Auburn, NY, invites you to celebrate International Underground Railroad Month this September by introducing an innovative app that offers two self-guided driving tours—a 24-stop exploration in Auburn and a 27-site adventure across Cayuga County. The app seamlessly blends technology and history, bringing the Underground Railroad to life.
Auburn, renowned as the chosen home of Harriet Tubman, an iconic figure in the Underground Railroad, has a rich history of freedom-seeking efforts that predates her arrival.
The Underground Railroad in Cayuga County thrived as early as the 1830s, thanks to a diverse group of individuals dedicated to helping those seeking freedom. By the 1850s, Cayuga County was home to around 400 Black residents, with 200 in Auburn alone, many of whom were descendants of the region’s earliest settlers.
Additionally, visitors can enjoy an in-person guided experience led by Ted Freeman, a descendant of Harry and Kate Freeman, with deep ties to the Underground Railroad and the New Guinea Negro Settlement. Harry and Kate Freeman were the co-founders of the city of Auburn, New York. They were taken and made slaves from Guinea, Africa, later freed by the Mansfield Decree in England and came to the colonies as indentured servants who fought in the Revolutionary War, and created one of the most important stations and terminals during the Underground Railroad Movement.
“We believe this innovative technology and guided experience offer a fresh perspective on our past, empowering us to shape the future,” says Claire Dunlap, Director of Sales at Tour Cayuga.
This project, supported by extensive research, identifies historic sites that remain on Cayuga County’s landscape, serving as reminders of the people who committed their lives to freedom.
New York State has opened reservations at seven state park campgrounds for prime viewing of the rare total solar eclipse in April 2024 The early opening for reservations will help accommodate an expected influx of visitors heading to several regions of the state to witness the celestial event.
“Next year, New Yorkers and visitors alike will have the opportunity to witness an extraordinary, celestial show in our state as the solar eclipse passes over the heart of Western New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Adirondacks in 2024,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Our State Parks will open campground accommodations early, prior to the traditional camping season, to ensure people can see this amazing display in one of New York’s beautiful natural settings. I encourage all who are interested to reserve their spot beginning this week for this incredible event.”
Starting the week of July 3, 2023, reservations will become available from State Parks at a total of 335 campsites, cottages and cabins stretching across eight counties in western, central, and northern New York. On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will trace a narrow path of totality across 15 U.S. states, including much of western and upstate New York. For visitors with reservations for the night of April 8, check-out time is 11:00 a.m. the following morning, so visitors can avoid traffic and enjoy the attractions of the region after the eclipse.
“Visitors not only will get a chance to see this inspiring cosmic display – which won’t happen again in the continental U.S. until 2044 – they will also be able to enjoy the beauty of early spring in some of our most beautiful State Parks and see how we are continuing to enhance our accommodations,” New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said,
Reservations can be made nine months in advance for a minimum of two nights through ReserveAmerica.com.
Sites will be available April 4-8 at the following State Parks:
Allegany State Park, 2373 ASP, Rte 1, Salamanca, NY 14779 (Allegany County), for 165 sites, including campsites, cabins, cottages, and a group camp. New reservations open July 4.
Fair Haven Beach State Park, 14985 State Park Road, Fair Haven, NY 13064 (Cayuga County) for 29 cabins and one cottage. Reservations open July 5.
Letchworth State Park, 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427 (Livingston/Wyoming counties) for 19 cabins and cottages. Reservations open July 5.
Evangola State Park, 10191 Old Lake Shore Road, Irving, NY 14081 (Erie County) for 25 campsites. Reservations open July 5.
Four Mile Creek State Park, 1055 Lake Road, Youngstown, NY 14174 (Niagara County) for 50 campsites. Reservations open July 5.
Golden Hill State Park, 9691 Lower Lake Road, Barker, NY 14012 (Niagara County) for 25 campsites. Reservations open July 5.
Wellesley Island State Park, 44927 Cross Island Road, Fineview, NY 13640 (Jefferson County) for 21 cabins and cottages. New reservations open July 5.
In the U.S., the eclipse will pass northeast through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The eclipse will begin in western New York shortly after 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Full totality will begin in Chautauqua County at 3:17 p.m., moving through the state to Plattsburgh at 3:25 p.m.. Locations in the path of totality could experience total darkness for up to 4 minutes. The eclipse will then enter Canada in southern Ontario, and continue through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton.
The next total solar eclipse that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. will not be until August 2044.
A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. People viewing the eclipse from locations where the moon’s shadow completely covers the Sun – known as the path of totality – will experience a total solar eclipse. The sky will become dark, as if it were dawn or dusk. Weather permitting, people along the path of totality will see the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the sun.
Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face, it is unsafe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. According to NASA, viewing any part of the sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury. The partial phases of the solar eclipse can only be safely observed directly with specialized solar viewing glasses (“eclipse glasses”) or a handheld solar viewer. Regular sunglasses, polarized or otherwise, are not a safe replacement for solar eclipse glasses.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which in 2022 were visited by record 79.5 million people. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
A sweet secret is out in the Adirondack region of upstate New York, as regional maple syrup producers begin their annual sap collection and maple syrup production activity. New York State is the second-largest producer of maple syrup in the United States and the third largest in the world, producing more than 820,000 gallons of syrup each year. Much of that production takes place within the Adirondack region of upstate New York in small “sugar shacks” and large commercial facilities.
Sugar maple trees are tapped from February through early April to harvest syrup, and the familiar sight of metal buckets, or “sap buckets”, can be seen in maple groves and areas across the region. As a result, there are hundreds of types of syrups, foods, beverages, candies, cocktails and experiences that showcase local Adirondacks maple. And once you are in the Adirondacks can learn all about the difference between maple sugar candy, maple sugar blocks, granulated maple sugar, maple butter and maple extract.
Throughout the month of March each year, and, in particular, during the weekends of March 18-19 and 25-26, maple farms across the state open their doors to the public to provide a chance to taste pure maple syrup, right from the source, and experience the unique family tradition of making maple syrup in New York State. Producers, including many of those that are NYS Grown & Certified, offer tours and pancake breakfasts, sell maple products, and demonstrate the syrup-making process, which includes the traditional system of hanging buckets on trees or more modern methods of production using vacuum systems to increase the yield of sap per tree. Maple Weekends in 2023 will take place at nearly 150 maple sugarmakers’ farms, boosting agri-tourism across New York State. A searchable list of Maple Weekend events is available at https://mapleweekend.nysmaple.com/.
More than 80 maple producers participate in NYS Grown & Certified, which verifies New York’s agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. Find a current list of maple producers who are a part of the NYS Grown & Certified program at https://certified.ny.gov/wheretobuy.
New York’s Taste NY Markets across the state are highlighting unique local maple products and producers during the month of March. Several markets are offering specials, including 10% off all maple items at the Finger Lakes Welcome Center, special product sampling at the Capital Region Welcome Center and Western New York Welcome Center, and more. Find a list of markets near you at taste.ny.gov. New Yorkers can also shop for New York State maple from the comfort of home on ShopTasteNY.com, which will be offering specials and free shipping on maple products throughout the month. Additionally, Taste NY Markets will be celebrating ‘Maple Madness’ during the weekend of March 25-26. Stay tuned on social media for more information about special sampling and giveaway promotions that weekend.
Tasting and Feeling is Believing…Beyond Syrup!
Maple syrup traditionally accompanies a variety of breakfast foods but, in the Adirondacks, it is also used to flavor candy, foods, beverages and cocktails. And, there are numerous tours and hands-on experiences that showcase this Adirondack pantry staple. Some locally produced products and include:
Maple is used for a variety of products that can be purchased throughout the Adirondacks, at main street shops and local farmers markets including: cotton candy, hard candies, maple butter, donuts, infused syrups, sauces and jellies.
Maple beer: Craft beers featuring local maple are found across the Adirondacks. Big Slide Brewery’s maple bourbon imperial stout is hyper-local, aged in a barrel previously used for locally produced maple syrup.
Many Adirondack-region restaurants have “maple glazed” items on the menu: salmon, pork, chicken, vegetables and more. Chef Mike Rush at Campfire Grill in Saranac Lake is renowned for obtaining kegs of maple syrup for use throughout the year.
While dining out, keep an eye out for barbeque sauces, as many restaurants incorporate maple syrup into their homemade sauce.
Maple isn’t just for tasting. For example, the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid offers the Adirondack Maple Sugar Body Scrub, a maple-based spa treatment that exfoliates and rejuvenates the skin.
Maple Mania: Local Activities and Production
Looking to explore lots of maple? Especially during harvesting season, maple is everywhere:
The Adirondacks Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, based in Lake Placid, offers a Maple Wayfinder Trail that lists local producers and points of interest.
The Adirondack Harvest website lists local producers and distributors, along with maple-themed events throughout the region.
Visitors can purchase locally produced maple syrup and products at roadside stands, at retail locations throughout the Adirondacks and at the production facilities themselves as many have retail shops adjacent to their collection and evaporation sites.
Sip Your Syrup: Margarita Recipe
Local bartenders often create delicious cocktails with maple, including this recipe for a maple margarita created by Carolyn Sicher, co-owner of the Deer’s Head Inn, Elizabethtown, NY.
