Image of Pixley Falls

100 Years: We’ll See You Out There

A celebration of 100 years of New York State Parks and Historic Sites
100 Years: We’ll See You Out There
Exhibition on View
A Celebration of 100 Years of New York State Parks and Historic Sites
State Street Tunnel, Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York

In 2024, New York State Parks and Historic Sites celebrates its Centennial, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the New York State Council of Parks by Governor Alfred E. Smith and the State Legislature, which forged the State Park and Historic Site system we know and love today. 

This system was built for you and serves as an acknowledgement that public access to open spaces and recreational assets is a right, not a privilege, afforded to all. Join us in celebrating the growth and expansion of our system over the last 100 years—and help us ignite conversation and action around the care and preservation of New York State lands for generations to come.

Collage of people enjoying New York State Parks

Watkins Glen State Park

Best known for its winding gorge, chattering waterfalls, and 200-foot cliffs, Watkins Glen State Park has been voted one of the best state parks in the country. It is a natural haven with camping, swimming, and nearby fishing, but this park also offers easy access to some of the best culture and shopping that New York’s Southern Tier has to offer.

Photo credit: Brandon Sprung
Image of Watkins Glen State Park

Niagara Falls State Park

The powerful beauty of Niagara Falls State Park makes it the most visited park in the entire system. With many fully accessible trails and viewing spaces, this international attraction is truly welcoming to all.
Image of Niagara Falls State park featuring two people overlooking the falls on a sunny day.

Midway State Park

Preserving New York’s history is a core mission for the State Parks system, and at Midway State Park that includes a history of family fun! The 125-year-old park includes vintage rides, arcade games, and a restored 1946 carousel overlooking glittering Chautauqua Lake.
Image of the carousel at Midway State Park

Roberto Clemente State Park

New York State Parks prides itself on providing access to water with more than 70 beaches and pools. Many locations, like Roberto Clemente State Park, also offer swimming lessons for kids and adults to help build healthy habits and make water sports safer and more fun for everyone.
Image of kids swimming in the pool at Roberto Clemente State Park on a sunny day.

New York State Park Police

Since their initial patrols of Niagara Falls State Park in 1885, the New York State Park Police have been a dedicated, highly trained force devoted to providing a safe environment for all visitors. We thank them for their commitment and professionalism.
Collage of images including some New York State Park Policemen, a New York State Park Police Boat, and a New York State Park Police Snowmobile.

Ganondagan State Historic Site

Ganondagan State Historic Site honors the rich culture of the Seneca Nation. Established in 1987, the site welcomes visitors to explore its reconstructed longhouse, art and history exhibitions, and special programs, like the annual Indigenous Music and Arts Festival.

Photo credit: Alex Hamer
Image of the Indigenous Music and Arts Festival at the Ganondagan State Historic Site


New York State Parks are beautiful places to visit in the winter for skiing, snowshoeing, and even eagle spotting. Some State Historic Sites also offer activities like sleigh rides and hearth cooking that explore the state’s many cultural cold-weather traditions.
Image collage of winter at NYS Parks

Letchworth State Park

Award-winning Letchworth State Park is one of the jewels of New York State Parks. Visitors can explore the gorge’s natural beauty with a whitewater rafting tour or experience the first-of-its-kind Autism Nature Trail, featuring eight sensory stations that support neurodiverse learning.

Photo credit: Laurence Tetamore
Image collage of Letchworth State Park

Gantry Plaza State Park

Urban parks are oases of public recreation and beauty. Opening in 1998, Gantry Plaza State Park reclaimed 12 acres of waterfront from industrial use for concerts, ballcourts, playgrounds, and fishing, all with a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline forming the backdrop.
Image of Gantry Plaza State Park with the Manhattan skyline in the background.

Olana State Historic Site

Olana State Historic Site, the home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church, provides a window into the mind of the artist as you experience the home he crafted to his vision. Explore all of the 37 State Historic Sites, spanning the rich and diverse history of New York from the colonial era to the twentieth century.
Image of Olana State Historic Site

Rock Island Lighthouse State Park

There are seven lighthouses in the State Parks system, including historic Rock Island Lighthouse State Park. Visitors can climb to the lantern room for a view of the St. Lawrence River or get up close and personal with the river on a boat tour. Docking is even available to private vessels.

