Hello Summer? We're ready!         


From barbecues and s'mores, to beaches and campgrounds, we're ready to kick off the season.  Historic sites are open, boats are in the water, events are ramping up and trails are ready for hiking. From day trips to week-long escapes, we hope you will take advantage of all that New York State Parks has to offer. We can't wait to host your summer fun. 


A Letter from Commissioner Rose Harvey
 Dear I Love My Park Day Volunteers:


On Saturday, May 4th, thousands turned out to participate in volunteer projects at New York State parks and historic sites across the state as part of the second annual I Love My Park Day, a partnership between New York State Parks and Parks & Trails New York.  On behalf of your parks and sites, I offer you a huge, heartfelt thank you for your amazing efforts.

From trail clearing to tree planting, hundreds of projects to beautify our facilities and prepare them for the summer season were accomplished through your hard work.  Even more importantly, your efforts demonstrated just how important your parks and historic sites are to your families, your communities, and to our entire state as places to be active, explore the outdoors, and relax with friends and family.




Smoke-Free Areas Expanded 

To help families enjoy our great outdoors smoke-free, in a healthy environment, State Parks has expanded upon its smoke-free areas at playgrounds and swimming pools. New areas include other zones such as specific swimming beaches; pavilions and picnic shelters; developed athletic facilities; boardwalks; outdoor seating areas near food and beverage concessions; areas where outdoor environmental education programs are held; public gardens; areas where children or large numbers of visitors congregate; and within 50 feet of buildings.



Riverbank turns 20! 

On Saturday, May 18th Riverbank State Park will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a parade and ceremony to honor park founders and friends, including former Governor Mario M. Cuomo.  A day of activities, including a carnival at the carousel, concert performances and athletic events will be open for the public to enjoy and celebrate two decades of this special and unique park that is visited by more than 3 million people annually.  For more information about Riverbank State Park and the 20th anniversary celebration, visit: 
Riverbank State Park


 Event Spotlight: Downton Abbey Inspired Tours   


Experiencing "Downton Abbey," withdrawal? Fans of the popular British period drama should consider touring Staatsburgh State Historic Site, the former country home of Ruth Livingston Mills and Ogden Mills. During the tour, site staff highlight the real-life counterparts of the Downton Abbey characters, noting the specialized role each servant played and how the house functioned during a busy weekend of entertaining. The programs also touch on the marriage between Beatrice Mills and the 8th Earl of Granard, part of a period trend in which wealthy American girls-like Cora-wed titled gentlemen across the ocean.

Due to its popularity, tour dates have been added through June. Reservations are required. Call 845-889-8851. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors; children 12 and younger are free. Tour dates....  

$5 off Camping Deal*

Get a jump on the fun with the Early Summer Camping Special for advanced reservations. Book now and save $5 per night off regular rates May 28-June 30, a savings of up to 33%!  Receive the $5 per night discount for weekday and weekend stays during the promotion period.


Use promo code EARLYCAMP13NY when making advance reservations by phone at 1.800.456.CAMP or book online.

* Note: This promotion does not apply to sites at Hither Hills State Park, cabins, cottages, mooring buoys, walk-ins, or previously booked reservations.




Path Through History: Highlighting New York's Past   

On May 8th, Governor Andrew Cuomo's Path Through History initiative went live with an interactive website for interested visitors to plan a day trip or extended vacation to experience New York's rich heritage at one or more of the 500 Path Through History destinations across the state - 57 of which are New York State Parks & Historic Sites!  

The Path Through History initiative identifies and highlights the many themes in which New York was and remains influential, including arts and culture, canals and transportation, civil rights, colonial history, innovation and commerce, Native American history, natural history, the Revolutionary War, celebrated moments in sports, revered U.S. Presidents, the War of 1812, and the women's rights movement.  

Many state historic sites will be participating in two specially-designated Path Through History weekends, June 1-2 and June 8-9, with a variety of events to educate visitors on the role our great state played in the development of the nation.  Event lisitings & info


Behind the Scenery: With 
Bonnie Ward, Acting Regional Safety Manager
How long have you been with State Parks? Since 2000.

What does a person in your position do?

True confession: I am officially a Safety Geek!

I coordinate occupational health and safety training/practices throughout the region - including water safety - to ensure a well-trained, informed, workforce. I also organize a successful safety committee to share best practices assuring employee and patron safety is the priority. 


What inspired you to work in the park system? Actually, what started out as just "taking" a job has turned into a career, lifestyle, passion, and "family."

What's the best thing about your job?
Always busy!  The part I find most rewarding is helping our regional parks provide the highest quality beach operations with skilled, trained lifeguards, providing a safe enjoyable experience for our visitors.


Related to the job, what's the coolest thing you've ever seen?

During the Annual Lifeguard In-Service Training Competition with 50 guards at Green Lakes State Park, a missing child was reported. All 50 guards immediately stopped what they were doing, ran to the other side of the beach and organized a human chain to search for the missing child.  To see the trained lifeguards from all over the state jump into action without hesitation was a spectacular sight. Fortunately the child was quickly found, the search called off and the competition resumed.


If someone were to visit your region,is there a hidden destination or activity that you'd suggest?  Sandy Island Beach State Park on Lake Ontario is a beautiful beach that most resembles an ocean-like setting. The view, waves, white sand are incredible. A relaxing experience worth checking out!

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right in your region logo 
Visit our
web calendar for 
hikes, programs,
festivals & more!

National Safe Boating 
Week: May 18-24.


NY State Parks joins with
boaters from all around

the world to raise safety
awareness and set the 

record for Life Jacket 

World Record Day. 




camping guide cover 2013   

 If you haven't planned
your summer escape,



Meet the Locals

Spotted Salamander  

(Ambystoma maculatum)

 Salamanders, like frogs and toads,

are amphibians. This means they
lead "double lives" spending their early
life as aquatic larvae which undergo metamorphosis, transforming into
land-based animals.  Their smooth
skin must be kept moist because it
is permeable to water. Unlike frogs, salamanders keep their larval tail and slender bodies and move by crawling rather than jumping.  The spotted salamander, shown above, is gray
to black with yellow spots in two rows along back, and adults are usually
5-8 inches in length.  

Learn what State Parks' natural
resources staff  are doing at Thacher
Park to help protect the spotted salamander, a New York State
Species of Special Concern.
Read More    

   -State University of NY College of
Environmental Science & Forestry



life guard


Are you whistle worthy?
Prove it!   Check out the
lifeguard exam schedule
for locations near you!

Donate directly to your favorite
park or historic site.

Come discover what you
LOVE in New York. The 2013
   I Love NY's Summer Guide 

is digital! Check out the many state parks & historic sites featured as must-see destinations. 


Empire pass
Get Your 2013
Empire Passport!   

Your pass for all season enjoyment --unlimited vehicle entry to NY's 

State parks for just $65. Bring as
many friends as your car holds!
 Purchase online
or call: 518-474-0458



Ny web App

Download our FREE
iPhone App on iTunes!  


NYS parks app qr code



The Camper Assistance Program (CAP) offers seasoned campers an opportunity to share their expertise and love of the outdoors with other people at operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. In return, CAP volunteers receive a free camping site.