NYS Parks COVID-19 Update

Recreating Responsibly During the Covid-19 Outbreak

State Parks encourages New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice social distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, ride a bicycle, or visit a park or state lands is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with your immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety while practicing physical distancing. Be advised due to COVID-19 some services are limited to ensure the health and safety of our visitors and staff. For a complete list of impacts to park operations such as camping, golf, parking, restrooms, events, and more visit: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19

If you need a nature break and plan to visit State Parks, State Lands, and other parks we ask that all visitors:

• Stay local and keep visits short;
• Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;
• Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks;
• Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer;
• Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces;
• Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees;
• If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and
• If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.
As this situation continues to develop, we will take any necessary actions to protect visitor and staff health. We appreciate your support and patience as we navigate this public health crisis together. Thank you.

NY State Parks and the Department of Environmental Conservation Encourage Responsible Recreation Close to Home and Launch new #RecreateLocal Hashtag: March 29th, Press Release


March 22, 2020: Many state parks, trails, and grounds of historic sites are open for solitary outdoor enjoyment. Governor Cuomo has waived all entrance fees during the current COVID-19 public health crisis.

To encourage social distancing during this crisis, all public programs and events are suspended until further notice. Many of our indoor visitor facilities, such as nature centers, visitor centers, and historic houses, will be closed to the public until further notice.

State Parks will provide updates periodically on social media, and at parks.ny.gov. We will also be available to respond to questions or concerns regarding visitation opportunities at notes@parks.ny.gov

Visitors should remember they are in a public park. While we are making increased efforts toward sanitation, each surface is only as clean as the last person who touched it. Therefore, you should take steps to protect your health by following the CDC/NYSDOH’s for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19.

Governor Cuomo is urging all New Yorkers to stay home as much as possible. If you do plan on visiting, it should be for a solitary nature break, limit outdoor recreation to non-contact and avoid activities where you come in close contact with other people. If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail or return another day/time to visit.

Try to keep at least six (6) feet of distance between you and others.

Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.

Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment

If you are sick and/or experiencing symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus, please postpone your visit and say home.

Below are some specifics for our visitors:

Playgrounds, Athletic Courts and Sporting Fields: As of Saturday, March 21, all State Park playgrounds, athletic courts, and sporting fields are CLOSED. This measure is taken for the safety of all visitors and to stop the spread of COVID-19. Park visitors should maintain 6 feet of social distance and visit parks for solitary recreational activities only. Please avoid crowds and refrain from group activity.

Entrance Fees: All entrance fees have been waived; all state parks, trails and grounds of state historic site are open. Exceptions would be specific trails that close due to seasonality.

Restrooms: Due to COVID-19 we have closed indoor spaces – visitor centers, nature centers, and historic houses. Some but not all public restrooms will continue to be available. Please note that many restrooms may still be closed until water systems are restored from seasonal closures. Visitors should plan accordingly and call the park office for more information.

Camping: New York State Park campgrounds are accepting reservations for the 2020 season at this time, but we continue to review daily to determine if some limits will need to be adopted. Visitors who made a reservation prior to March 20, 2020, but wish to cancel will receive a full refund and will not be charged a cancelation fee. We ask for your patience as these refunds are processed.

Permits and Passes:
The Long Island Island Regional Office will only accept 2020 Beach Access permit applications (Dashboard Permits) by mail or email. Please do not visit the regional office in person. The application and all instructions are available at Long Island Dashboard Permits

Golf: As per normal operating schedules, most Long Island golf courses are open and select courses in the rest of state. Courses are taking steps to help stop the spread of Covid-19, including increasing the frequency of tee times, removing ball washers and bunker rakes, and avoiding the use of tandem golf carts.

Events: All public programming and events have been canceled until further notice.

Lifeguards: At this time, all qualifiers have been postponed through April 4th.

NY State Parks is closely coordinating with the state’s emergency preparedness and response efforts. As the situation continues to develop, we will take any necessary actions to protect visitor and staff health. We appreciate your support and patience as we navigate this public health crisis together.

Resources: New York State Health Department COVID-19