Camping Discount for Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence Regions Helps Fuel Surge
Campsites, Cabins, Cottages, Yurts Occupied More Than 680,000 Nights
Albany, N.Y. - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that attendance at State Park campgrounds surged to an all-time high this year, fueled by a camping discount along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River regions. Through Columbus Day, campsites, cabins, cottages and yurts at State Parks campgrounds were occupied for 680,533 nights, surpassing the previous 2018 record of 663,953 nights. Total reservations so far this year were also up, to 213,153, surpassing the previous record of 212,358 set in 2016.
"This incredible surge illustrates how our efforts to promote and revitalize our campgrounds are working, drawing visitors and increasing tourism to the flood-affected areas of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence," Governor Cuomo said. "This rise in visitors experiencing the beauty of our State Parks are not only enjoying a day in nature, but driving economic activity in every corner of this great state."
Since Governor Cuomo announced the 50 percent discount Aug. 1 on fees at more than 30 campgrounds, parks and boat launches along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, those campgrounds received 10,263 new reservations. This represents about 36,000 additional visitors to a region impacted by high lake levels.
Since Governor Cuomo took office in 2011, total overnight stays at campgrounds operated by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have risen 26 percent, with reservations up 21 percent.
During that period, the number of campgrounds increased from 65 to 68, with total campsites available increasing from 8,379 to 8,555. The number of full-service cottages -- which include amenities like power, kitchen, bath, beds, living room, and outdoor living space -- jumped from 50 to 128, and cabins went from 791 to 830. In 2011, there were no yurts available at campgrounds, and now there are 18.
State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "Under the governor's NY Parks 2020 initiative, we are renewing and modernizing our facilities, and people are noticing. We are offering our visitors more amenities and choices in how they want to stay, and more people are coming."
Overnight Attendance at State Parks Campgrounds By Year:
Overnight Stays at State Parks campgrounds in 2019 by Region:
Western New York - 121,393
Finger Lakes - 127,775
Southern Tier - 75,988
Central New York - 52,071
Mohawk Valley - 32,616
North Country - 151,833
Capital Region - 44,616
Mid-Hudson - 23,394
Long Island - 48,735
Late season camping remains available at selected campgrounds through the end of November. Reservations are available through ReserveAmerica, which provides online and phone reservations for campsites throughout New York. Reservations are accepted for campsites and cabins, from one day to nine months in advance of the planned arrival date. Visit the website or call toll free 1-800-456-CAMP.
The Governor's NY Parks 2020 plan is a multi-year commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in State Parks from 2015 to 2020.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 74 million people last year. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.