New, Improved Niagara Falls Overlook Reopens
projects are underway to renew New York State’s most popular state park. Terrapin
Point, a popular spot in Niagara Falls overlooking Horseshoe Falls, reopened
following a $4.4 million restoration. Improvements include new pathways,
several new overlooks throughout the point, new railings, pavers, lighting,
benches and new landscaping.
A $5.6 million project to renew the
Cave of the Winds Pedestrian Plaza and Stedman’s Bluff will also be completed this
summer. These areas will be updated with improved dining areas, concessions,
new restroom facilities and enhanced landscaping.
is also underway on a $7 million Cave of the Winds facility that will become a
year-round tourism centerpiece of the park. Instead of a long wait in line, the
new attraction will allow visitors to enjoy a 30-minute interactive program
featuring the natural and cultural history of Niagara Falls, before donning the
customary rain poncho and sandals for the 175-foot Cave of the Winds elevator
trip down to the Hurricane Deck.
improvements are part of the Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $70 million commitment
to restore the park’s natural landscape, enhance its recreational facilities
and attract thousands of new visitors to the region each year. Read
Discover History this Independence Day
What better place to spend Fourth of July weekend with your
family & friends than a New York State Historic Site! Several historic
sites will be hosting events that are not to be missed.
Visit Old Fort Niagara July
2nd through 4th for their three day reenactment of the French
and Indian war, complete with artillery and engineering demonstrations. Knox's Headquarters and New Windsor Cantonment will celebrate the day with military drills, cannon firing and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Or come experience an Old-Fashioned Independence Day at Clermont State
Historic for 18th century crafts,
reenactments, food, and fireworks!
Enjoy an American celebration at John Jay Homestead
State Historic Site with a fair, or check out Schuyler Mansion
State Historic Site for games, performances, ice cream and an overall great
time. For even more events and activities, please visit our calendar.
Humphrey Nature Center at Letchworth
State Park Now Open
Humphrey Nature Center at Letchworth State Park is now open. The four-season
facility will help visitors appreciate all there is to Letchworth State Park.
Visitors can learn about nature from birds to bugs, trees to trout,
butterflies, deer, natural vegetation and its importance to the parks’
ecosystem; participate in guided walks and hikes; test their skills on a
compass course; immerse themselves in a scavenger hunt to help solve nature
riddles; and more.
Made possible by the funding efforts led by Genesee Region State Parks
Commission Chari Peter G. Humphrey and the Humphrey family, the facility is
named the Humphrey Nature Center at Letchworth State Park in recognition of the
family’s ties dating back to the creation of the park. Read More
New Gateway Center to Greet Walkway Over the Hudson Visitors
Andrew M. Cuomo recently visited the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic
Park to announce that two new energy efficient gateway visitor centers will be
built at both the east and west entrances to the unique linear park above the
Hudson River. Both gateways will feature new services and modern facilities to
make visits to the Walkway more enjoyable.
On the Walkway’s east approach in Poughkeepsie, the visitor center will feature
food vendors, open and covered outdoor seating, a dog friendly water fountain,
bike racks, relocated signage, landscaping, and new restrooms. The westside visitor
center in the Town of Lloyd will feature both open and covered outdoor seating
and be powered by an array of solar panels. It will also provide space for food
vendors, amphitheater seating for relaxing and special events, new and improved
signage, enhanced landscaping, a bus drop-off location, and upgraded pathways.
Construction on both
facilities is expected to begin in 2017. Read more. See photos.
Find Your Fit at New York State Parks
As we kick off the summer, look for the following events
across the state as great ways to stay healthy and active this season.
Interested in learning how to kayak? Join Tina, a certified
kayak instructor, for basic beginner classes at Beaver Island State Park.
Sessions will be held Thursday and Saturday throughout the summer. For more
information call 716-282-5154. Space is limited so sign up early!
Looking to get out on the trail this summer? Both Minnewaska State Park
Preserve and the Sam’s
Point Area of Minnewaska are providing numerous hikes and treks throughout
the months of July and August. These include exploring the Shingle Gully Ice
Caves at Sam’s Point and a trek to the rock slab beach of Lake Awosting. Hikes
vary in length and difficulty so check the website or contact the park for more
information. In addition to the hikes at Minnewaska, check out the First
Saturday Hike at Robert
Treman State Park on August 6th as you hike along portions of
the Finger Lakes Trail, including the overlook of Lucifer Falls.
