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A masked Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, casts his fishing line off the Niagara Power Project's fishing pier during a recent visit to the project. (Photo: Niagara Fishing Pier, credit: NYPA)
A masked Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, casts his fishing line off the Niagara Power Project's fishing pier during a recent visit to the project. (Photo: Niagara Fishing Pier, credit: NYPA)

Power Authority offers 'staycation' opportunities for safe, socially distant & free summer fun

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Mon, Jul 20th 2020 04:00 pm

The New York Power Authority reminds New Yorkers living near its power generation and transmission facilities of the free recreation possibilities available right in their own backyards this summer.

New Yorkers are encouraged to take a “staycation” by using of NYPA’s recreational resources, getting active and experiencing New York’s history and natural beauty. While staying close to home and observing social distancing, New Yorkers can enjoy all New York has to offer, including beautiful scenic hiking trails, camping, fishing, boating, picnicking, swimming and fun activities for the entire family.

“After months indoors, New Yorkers are looking for opportunities to safely recreate near home, and the good news is that summer vacations are still possible and affordable by visiting one of NYPA’s free recreation facilities,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “For families looking for healthy, safe activities, closer to home, a New York ‘staycation’ is, literally, just what the doctored ordered.”

There are many facilities and amenities in regions close to NYPA’s power generating facilities and at other locations throughout the state. New Yorkers are encouraged to take advantage of these free, local sites while maintaining social distancing and proper public health guidelines.

Below is a list of opportunities to recreate local by region.

NYPA Recreation Facilities in the North Country

Nicandri Nature Center – Massena: While the Nicandri Nature Center remains closed, the site contains more than 6 miles of trails that are managed for public use.

NYPA’s Frank S. McCullough, Jr. Hawkins Point Visitors Center and Boat Launch – Massena: While the visitor center remains closed, the scenic St. Lawrence riverside site contains picnic tables, trails and fishing access, as well as a boat launch.

Massena Town Beach – The beach consists of 20 scenic acres on the St. Lawrence River that include three covered picnic pavilions, picnic areas, grills, a handicap/wheelchair-accessible waterfront, restrooms, changing rooms, a concession stand, softball field; volleyball court, two basketball hoops, playground equipment and a shoreline nature trail with fishing access.

Robert Moses State Park – Massena (managed by New York State Parks): The park features wooded campsites and cabins, a marina and boat launch, fishing acres, picnic areas, a swimming beach and tennis courts.

Coles Creek State Park – Waddington (managed by State Parks): The park has wooded and open campsites near a swimming beach on Lake St. Lawrence. The lake is ideal for boating and fishing as well. A marina on the mouth of Coles Creek lies just north of the park entrance. The park also has a playground, playing fields and a large pavilion.

Waddington Town Beach (Howard Park) – The beach offers a pavilion, picnic tables, playground facilities, trails for hiking, and transient docking facilities for people arriving by boat.

Whalen Park – Louisville: Located in the Town of Louisville, Whalen park contains a 1.6-mile-long walking/running/biking trail. The handicap-accessible trail meanders along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River.

Whittaker Park – Waddington: Located in the Village of Waddington, the park features recreation fields, a playground and docks.

Island View Park – Waddington: The park is a recreation and picnic facility in the Village of Waddington with a picnic pavilion featuring a central hearth, and a separate building containing new bathrooms, and catering facilities, playground area and docking.

NYPA Recreation Facilities in Western New York

NYPA Fishing Pier – Lewiston: Located at the base of the Robert Moses Power Dam, this pier is reputed to be one of the best fishing spots in the area. The parking lot for the handicap-accessible pier is just off the NYPA Service Road. Call ahead for parking availability and conditions: 716-286-6662.

Lewiston Reservoir Fishing – Lewiston: This reservoir was formed during the construction of the Niagara Power Plant. It features on-shore fishing with beautiful views. It is accessible via Reservoir State Park and near the Upper Mountain Fire Co. off Upper Mountain Road.

Intake Park – Niagara Falls: Located along the Niagara Scenic Parkway, the park offers great fishing, a scenic river overlook and interpretive signage on the history and significance of the Seaway trail.

Reservoir State Park – Niagara Falls (managed by State Parks): The park includes a playground, softball, basketball, tennis, model airplane field, hiking trails and fitness course.

Niagara State Park Gorge Trails – Niagara Falls (managed by State Parks): A natural wonder – formed during the last ice age—the Niagara Gorge consists of a series of hiking trails of varying length and difficulty.

NYPA Recreation Facilities in the Schoharie Valley

NYPA Visitors Center and Lansing Manor – North Blenheim: White the visitors center complex remains closed, the grounds of the complex have picnic spots and wetland areas with beautiful views and hiking trails that connect to the Long Path North.

Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project Reservoirs – Gilboa: NYPA’s Upper Reservoir, on top of Brown Mountain, has fishing, a path to walk and great views. Both upper and lower reservoirs have been stocked with 500 brook trout and brown trout as well as a thriving walleye population. Access can be granted by Kingsley Road. Fishing is also available on the Schoharie Creek at a fishing platform near the NYPA security building on Power Plant Access Road.

Mine Kill State Park – North Blenheim (managed by State Parks): In addition to hiking trails, playgrounds and scenic picnic areas, the park offers boat access to the B-G Project’s Lower Reservoir for boating, kayaking and fishing. The park’s biggest draw is undoubtedly its Olympic-size swimming pool, kiddie pool and dive tank, which are all open with reduced occupancy.

These recreation facilities owned and developed by NYPA – with some managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS Parks), were developed as part of the federal licenses issued to NYPA by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the construction and operation of the Niagara Power Project, the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project and the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in Lewiston, Massena and Gilboa, respectively.

COVID Precautions:

All sites are following New York State guidelines for prevention of COVID-19. New Yorkers are encouraged to check the www.Ny.gov website for the latest opening information for regions they plan to visit. To find more information on New York state’s COVID-19 response plan, visit ny.gov.

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