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Top 10 visited New York State Parks in 2023

todayFebruary 7, 2024 5

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Governor Hochul announced record attendance at New York State Parks in 2023 including Letchworth State Park.

According to Hochul, attendance at the state parks hit 84.1 million in 2023 which marks 4.7 million more than the previous year. Though our state parks have seen a 60 percent increase in the last two decades, this recent jump was the highest annual increase on record.

Though they didn’t make the top 10 list, some more local parks in the Finger Lakes and Rochester regions did set records in 2023. Notably, our very own Letchworth State Park reached its highest number of visitors in the last 20 years totaling 97,5406. Watkins Glen State Park also hit its record for the last two decades with a total of 1,234,805 visitors last year.

Kucko’s Camera: Foggy morning Letchworth memories

Here is a list of the top 10 most visited New York State Parks in 2023:

1. Niagara Reservation — 9,483,974

Niagara Falls State Park is open 365 days a year, offering a view of what is often said to be one of the seven wonders of the world. This park features thrilling attractions like Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist, miles of hiking trails, interactive exhibits, and more.

This year, the park is offering a special 2024 Solar Eclipse viewing event with NASA in April.

2. Jones Beach — 8,634,107

Located in the Long Island region, Jones Beach State Park is a white sand beach on the Atlantic Ocean. This park offers 6.5 miles of beach, .5 miles of bay beach for a still water swimming option, and two swimming pools.

Activities at this beach include fishing, strolling the boardwalk, an adventure park, mini golf, shuffleboarding, concerts, and more.

3. Robert Moses State Park — 3,879,325

Robert Moses State Park offers a beachfront facility located at the western point of Fire Island. Known for its 18-hole golf course in Field 2, the field also offers a volleyball court area that can hold up to 21 games at a time.

Other attractions at the park include picnic areas, concessions, beach shops, playgrounds, a gazebo for large gatherings, and a boat basin. Located in Field 5 is a 3/4 mile nature walk that leads to the Fire Island Lighthouse.

Also included is a park office that sells a variety of permits that allow visitors to engage in their preferred recreational activities.

4. Sunken Meadow State Park — 3,636,435

Offering views of the Long Island Sound and Connecticut, the Sunken Meadow State Park hosts millions of people each year. This park offers ball fields for pick-up sports, a boardwalk for visitors to enjoy, and a launching area for windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and canoeing.

A 27-hole golf course is also featured at this park with a view of the Long Island Sound from the golf driving range.

5. Saratoga Springs — 3,629,060

Known for its Saratoga Performing Arts Center and theater, the Saratoga Spa State Park offers plenty of opportunities to get involved in the arts as well as sports activities.

This state park also features two golf courses, an 18-hole course, and a 9-hole course. There are multiple options for swimming with the Peerless Pool Complex which includes a main pool with zero depth entry, a separate pool with a double slide, and a children’s wading pool.

6. Riverbank State Park — 3,170,822

Named after Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell, Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park offers a variety of recreational, athletic, and arts activities for its visitors. Spread out across five buildings, this park features an Olympic-size pool, a covered skating rink for roller skating in the summer and ice skating in the winter, a theater, an athletic complex with a fitness room, and a restaurant.

Outdoor sports amenities include a 25-yard lap pool, a wading pool, 12 courts for various sports, a softball field, and a running track with a football/soccer field. Other features include an educational greenhouse, playgrounds, a water splashing area, a carousel, and picnic areas.

7. Gantry Plaza — 2,731,985

Located in Long Island City, Gantry Plaza State Park is a riverside oasis that provides views of the midtown Manhattan skyline and the Empire State Building. The park’s centerpieces it was named after are restored gantries which were once used to load and unload rail car floats and barges.

This park offers the space for summer concerts, with recreational facilities that include basketball courts, playgrounds, handball courts, and a fishing pier with its own cleaning table.

8. Bear Mountain State Park — 2,212,185

Bear Mountain State Park is located in the Palisades Region among mountains on the Hudson River. This park offers three lodges that accept reservations when they’re in season.

One of the park’s attractions is a Merry-Go-Round which features hand-painted scenes of the park and has 42 hand-carved seats of native animals.

Other attractions include a large field, picnic areas, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, an outdoor ice rink, Trailside Museums and Zoo, hiking, biking, and cross-country ski trails.

9. Green Lakes State Park — 2,125,820

Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Green Lakes State Park features two glacial lakes surrounded by forest. Both the Round and Green Lakes are meromictic lakes which means that there is no mixing of the surface and bottom waters in these lakes. Due to this, no outside watercraft is allowed but rowboats and kayaks can be rented from the park’s boat house.

Some of the park’s activities include golfing on the 18-hole golf course, snowshoeing in winter, and 15 miles of trails that cross-country skiers can use.

10. Captree State Park —1,483,920

Captree State Park is home to the largest public fishing fleet on Long Island. The fleet offers sightseeing excursions and scuba diving trips as well as two large fishing piers.

The park offers charter boats for saltwater fishing and there is no license or equipment needed as the boat staff provides everything necessary for a fishing trip.

To view the whole New York State Park attendance list, click here.