Photo credit: George Fischer
Lighthouse at Rock Island State Park

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

The Empire State Trail offers New Yorkers from Manhattan to Canada and Albany to Buffalo 750 miles of cycling, running, and walking. The trail travels through some of the State’s most beautiful parks, including across the historic railway bridge at Walkway Over the Hudson.
Image of the walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park.

Bethpage State Park

Some of the best courses and golf values in New York can be found within State Parks, including the famed Black Course at Bethpage State Park—site of two previous U.S. Opens, the 2019 PGA Championship, and future site of the 2025 Ryder Cup.

Photo credit: Gary Kellner
Image of the golf course at Bethpage State Park

Taconic Outdoor Education Center

New York State Parks’ 30 nature centers help us understand the natural world and connect with others. The Taconic Outdoor Education Center is unique in offering both day and overnight educational and team-building activities to strengthen the mind and body while fostering an appreciation of nature.
Image of kayakers at the Taconic Outdoor Education Center

Pixley Falls State Park

New York has notable waterfalls in 15 of its State Parks. Discover captivating scenic wonders, like Pixley Falls State Park, which resonate with the powerful symphony of cascading water. Explore these waterfalls on a road trip and unveil these majestic marvels!

Photo credit: Denise Adams
Image of a waterfall at Pixley Falls State Park


Whether it’s in a cabin, a camper, or a tent, camping promotes healthy relationships, physical fitness, and stress reduction. With 8,555 campsites in New York State Parks, that’s a lot of healthier, happier people!

Upper left-hand corner – Photo credit: Vaughn Martinian
Lower left-hand corner – Photo credit: Colby Baker
Right-column – Photo credit: Sabrina Kornowski
Collage of image of camping at NYS State Parks

Historic Preservation

New York State Historic Sites are vibrant places to share the rich and diverse history that has created the state we know today. Costumed reenactors, live demonstrations, and beautifully restored interiors combine to give visitors thought-provoking and meaningful experiences that help them to see the world around them with a new understanding.
Collage of images of New York State Historic Sites

The Next Generation

New York State Parks and Historic Sites are the place for kids to experience nature and history. Whether it is shared family time or lessons and camps with trained instructors, experiences in these places build confidence, inquisitiveness, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Upper left-hand corner – Photo credit: Amy Keyes
Lower left-hand corner – Photo credit: Heidi Lauger
Right column – Photo credit: ManYing NgaiChoi
Collage of images of kids enjoying NYS State Parks

Taughannock Falls State Park

Taking in New York’s lush wild lands often means enjoying intense and vivid greens. Taughannock Falls State Park has a tower viewer that corrects for color blindness, allowing more visitors to see the array of greens of the foliage.
Collage of images from Taughannock Falls State Park

Jones Beach State Park

The six miles of beautiful shoreline at Jones Beach State Park attract millions of visitors every summer, making it one of the most popular and beloved beaches on the East Coast. Visitors can enjoy the open-ocean views, attend concerts at the site’s outdoor music arena, or take a stroll down the scenic boardwalk.
Image of the beach at Jones Beach State Park.

Bear Mountain State Park

The Hudson River is a dramatic backdrop for numerous New York State Parks and Historic Sites. Side-by-side where the Popolopen Creek joins the river, Bear Mountain State Park and Fort Montgomery State Historic Site share amazing sunrises, American Revolution history, and a section of the Appalachian Trail.

Photo credit: Wendy Blanchard
Image of Bear Mountain State Park


Started in 2012, I Love My Park Day brings thousands of volunteers into their neighborhood parks and historic sites. Across the state, community members come together to build pollinator gardens and playgrounds, remove invasive species, and help with other projects to care for the places they love.
Image of volunteers digging on I Love My Park Day
Special Thanks To

100 Years of NYS Parks logos