For those interested in competition, Hamlin Beach State Park
will host its Shoreline Half Marathon & 5K on July 16th and the
Shoreline Duathlon & Triathlon on July 17h. Registration Info. , Grafton Lakes State Park will also host the Grafton Run for the Roses 5K, a 2.5 mile scenic nature walk or 1-mile kids
run on August 14th. Registration info.
Test out your dancing at one of two Long Island State Parks.
Wildwood State Park
will have square dancing every Friday night beginning July 8th from
7-8:30pm. In addition, Hither
Hills State Park will have line dancing on Monday evenings beginning July
11th from 7-8:30pm.
Looking for more ways to get fit and stay active this
summer? New York State Parks provides countless opportunities and activities to
stay active and exercise - no matter your age or fitness level. For a complete
listing of upcoming events, visit our #GetFitNYS
events page for more details.
Educators! Your Class May be Eligible for a Free Field
The Connect Kids to Parks Transportation Grant Program is
available to Title 1 classrooms across the state to defray the costs of bus
transportation to state parks and historic sites for field trips and connect
New York State public school children with nature and state history. Grants
will reimburse bus costs, tolls, the fee for bus entry into New York State
parks, nature centers or historic sites, or a Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC) Environmental Education Center and any programs fees, up to
New York State is home to state parks with unique
recreational opportunities, outdoor learning environments, and historic sites
which bring New York history alive.
The Grant program is for field trips in the 2016-17 school
year. To learn more about this exciting program and to download an application,
visit www.nysparks.com, email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 518-474-6736.
Darien Lakes Manager Honored by Disc Golfers
Darien Lake State Park
manager Tom Rowland (left) was voted by disc golfers across Western and Central
New York to be the first recipient of an award meant to recognize the hard work
of an individual who supports the sport. This award was given to honor the
contributions Tom has made as a partner to the sport of disc golf including his
willingness to work with tournament directors and how that has translated into
amazing events at the park’s Shore Winds Disc Golf Course.
Name: Kathy Smith
Hometown: Poughkeepsie (the 12th generation!)
Walkway Over the Hudson State Park
How long have you
been volunteering at this location and how did you get involved? I have been involved for 6 years. I started as one of the first Ambassadors
when the Walkway volunteer program started – I love the bridge, the Hudson
Valley, and wanted to give back to the community.
Describe a recent
project, program or initiative that you organized or participated in: I have been involved
in many of the Walkway projects from designing and implementing the Walkway’s
Mobile Web Tour in partnership with Marist College and IBM, helping to create
the Walkway’s new web portal development again in partnership with Marist
College, and leading the Green Team for the Walkway Marathon which became the
first certified green marathon in NYS. I
currently am on the Board of Directors and chair the Walkway Program and
Community Outreach Committee.
Is there anything
else you’d like to add? Being a Walkway Ambassador Volunteer is a wonderful
opportunity to be involved in the community and help others experience the
Walkway and the greater Hudson Valley.
At the same time, I get to meet local, state, and international visitors
while, hopefully, helping to make our area a great place to live and visit.
Heidi Hill, Manager
Crailo & Schuyler Mansion State Historic
long have you been with the agency? I started
in 1992, but I also worked at Crailo before graduate school in 1986 & 87.
does someone in your position do? As
Historic Site Manager of Crailo and Schuyler Mansion State Historic Sites, I am
part of a great team of employees who share fascinating stories with the
public! These stories are often
unexpected discoveries for visitors as they find that our nation’s important
history happened right in their own
inspired you to work in the park system?
Probably finding a musket ball during an archaeological project at Crown
Point when I was 9! My family camped
throughout the Adirondacks frequently and in Florida regularly and we visited
parks and museums all along the way. My
parents instilled the love of wonder and wanderlust from a very young age and
there is always something new to discover!
the coolest thing you’ve ever done through your position? In 2013, Crailo staff members were invited to
the Yale Public History Institute with the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study
of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. While there, we were to research and
workshop the beginnings of an exhibit on slavery under the Dutch in the 17th
century with the help from experts from Yale University, The Smithsonian Museum
of African American History and Culture, and many experts on slavery in
America. It was the most enriching
experience of my entire work life, let alone this agency! And it resulted in the current exhibition, A
Dishonorable Trade: Human Trafficking in the Dutch Atlantic World which is
receiving international attention.
there a destination in the park system you’d recommend to someone? Well of course I would recommend both Crailo,
the museum of the Colonial Dutch in the Hudson River Valley, and Schuyler
Mansion, the 1760s Georgian Mansion of Major General Philip Schuyler and
Catharine van Rensselaer Schuyler. In
addition to encountering the rich history at these sites, you will be welcomed
by friendly, engaged employees who are genuinely interested in the stories they