Rub a freshly cut lime wedge around the rim of the glass and coat the rim by placing it upside down in a dish of tajin spice blend. Fill the glass with fresh ice.
Mix the following ingredients together in a shaker with ice cubes and strain into the glass: 1.5 oz good quality tequila, .5 oz mandarin liqueur, .5 oz fresh lime juice, .5 oz fresh lemon juice, .5 oz maple lemonade (traditional lemonade with some maple as extra sweetener) and add a tablespoon of local maple syrup.
Drizzle the top with about a tablespoon of pure Adirondack maple syrup. Garnish with lime.
Behind the Maple Magic: How It Works
Maple syrup is typically produced from February through early April in the Northeast. Sugar maple trees move sugary water (sap) through their trunks in late winter and sap can be collected through holes in the trees when there are cold nights and warm days; below 32°F at night and above 40°F during the day. This watery sap is then boiled until it becomes thick.
Small backyard, local producers simply collect sap from trees in their backyard in metal buckets and boil it over wood-fired stoves to produce syrup for friends and family. Commercial producers have thousands of acres of trees along with miles of gravity-fed rubber tubes that collect the sap, producing thousands of gallons of syrup for sale throughout the region and across the country. Boiling sap and allowing the excess water to evaporate is the most important part of the production process, as the quality of the syrup is determined by the amount of sugar in the final product. After boiling, the syrup is filtered, assigned a grade, and packaged.
The Cornell Maple Program conducts research and uses its outdoor laboratory – the 200-acre Uihlien Maple Research Forest in Lake Placid (one of only three research forests in the nation) – to learn about maple production, forest management and production techniques. It partners with food scientists and culinary experts to develop new products, offer classes, share research findings with maple producers and scientists throughout the state.
According to Adam Wild, director of the Uihlien Maple Research Forest, maple syrup production has always been a part of life in the Adirondacks. “The heavily forested Adirondack region, with its large percentage of maple trees combined with the ideal Adirondack climate of long cold winters punctuated with gradual warming at the end of the winter season make this area one of the best in the entire nation for maple syrup production.” he said.
Maple syrup production in the Adirondacks is a time-honored tradition, as old as the maple trees themselves. The research, consumer interest and local production ensure that upstate New York remains one of the largest producers of maple syrup and all its affiliated products.
Where to stay? High Peaks Resort’s Spring Sale includes a $25 dining credit at Dancing Bears Restaurant, perfect for some maple pancakes!
Go to www.adirondacksusa.com to find out more about visiting the Adirondacks in winter, spring, summer and fall. The destination is just a few hours’ drive from the New York metro area and Boston, and within a day’s drive for 25% of the entire North American population.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) in the Adirondacks region of New York is the destination marketing and management organization for Hamilton and Essex counties, along with the communities of Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake.
I LOVE NY Will Promote Black Travel Destinations, Events and Cultural Attractions to Encourage Black Travelers to Explore New York State
Builds on I LOVE NY LGBTQ and Accessible NY Programs to Boost New York Tourism Among Diverse Populations
Governor Kathy Hochul announced plans for an I LOVE NY Black travel initiative, designed to grow New York State tourism and encourage Black traveler visitation. The Governor made the announcement at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as part of the state’s commemoration of Black History Month. The program will build on the success of the state’s tourism programs like I LOVE NY LGBTQ and Accessible NY which highlight destinations of interest to and supportive of specific travel communities.
“The new I LOVE NY Black travel initiative will be a celebration of New York’s unparalleled Black history, culture, food, and arts,” Governor Hochul said. “From sites and museums that bring Black history to life to world-class arts and cultural institutions like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York has so much to offer. I look forward to working with our partners to welcome even more visitors to experience Black culture in our state.”
I LOVE NY’s Black travel initiative will be a comprehensive program that promotes New York State as a great vacation destination for Black travelers. It will have a dedicated presence on the I LOVE NY website, and a promotional campaign based on market research and stakeholder outreach that highlights existing assets and supports new programming to provide a direct invitation welcoming Black visitors and their families to experience New York’s unparalleled Black history, culture, food, arts and events.
New York is home to dozens of Underground Railroad sites and one of the largest Juneteenth festivals in the nation. The state has deep ties to leaders like Fredrick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, and is where hip hop was born. Museums and venues celebrating Black culture, art and heritage can be found throughout the state – from the Jackie Robinson Museum in Lower Manhattan, to the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, to the Colored Musicians Club in Buffalo.
