New York’s State parks, historic sites, campgrounds, and trails welcomed a record-setting 78.4 million visits in 2021, continuing the robust level of visitation seen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From Niagara Falls to Montauk Point, our State Parks and Historic Sites are a treasure that every New Yorker should be able to enjoy,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “During the pandemic, parks and public spaces have become more important than ever, providing New Yorkers with safe and enjoyable outdoor spaces for gatherings and recreation. New York was proud to welcome a record-setting number of visitors to our State Parks last year, and we look forward to modernizing our parks system as we approach its historic 100th anniversary in 2024.”
Total visits statewide increased in 2021 by more than 427,000, driven by a dramatic rebound of more than three million visitors at Niagara Falls State Park compared to 2020, when international border tourism was curtailed due to COVID-19 protocols. More than nine million visitors went to Niagara Falls State Park last year.
Officials said state park attendance has been steadily climbing, rising 41 percent since 2008. In addition to the total attendance, parks also set a new record for 2021 overnight visitation at campgrounds, with campsite, cabins and cottages booked for more than 787,000 nights.
“I am grateful that even more people decided they wanted to go to our State Parks and Historic Sites in 2021, even as other recreation options were becoming more available to them. New York has invested significantly in recent years to make its facilities world-class and even more improvements are coming,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said.
Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “With more travelers increasingly looking for new ways to experience the outdoors, our world class State Parks system offers visitors unparalleled opportunities. I LOVE NY proudly encourages travelers from around the state, nation and world to include our parks, trails, historic sites and campgrounds as part of their next getaway and come be a part of all.”