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Governor Hochul announced record attendance at New York State Parks in 2023 including Letchworth State Park.

According to Hochul, attendance at the state parks hit 84.1 million in 2023 which marks 4.7 million more than the previous year. Though our state parks have seen a 60 percent increase in the last two decades, this recent jump was the highest annual increase on record.

Though they didn’t make the top 10 list, some more local parks in the Finger Lakes and Rochester regions did set records in 2023. Notably, our very own Letchworth State Park reached its highest number of visitors in the last 20 years totaling 97,5406. Watkins Glen State Park also hit its record for the last two decades with a total of 1,234,805 visitors last year.
Kucko’s Camera: Foggy morning Letchworth memories
Here is a list of the top 10 most visited New York State Parks in 2023:

1. Niagara Reservation — 9,483,974

Niagara Falls State Park is open 365 days a year, offering a view of what is often said to be one of the seven wonders of the world. This park features thrilling attractions like Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist, miles of hiking trails, interactive exhibits, and more.

This year, the park is offering a special 2024 Solar Eclipse viewing event with NASA in April.

2. Jones Beach — 8,634,107

Located in the Long Island region, Jones Beach State Park is a white sand beach on the Atlantic Ocean. This park offers 6.5 miles of beach, .5 miles of bay beach for a still water swimming option, and two swimming pools.

Activities at this beach include fishing, strolling the boardwalk, an adventure park, mini golf, shuffleboarding, concerts, and more.

3. Robert Moses State Park — 3,879,325

Robert Moses State Park offers a beachfront facility located at the western point of Fire Island. Known for its 18-hole golf course in Field 2, the field also offers a volleyball court area that can hold up to 21 games at a time.

Other attractions at the park include picnic areas, concessions, beach shops, playgrounds, a gazebo for large gatherings, and a boat basin. Located in Field 5 is a 3/4 mile nature walk that leads to the Fire Island Lighthouse.

Also included is a park office that sells a variety of permits that allow visitors to engage in their preferred recreational activities.

4. Sunken Meadow State Park — 3,636,435

Offering views of the Long Island Sound and Connecticut, the Sunken Meadow State Park hosts millions of people each year. This park offers ball fields for pick-up sports, a boardwalk for visitors to enjoy, and a launching area for windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and canoeing.

A 27-hole golf course is also featured at this park with a view of the Long Island Sound from the golf driving range.

5. Saratoga Springs — 3,629,060

Known for its Saratoga Performing Arts Center and theater, the Saratoga Spa State Park offers plenty of opportunities to get involved in the arts as well as sports activities.

This state park also features two golf courses, an 18-hole course, and a 9-hole course. There are multiple options for swimming with the Peerless Pool Complex which includes a main pool with zero depth entry, a separate pool with a double slide, and a children’s wading pool.

6. Riverbank State Park — 3,170,822

Named after Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell, Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park offers a variety of recreational, athletic, and arts activities for its visitors. Spread out across five buildings, this park features an Olympic-size pool, a covered skating rink for roller skating in the summer and ice skating in the winter, a theater, an athletic complex with a fitness room, and a restaurant.

Outdoor sports amenities include a 25-yard lap pool, a wading pool, 12 courts for various sports, a softball field, and a running track with a football/soccer field. Other features include an educational greenhouse, playgrounds, a water splashing area, a carousel, and picnic areas.

7. Gantry Plaza — 2,731,985

Located in Long Island City, Gantry Plaza State Park is a riverside oasis that provides views of the midtown Manhattan skyline and the Empire State Building. The park’s centerpieces it was named after are restored gantries which were once used to load and unload rail car floats and barges.

This park offers the space for summer concerts, with recreational facilities that include basketball courts, playgrounds, handball courts, and a fishing pier with its own cleaning table.

8. Bear Mountain State Park — 2,212,185

Bear Mountain State Park is located in the Palisades Region among mountains on the Hudson River. This park offers three lodges that accept reservations when they’re in season.

One of the park’s attractions is a Merry-Go-Round which features hand-painted scenes of the park and has 42 hand-carved seats of native animals.

Other attractions include a large field, picnic areas, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, an outdoor ice rink, Trailside Museums and Zoo, hiking, biking, and cross-country ski trails.

9. Green Lakes State Park — 2,125,820

Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Green Lakes State Park features two glacial lakes surrounded by forest. Both the Round and Green Lakes are meromictic lakes which means that there is no mixing of the surface and bottom waters in these lakes. Due to this, no outside watercraft is allowed but rowboats and kayaks can be rented from the park’s boat house.

Some of the park’s activities include golfing on the 18-hole golf course, snowshoeing in winter, and 15 miles of trails that cross-country skiers can use.

10. Captree State Park —1,483,920

Captree State Park is home to the largest public fishing fleet on Long Island. The fleet offers sightseeing excursions and scuba diving trips as well as two large fishing piers.

The park offers charter boats for saltwater fishing and there is no license or equipment needed as the boat staff provides everything necessary for a fishing trip.

To view the whole New York State Park attendance list, click here. Read More Around New York StateRochesterFirst  

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