The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced that nearly 43.7 million people visited state parks and historic sites from January 1 through the last weekend of August—a 2.3 million increase in visits over 2011.
That includes several local parks as well as the most popular parks in New York. For example, so far this year the Rockefeller Preserve, Philipse Manor and the Old Croton Aqueduct have seen growth in visitors.
- Old Croton Aqueduct: 708,402 visitors, up from 563,436 in 2011.
- Philipse Manor: 14,814, up from 13,967.
- Rockefeller Preserve: 236,732, up from 187,812 in 2011.
"It is gratifying that so many people continue to enjoy and appreciate the New York state park system year after year," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "New Yorkers are fortunate to have such high-quality and inviting state parks and historic sites across the state, and we hope to see even more visitors have fun at their parks this Labor Day weekend."
Park system officials said they are expecting a busy Labor Day weekend.
"We’ve had a tremendous season so far and we hope that our visitors enjoyed their time swimming, camping, golfing, hiking and sightseeing at our parks and historic sites," Harvey said. "But the year is far from over and fall is one of the best times to get outside in New York. We look forward to welcoming millions more visitors to our properties for fall camping, leaf peeping festivals, historical reenactments and more."
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, or connect on Facebook.
Are you spending more leisure time in New York and at the state's parks these days? What's your favorite park? Tell us in the comments.