We recently reported on the Adirondack Park being named a top state park in the country. This newest accolade shouldn’t be a surprise, then – New York State Parks overall saw a record number of visitors during 2020.
People Love Their State Parks (And the Adirondacks in Particular!)
A recent press release from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation notes that New York saw 78 million visitors to State Parks in 2020, which represents an overall increase of 34% since 2011.
While the high numbers are undoubtedly related to the pandemic, this call to the great outdoors has clearly been an ongoing trend for some time. And in fact, Adirondack Explorer reported last fall that visitors to the Adirondack Park specifically had increased a whopping 78% between 2007 and 2017.
The Empire State Trail & Other Improvements/Expansions
Recent major upgrades to parks and trails in the state also contributed to this upswing in visitors. Several State Parks completed new facilities under the Governor’s 2020 plan, and the statewide Empire State Trail was completed.
This 750-mile trail is a year-round, multi-recreational trail for hikers, cross-country skiers, and other recreationalists. It runs from New York City to Canada, and also from Albany to Buffalo along the Erie Canal. There are 45 gateways and trailheads along the trail, which connects to dozens of other trails and previously disconnected, off-road trails.
Pictured above is a stop along the trail in Ticonderoga, close to Bicentennial Park. This 110-mile portion of the trail is all on-road and goes from Whitehall to Rouses Point along the Canadian border. Find the map and more info at empiretrail.ny.gov.
Did you check out parts of the Adirondack Park you hadn’t before in 2020? As the largest state park in New York by far, there’s always opportunities to forge new paths! (Although not literally, please stay on marked trails.)
- Adirondack Explorer: High Peaks crowds talks