkers to fully enjoy all that they have to offer. State parks continue to offer great events and activities throughout the fall and winter, including ice-skating, sledding, snowmobiling, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing. And it's not too early to begin planning for a 2016 getaway at one of our incredible destinations."
This year's record attendance comes as Cuomo continues to boost the state's commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The governor's NY Parks 2020 plan is a multiyear commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in state parks from 2011-20. The 2015-16 state budget includes $110 million toward this initiative.
Camping reservations are still available through ReserveAmerica, which provides online and phone reservations for campsites throughout New York. Reservations are accepted for campsites and cabins, from one day to nine months in advance of the planned arrival date. Visit http://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/ or call toll free 1-800-456-CAMP.
Late season camping remains available at a few select campgrounds, including:
Winterized cottages are available at Allegany, Betty and Wilbur Davis, Golden Hill and Taconic-Copake Falls state parks year-round.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.