New York’s State parks, historic sites, campgrounds, and trails welcomed a record-setting 78 million visitors in 2020 according to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the state agency charged with the operation of New York State parks and historic sites
The milestone marks nine years of steady visitor growth and represents an overall increase of 34 percent, or more than 20 million visitors since 2011.
New York State Parks saw estimated visitation grow from the previous record of 77.1 million visits in 2019. This increase was driven by unprecedented growth during the spring and fall seasons, as New Yorkers turned to state parks and historic sites for safe, healthy outdoor recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Visitation during the summer, typically the busiest time in the park system, was held in check as State park beaches, pools, historic sites and trailheads operated with reduced capacity limits put in place to protect visitor health and promote social distancing.
Attendance at some of the park system’s traditionally most popular destinations was also impacted by limits on out-of-state and international visitors; cancellation of large concerts, festivals and events; and public messages urging people to recreate locally.