In a survey of Black travelers, 64 percent reported that the availability of Black culture and heritage attractions is important when making a destination choice. Another survey of Black travelers reported that diversity in marketing is a top factor when choosing a travel destination, with 54 percent of U.S. Black travelers more likely to visit a destination with Black representation in advertising. I LOVE NY already includes diverse imagery in its marketing and promotes themes, attractions and events of interest to a wide variety of communities. This new travel program is the next phase of the Division of Tourism’s segment promotion work, joining specific invitations and overtures to LGBTQ travelers and guests with accessibility needs.
The Division of Tourism will utilize existing relationships with international travel trade operators to encourage the creation of Black travel itineraries and engage travel journalists and content creators to share all that awaits Black travelers and their friends and families across New York State. I LOVE NY will also collaborate with other State agency partners and local tourism promotion agencies to amplify their Black travel messaging.
The annual economic impact of tourism and travel in New York State as of 2021 is $85.5 billion, and it generates enough in state and local taxes to save every household in the state more than $1,000 annually. The tourism and hospitality sector is the state’s third largest industry, supporting one in 10 private sector jobs. Black travelers represent more than 13 percent of the domestic leisure travel market, spending over $109 billion annually.
“New York embraces its diversity, and we want to ensure that visitors from around the world recognize the opportunities to celebrate Black history and heritage throughout the state,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight. “Given the unparalleled depth and variety of attractions here that appeal to Black travelers, this program is a perfect fit to spotlight and showcase these places, stories and people.”
“I LOVE NY is excited to work with stakeholders throughout the state to build and launch this new program, which will complement other tourism programs like Path Through History, I LOVE NY LGBTQ and Accessible NY,” Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “This new initiative will help amplify and extend the efforts of our travel industry partners that are already highlighting Black travel attractions, and extend an invitation to Black travelers from around the world to come find what they love in New York State.”
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle said,”As an institution born out of the Black experience in New York more than 65 years ago, we are proud that Governor Hochul chose to announce this valuable program at Ailey’s home – The Joan Weill Center for Dance – the largest building dedicated to dance here in the capital of dance. We look forward to welcoming the world to New York with others, thanks to the I LOVE NY Black travel initiative, and seeing more visitors inspired by Ailey’s performances and classes.”
New York State is a premier vacation destination with world-class attractions, picturesque natural beauty, locally sourced cuisine and a booming craft beverage scene, an array of accommodations, and iconic, year-round festivals and events. Its 11 diverse vacation regions feature some of the world’s top ranked beaches; two out of America’s top three favorite state parks; breathtaking Niagara Falls; more ski areas than any other state; one of the nation’s longest foliage seasons; multiple Halls of Fame; North America’s longest, fastest and highest zipline; the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States; and the country’s longest multi-use trail. Add in the state’s unique museums, historic landmarks, cultural sites, charming small towns and urban playgrounds, and it’s no wonder New York has been consistently chosen as a top getaway by travel publications and experts. To help plan your next New York State vacation, visit www.iloveny.com.
This week, New York State’s Olympic facilities at Lake Placid are hosting the FISU World University Games, welcoming 1,443 collegiate-athletes plus coaches and fans from more than 540 universities and 46 nations.
The Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games, going on until January 22, feature competition in 12 winter sports and 85 events including skiing and snowboarding, curling, figure skating, ice hockey and speed skating in venues throughout the Adirondack North Country in Lake Placid as well as Wilmington, Saranac Lake, Potsdam, Canton and North Creek. (The competition schedule and tickets to the events are available here.)
The prestigious event is an opportunity to showcase for the world the state’s world-class Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) facilities, enhanced with a six-year, $552 million investment to help maintain the region’s standing as a world-class winter sport destination fitting for an Olympic-sized event, for the lasting benefit of New York’s $16.1 billion winter tourism industry.
“We made transformative investments to renovate the Lake Placid Olympic Center, revitalized our airports, improved our roads and bridges and grew our regional sports infrastructure to ensure that Lake Placid is well-positioned to host the games,” Governor Kathy Hochul said when she opened the games.
“The event will once again put Lake Placid on a global stage, drawing thousands of visitors to the region and inviting millions more to watch the games via ESPN in the United States, TSN in Canada and FISU TV. For many, it will be the first time they’ll see the bold and picturesque Adirondack Mountains, vibrant downtown Lake Placid and our world-class Olympic Regional Development Authority ski areas and venues. And these games offer a chance to showcase the New York’s thriving winter tourism industry.”
Special events like the games that spark additional travel generate even more spending in our restaurants, hotels and businesses, supporting jobs in a hospitality industry still rebuilding in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. State-supported ORDA venues are open year-round for events, athlete training and recreation. Once the World University Games have finished, these same facilities will host this winter season the World Cup in Ski Jumping, NCAA Alpine and Cross-Country Skiing Championships, Synchronized Figure Skating World Championships. The Bobsled Skeleton World Championships will follow in February 2025, and IBU Biathlon Cups are planned in February and March 2026.
