A view from Thatcher Park (Photo via state Department of Transportation)
ALBANY – State run parks, historic sites and campgrounds saw some 69.3 million visitors in 2016, a 6 percent increase from 2015 and a 21 percent increase since 2011.
John Boyd Thatcher Park in Voorheesville saw one of the largest jumps in the state, going from 309,263 visitors in 2015 to 579,380 last year.
Thompson’s Lake State Park, located within the boundaries of Thatcher Park and features a campground, saw an increase from 62,633 in 2015 to 68,797 2016.
“New York parks are the heart of the tourism economy, and these numbers show that more and more people are discovering their unparalleled natural beauty and recreation opportunities that are available in every corner of the state,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
Annual park system attendance has climbed steadily from the 57.2 million visits in 2011, thanks, in part, to the New York Parks 2020 program, a multi-year plan to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for state parks from 2011 to 2020. Cuomo’s 2018 budget includes $120 million for the initiative.