N.Y. State Park Park Visits Up, Camping Down in 2010
Former N.Y. Gov. David Paterson found out the hard way just how passionate New Yorkers are about the outdoors.
When he tried to close dozens of state parks and historic sites as a means of saving money last year, a public outcry ensued. Paterson backed down, and the hikers, bikers and campers poured in, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.
According to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the state park system played host to nearly 57 million visitors in 2010, a jump of 1 million visits over the previous year.
Booked nights for camping in state parks were down only slightly and 2009 was a record year for camping. With 178 state parks and 35 historic sites, New York's system is among the largest and oldest in America.
"The robust park and historic site attendance in 2010 reflects the enduring popularity of the New York state park system," acting Commissioner Andy Beers said in a statement earlier this year. "With so many people turning to affordable and convenient destinations for recreation and culture in these difficult economic times, New York is fortunate to have such high-quality and inviting state parks and historic sites across the state."