Last winter, New York welcomed 68.5 million visitors, generating more than $16.1 billion in direct visitor spending. ORDA’s economic impact for New York State was last measured at $273.6 million for 2019-2020, a 75 percent increase over the previous 2016-2017 measurement of $156 million.
New York State has made significant investments in the North Country totaling $552 million over the last six years in preparation for the World University Games, and ongoing support for the competitive sports infrastructure and regional tourism. Investments have helped to renovate facilities owned and operated by the Olympic Regional Development Authority, such as the $104 million renovation of the Lake Placid Olympic Center, and other host facilities like the nearly $7 million overhaul of the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
The improvements are a legacy that will be enjoyed by New York’s skiers and winter visitors for years to come.
ORDA has been steadily improving the snowmaking infrastructure throughout its ski areas, particularly over the last ten years. These upgrades have increased the efficiency of snowmaking operations, allowing for the mountains to open terrain faster, and earlier in the season when temperatures allow. The modernized systems, which utilize energy more effectively, also are a key part of ORDA’s award-winning sustainability initiatives: solar energy at the alpine venues, state of the art snowmaking equipment that significantly reduces water and energy use, EV charging stations, e-zambonis and hybrid grooming equipment, LED lighting.
Indeed, in conjunction with the FISU Games, a World Conference was convened to share information about the initiatives and actions they have implemented to mitigate climate change and save winter from global warming. From venue design and infrastructure to sustainably sourced items to the LED torch and flameless cauldron, the Host Partners and New York State set a new standard for a commitment to the environment for future events.
Improved Winter Facilities at ORDA Venues
This winter, New Yorkers and the rest of the world will enjoy upgrades, renovations, snowmaking improvements to Olympic Regional Development Authority-operated ski venues: Gore Mountain in North Creek, Belleayre Mount in Highmount, Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, and Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid.
Gore Mountain: New this season is Backwoods, an intermediate trail that begins at the top of Burnt Ridge Mountain and parallels the Barkeater Glades. The trail ends uphill of Roaring Brook Bridge and provides faster and more direct access to Little Gore Mountain and the North Creek Ski Bowl. Over 230 new high-efficiency snow guns have been installed on Backwoods, Showcase, Uncas, Paradox, Peaceful Valley, and Chatiemac. For the FISU Games, crews developed the sanctioned slopestyle and boardercross courses, enhanced snowmaking and widened the terrain. The FIS-certified race trail, Echo, was also bolstered with increased snowmaking capacity to accommodate the venue’s busy calendar of alpine events and recreational skiers and riders throughout the season. (goremountain.com, Gore Mountain Snow Report)
Whiteface Mountain: New this season is the Ausable Run, a beginner trail off the Warhorse Quad lift, and Yellow Dot, an expert trail connecting the top of Victoria to Lower Skyward. Whiteface installed 35,000 feet of new pipe, 160 high-efficiency snow guns, and 245 new hydrants. Additionally, two new Pisten Bully groomers join the fleet. After hosting Lake Placid 2023 FISU Winter World University Games alpine competitions, Whiteface will host the NCAA Regionals and National Championship in Alpine, the Empire State Games and other regional races. The mountain will be open to the public during the event dates for skiing and riding, and spectators can view the events in the newly designed Andrew Weibrecht Finish Area. Additional improvements to the race area include enhancements to the Freeway lift, timing and radio systems, and power to the finish building. (whiteface.com, Whiteface Mountain Snow Report)
Belleayre Mountain installed 60,000 additional feet of new pipe, a new snowmaking pump, and added 300 high-efficiency snow guns. A new retail space relocated upstairs on the main floor of Discovery Lodge provides guests with a renewed shopping experience with a view. (belleayre.com, Belleayre Mountain Snow Report.
Mt. Van Hoevenberg: The Mt Van Hoevenberg transformation was completed in 2020, providing a world-class facility and 5 km of World Championship-rated cross-country skiing trails for training and racing. The trails carry tremendous snowmaking power, from the number of high-efficiency snow guns and hydrants to its reservoir capacity, providing state-of-the-art snowmaking for a Nordic Center. Thanks to the state’s investment ORDA will host multiple World Cup competitions. Recently, Mt Van Hoevenberg was awarded the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Cup for 2026. This is in addition to the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup in Bobsled and Skeleton taking place at the Mt Van Hoevenberg Sliding Center December 16-18, and at its sister venue, the Olympic Jumping Complex, the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup will return this winter, February 10-12, 2023. For non-competitive athletes, Mt. Van hoevenberg offers some of the most exciting opportunities to feel like an Olympian: a state-of-the-art combined skeleton and bobsled track and North America’s longest mountain coaster, The Cliffside Coaster. 50km of cross country skiing trails, you can even try your hand at the biathalon. There is also a new Mountain Pass Lodge. (mtvanhoevenberg.com, Mt Van Hoevenberg Snow Report)
The SKI3 Season Pass provides the greatest flexibility and savings for skiing and riding at Whiteface, Belleayre, and Gore. Single day tickets are also at the lowest prices of the season and should be purchased in advance to secure desired days this winter.
