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A New App to Explore New York State Parks

July 7, 2020
On the NYS Parks Explorer App Letchworth State Park

Just in time for this (hopefully) one-of-a-kind summer pandemic season, New York State has launched a new mobile parks explorer app to acquaint visitors with the state’s wealth of more than 250 parks, historic sites, beaches, marinas, walking paths, nature centers, lighthouses, golf courses and trails.  

A guide for the times


Sam’s Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve in New York State

You might consider the New York State Parks Explorer app your personal—socially distanced—guide to explore the state and make best use of your time outdoors. Both New Yorkers and visitors from the surrounding tri-state region will be able to find inviting places close to home or ones that are just a short drive away.

Just released on June 30, 2020, the free app was created by The New York State Office of Parks\ Recreation and Historic Preservation. It includes information to help you plan revitalizing getaways including park information, directions, hours, amenities, and fees and rates, along with trail maps. It even allows you to call ahead if you have any questions.

“This season more than ever, people are looking to spend time in the outdoors whether taking nature breaks, day trips or overnight getaways,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid in the press release announcing the new app. “…this new Parks Explorer App is a helpful tool for families on the go to plan the perfect adventure with ease. To stay in the know and make the most of your park visit, I encourage New Yorkers to download the app today.”

Features of the Parks Explorer app

Waterson Point State Park in Jefferson County, New York

Waterson Point State Park in Jefferson County, New York

The new parks explorer app has a few other  handy features. Visitors can use it to:

  • make online camping reservations
  • share experiences on State Parks’ social media channels
  • store pre-purchased Empire Passes that allow for contactless park entry

[The annual cost of an Empire Pass is $80, best for frequent visitors. However, New York State residents over the age of 62 can take advantage of the Golden Park Program that allows (with a driver’s license as proof of age and residence) free vehicle access to most state parks, boat launch sites and arboretums, and fee reductions to state historic sites and state-operated golf courses. The discounts are good Mondays through Fridays, except holidays.]

Of course, during the pandemic, visitors are asked to maintain social distance, wear a face covered, and adhere to all posted rules.

To download the app

The New York State Parks Explorer app is free, downloadable for both iOS and Android devices. To download, visit:

All photo credits: New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

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