Making Summer Memories At New York State Parks

By Senator Patty Ritchie
From waterways where you can land your next big catch and trails for hiking to places perfect for camping and beautiful beaches, the State Parks across New York offer a little something for everyone.

Senator Patty Ritchie at the Black Lake boat launch.
Senator Patty Ritchie at the Black Lake boat launch.

This month, across the country we celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month, a time when we make a special point to get outdoors and enjoy all the beautiful nature New York has to offer.

New York State is home to 180 state parks, including dozens in the region I represent.

There are so many reasons why our parks are the perfect places to visit this summer.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Affordability: It’s no secret, summer vacation can be expensive. In fact, according to a recent survey the average cost is $1,100 per person. Camping at one of the many parks throughout New York State can be an affordable, not to mention fun, way to vacation in the coming weeks that won’t break the bank.

Endless activities: From fishing to golfing, the activities available at New York State Parks are without number. On the New York State Parks website,, you can search by activity to find just the park to meet your interests.

Opportunities to get healthy: This year, New York State Parks are making an extra push to encourage people to “Get Fit.” You can find a schedule of activities including yoga, tennis, swimming lessons, kayaking and more at

New improvements: Across our state, upgrades are being made to parks that improve the experience for those who use them.  For example, just recently, I was pleased to announce that the swimming beach at Selkirk Shores State Park in Oswego County reopened after being closed for several years. The swimming beach will now be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Black Lake in St. Lawrence County, improvements to the boat launch are underway that will make it easier for people to enjoy the waterway. And, in Jefferson County, a new waterfront comfort station at Keewaydin State Park features a new pavilion, as well as new bathroom and shower facilities for visitors.

Our New York State Parks offer great opportunities to have fun and make memories with friends and family.

For more information on New York State Parks, including helpful resources like camping checklists, maps and wildlife viewing guides, please visit