“Winter is always an amazing time to travel in New York, which has more ski areas than any other state in the nation,” said Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi. “ORDA’s world class ski facilities, along with scores of private ski areas across the state, make for an unparalleled ski experience. When paired with activities from snowmobiling and winter carnivals to ice wine tastings and spa getaways to the FISU World University Games, visitors can come be a part of the ultimate winter wonderland and find what they love in New York State.”
Information on skiing and other winter activities statewide is available at iloveny.com/winter and iskiny.com. Updated downhill and cross-country ski reports for all of New York State courtesy of Ski NY and Cross-Country Ski Areas of NY are available on 1-800-ILOVENY and linked on iloveny.com.
Jamestown, NY – As the world remembers the late comedy legend Carl Reiner on his 100th birthday this Sunday, March 20, the National Comedy Center – the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to the art form of comedy, and the home of Reiner’s career archive — continues digitizing and preserving rare documents, scripts and artifacts spanning Reiner’s extraordinary career in preparation for its new, multi-media exhibit: Carl Reiner: Keep Laughing,debuting on July 1, 2022.
The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress. Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the non-profit National Comedy Center, which opened in 2018, showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. The Comedy Center’s mission is to provide education on the comedic arts in the form of commentary and contextualization of its bodies of work across all eras and genres of the art form. The museum complex offers an unprecedented, immersive visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization.
The new exhibit will showcase hundreds of never-before-seen archival materials spanning Reiner’s remarkable seven decades as a writer, director, producer, author, and performer. Visitors will explore interactive stations that feature rare audiovisual clips, creative papers, photographs, and dimensional artifacts that intimately chronicle a lifetime of creative output: from Reiner’s early years as a performer on Sid Caesar’s legendary Your Show of Shows to his creation of the seminal The Dick Van Dyke Show, from his collaboration with Mel Brooks on the Grammy-winning 2000 Year Old Man to his acclaimed cinematic partnership with Steve Martin (The Jerk, All of Me and more), and across his far-reaching contributions to the comedic art form. The exhibit will run throughout 2022 and beyond.
On the occasion of Reiner’s 100th birthday, the National Comedy Center released images of select artifacts and documents which will be on display in the exhibit, including Reiner’s typewriter case and original, typed manuscript for the first episode of Head of the Family – which would become the legendary The Dick Van Dyke Show; rare photos of Reiner with Mel Brooks, with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, and with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore; the cowboy hat that Reiner wore in the final episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show; and a manila envelope with Reiner’s New Rochelle, NY address on Bonnie Meadow Road (just one number off from Rob Petrie’s address in The Dick Van Dyke Show) in which he kept early short stories, and more.
Reiner, who was a founding Advisory Board member of the National Comedy Center, will also be celebrated with a special event, Carl Reiner at 100 – Celebrating a Comedy Legacy, on July 27, 2022, as the National Comedy Center partners with nearby, world-renowned Chautauqua Institution for an evening program featuring those who knew them best – including children Annie, Lucas and Rob Reiner, and best friend Mel Brooks – joining together for a one-of-a-kind evening of laughter as they reflect on Reiner’s life, career and legacy. The presentation will feature in-person and video appearances by special guests as well as rare footage from the National Comedy Center’s new exhibit.
With a multi-faceted career spanning television, film, stage, record albums, books and even social media, Carl Reiner, who passed away in June of 2020, was a twelve-time Emmy® award-winner, a Grammy® award-winner and a recipient of The Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor,
Reiner was an early advocate and an instrumental supporter for the National Comedy Center’s vision to celebrate comedy as an art form. In 2021, the National Comedy Center formally named its ongoing work to preserve comedy’s heritage in honor of Reiner. The Carl Reiner Department of Archives and Preservation serves as the central hub for all archival and preservation work within the Comedy Center, as it continues its mission to present the history of comedy and preserve comedy’s heritage for future generations.
The Carl Reiner Department of Archives and Preservation is an incubator for the study and dissemination of comedy history, and a resource for educating artists, students, scholars and the public about comedy’s great minds and unique voices. The Department leads research, conservation and exhibition activities throughout the organization, including the acquisition of artifacts, documents and audiovisual materials that chronicle the story of comedy across all genres and eras of the art form.
