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Niagara Falls file photo
Niagara Falls file photo

2024 New York State Parks Centennial Challenge


Wed, Dec 20th 2023 03:10 pm

Celebrate 100th anniversary of state park system by participating in array of activities & programs

√ Participants can earn commemorative sticker, chance to win Empire passes; watch Centennial Challenge video to learn how it works

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a year-long celebratory challenge that all New York state residents and visitors can participate in to explore state parks, learn about New York history, and give back to New York State Parks for the next generation of adventurers.

Set to begin Jan. 1, the New York State Parks Centennial Challenge includes 100 missions that can be completed at various state parks and historic sites. Participants will need to complete 24 missions throughout 2024 to complete the challenge.

"There is so much to do within our vast state park system, and the Centennial Challenge is a great way to introduce New Yorkers and visitors alike to our historic and awe-inspiring properties for 2024’s 100th anniversary celebration," Hochul said. "Our park system is an incredible place to visit year-round, and the Centennial Challenge is a great activity for all who are resolving to have a fun and adventurous New Year.”

The Centennial Challenge is part of a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of New York’s statewide park and historic site system. The celebration will both highlight and build upon one of New York state’s greatest environmental legacies. In 1924, Gov. Alfred E. Smith and the State Legislature created the New York State Council of Parks while voters approved a $15 million bond act to build and enlarge a network of state parks, forging the New York state park and historic site system that residents and visitors know today.

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "The Centennial Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to experience the unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation, culture and education that are available in the New York State Park system. You may already have a favorite park or a favorite activity, but there is more for everyone to see and do – be it locally or around the state. I encourage residents and visitors alike to take up the challenge to discover new and exciting ways to enjoy these amazing places.”

The challenge is designed to be completed by people of all abilities and can be finished by visiting parks and historic sites across the state or keeping with one that’s close to home.

Some example Centennial Challenge “missions” include:

√ Go camping at one of more than 8,500 campsites

√ Visit a “new-to-you” state park or historic site and bring a picnic

√ Pack your skates and go skating at one of state parks’ ice rinks

√ Talk to an interpreter about the history of a state historic site

√ Join a volunteer event

√ Learn the “Leave No Trace” principles and apply them during your next visit

Participants will need to complete 24 missions (earn 24 points) throughout 2024 in order to complete the challenge. Those who complete it will earn a commemorative centennial sticker, and, in turn, be entered into a promotional giveaway where 24 participants will win a three-year Empire Pass and centennial merchandise. For every 10 additional points, participants will receive one additional entry into the promotional giveaway. The promotional drawing will take place the week of Jan. 13, 2025. Submissions (both mailed in and submitted via the Goosechase app) will be accepted through Jan. 10, 2025.

How It Works

Participants can get involved by downloading an app on their phone or completing a paper form.

•Goosechase app

√ Participants can take the challenge on the go by downloading the Goosechase app on their phone from the iPhone or Android app store

√ Search for “NY State Parks Centennial Challenge” to join

√ Once they’ve joined, participants can collect points by completing missions right in the app by either taking and uploading photos or videos or submitting an answer to a question


√ A paper checklist can be downloaded on the Centennial Challenge website and printed at home, or can be picked up at a local state park or historic site

√ Collect points by checking missions off the list and mailing the checklist in once participants have earned 24 points

For more information on the New York State Park Centennial, visit https://www.parks.ny.gov/100/challenge.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses and boat launches, which saw a record 79.5 million visits in 2022. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518-474-0456. Connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the OPRHP blog.

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