Reiner’s career archive includes thousands of pages of creative papers and business correspondence; unpublished comedy material; rare photographs, film footage and audio recordings from his personal and professional life; and industry awards, including his Emmys and Mark Twain Prize. The comprehensive collection includes early drafts and final scripts written by Reiner throughout his career with his handwritten annotations – from the earliest material from his Army days and “Your Show of Shows” sketches to all 158 “Dick Van Dyke Show” scripts, and his film screenplays. Also included are the chairs and TV trays used for years by Reiner and his best friend and frequent collaborator – comedy legend Mel Brooks – as they would spend evenings together eating dinner and watching television.
The National Comedy Center has collaborated with dozens of artists and estates to preserve materials that represent comedy’s significant artistic, social, and political contributions to American culture including collections illustrating the careers of legendary artists like George Carlin, Lucille Ball, Lenny Bruce, The Smothers Brothers, and the development of groundbreaking creative work such as sketch comedy series In Living Color, Saturday Night Live and more.
The National Comedy Center’s Advisory Board includes the recent addition of Tiffany Haddish – filling the seat held by the late Carl Reiner – along with Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Paula Poundstone, Pixar’s Pete Docter, Paul Feig, Kelly Carlin, and more.
Within the Comedy Center’s museum galleries, more than 50 interactive exhibits and immersive experiences employ cutting-edge technology to present the story of comedy from its origins to the present day – using archival documents, artifacts, and media as their core.
The museum’s educational programming on the art form has featured George Lopez, Margaret Cho, Norman Lear, Tiffany Haddish, Debra Messing, Rain Pryor (daughter of Richard Pryor), Jay Leno, Kenan Thompson, Gabriel Iglesias, Ben Stiller, John Cleese, Jimmy Fallon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and many more.
Plan your visit to the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY at ComedyCenter.org. Tickets for the special event on July 27 can be purchased now by calling 716-357-6250 or online at tickets.chq.org starting May 3rd.
The National Comedy Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural institution whose mission is funded by philanthropic support. Donations and grants support the museum and its work to present the vital story of comedy and preserve its heritage for future generations. Visit Comedycenter.org for details.
In recognition of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new State Park planned for more than 500 acres of former industrial property along the Hudson River shoreline in Ulster County will be named for 19th century African American abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth. This will be the first State Park in the City of Kingston and the first new State Park to open since July 2019.
“It is fitting such a magnificent property with its cliffs and Hudson shoreline bears the name of a remarkable woman who started life right here in Ulster County,” Governor Hochul said. “New York is committed to reflecting the diverse stories of its people, such as Sojourner Truth and her message of freedom and equality, that have influenced our state’s inspiring history.”
Born enslaved in 1797 in Esopus, Ulster County, Isabella “Bomefree” Baumfree freed herself from slavery in 1826 a year before legal enslavement ended in New York. In 1828, she won a lawsuit to regain custody of her son, who had been sold into slavery in the Deep South, marking one of the first legal cases where an African American woman prevailed in court against a white person.
Following her deeply held religious views she traveled as an itinerant preacher, speaking ‘truth’ to the harsh inequities endured by people of color and women while calling for systemic change. Renaming herself Sojourner Truth, she became one of the nation’s leading voices for abolition and universal suffrage in the mid-19th century. During the Civil War, she recruited men for the Union Army, and worked for the Freedmen’s Bureau, an agency that assisted the newly freed enslaved. After the war, she continued advocating for universal voting rights. Sojourner Truth died in 1883, after African American men had received the vote but with the national adoption of women’s suffrage still four decades away.
In August 2020, State Parks installed a statue of her at the western entrance to the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park in Highland, Ulster County and dedicated it to the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in a ceremony attended by one of her descendants.
State Parks partnered with the not-for-profit environmental group Scenic Hudson to protect land for this new park that earlier had been slated for a large-scale private development. Funding for the $13.5 million purchase by State Parks was provided through the state Environmental Protection Fund. About three-quarters of the property is in Kingston, with the balance in Ulster.
Once the site of cement production, brick making, quarrying, and ice harvesting, the property already includes the Hudson River Brickyard Trail. Part of the Empire State Trail and the Kingston Greenline, this paved trail opened in December 2020 as a project of the city of Kingston, which manages the trail, and Scenic Hudson. It offers spectacular views of the Hudson River and the 150-foot cliffs of limestone and sandstone that drew cement production to the site beginning in the 1840s.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “State Parks is proud to name our newest Park in honor of Sojourner Truth, an early prominent voice in New York and later the nation for abolition and women’s rights. In addition to bringing her story to visitors, this park also will allow for interpretation of the site’s industrial and indigenous history and will help protect the ecology of the Hudson River. The new park will support the ongoing economic revitalization of Kingston and the regional recreational tourism economy. It will benefit the quality of life for residents throughout the year, as well as provide a major new Hudson Valley attraction for users of the Empire State Trail.”
Palisades Interstate Parks Commission Executive Director Joshua Laird said, “We are thrilled that our newest state park will honor Sojourner Truth and her powerful legacy as an abolitionist and voice for women’s rights. We look forward to telling her story and to interpreting the reclamation of this former industrial site into a beautiful and dramatic landscape overlooking the Hudson River. The Commission wishes to express its gratitude to Governor Hochul, State Parks Commissioner Kulleseid and to Scenic Hudson for their efforts to protect this land.”
Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, “Scenic Hudson is delighted that Governor Hochul has chosen to celebrate the life and legacy of Sojourner Truth by naming this park after her. Through her courage and forceful voice for justice and equality for all, she set an example that still resonates strongly in this vitally important ongoing cause. We’re grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul and State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid for leading the state’s acquisition of this magnificent property, rich in history and possibility for public enjoyment. Adding this to the New York Park system is truly a visionary step, and we salute their partnership in this conservation action. Scenic Hudson looks forward to continuing our cooperation with State Parks, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, and the Kingston and Ulster community as we turn this former industrial site into an exciting place for all people to connect with the outdoors, the region’s Indigenous and labor heritage, and each other. With its unique combination of natural beauty and history, I have no doubt Sojourner Truth State Park will quickly become one of the region’s premier recreational destinations. We also wish to acknowledge Scenic Hudson’s generous supporters who made possible our acquisition of the property, those who worked with us to save the property from development years ago, and Scenic Hudson Board members and staff for their important roles at every stage of the process.”
State Parks will install limited parking and hiking trails to provide public access for passive recreation this spring. Until then, except for the Hudson River Brickyard Trail, the property is not open to the public. Scenic Hudson has already conducted a comprehensive study of the property’s ecological, geological, and cultural resources.
Under an agreement, State Parks, Scenic Hudson, and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission will collaborate and solicit public input on how Sojourner Truth State Park will be developed. Scenic Hudson, which will operate the park under a five-year agreement, has already held public meetings on the topic and more meetings will be announced by the partners in the future.
Assemblymember Kevin Cahill said, “Governor Hochul continues to demonstrate her knowledge, concern and energy on behalf of our area. Today is the latest example. Naming this park for one of the most important people from our community, Sojourner Truth, is fitting and appropriate. It was just several hundred yards up the shoreline, to Sleightsburg and the Rondout Creek where Truth, then known as Isabel Bumford, a young girl, trekked over several miles, every single day, crossing the Creek on a skillypot raft, with provisions for the tavern owned and run by her enslavers. The statue that stands in the center of Port Ewen portrays this young, exploited, but strong and determined teen age girl serves as a stark reminder that our community was not exempt from the horrors of slavery. Indeed, some of our fore bearers did not even distinguish between adults and children in their exploitation of other human beings. But the naming of this park recognizes all of the greatness of Sojourner Truth and the impact she has had on freedom, demonstrating strength in the face of adversity and inspiring a nation. Let every visitor pause for a moment to take in the beauty of our community and remember this as the home of this important national leader.”
Hudson River Valley Greenway Executive Director Scott Keller said,”Sojourner Truth State Park is an iconic Hudson River property that provides unique recreational, open space, and ecological benefits to New York residents and visitors. Future park improvements will enhance public access created by the Hudson River Brickyard Trail completed last year, which is a critical link in the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Empire State Trail in Kingston and Ulster County.”
Last summer on the property, abandoned cement silos and two former structures of the cement industry were removed to improve site safety, as well as expand areas for future programming and events. Remaining structures, including the chimney and mule barn dating to the site’s brick-making period, as well as many low-rise structures from the cement industry that are visible from the Hudson River Brickyard Trail, have the potential to be interpreted and integrated into the landscape. Former quarry pits on the property have filled with water, and while not suitable for swimming, support fish populations.
The site is a part of the traditional homeland of the Esopus tribe of the Lenape, who inhabited the area of Kingston until the 1600s when they were displaced by European colonists. In addition to telling the story of the Esopus, the site will allow for the interpretation of industrial history, geology, the resilience of our natural environment, and the significant role of the Hudson Valley in the development of New York State and the nation.
Prior to Scenic Hudson’s purchase, the former cement mine and processing facility grounds were destined for development into a 1,682-unit mixed-use site, a project that had drawn significant public concern.
The Scenic Hudson purchase was made with support of private donors including philanthropists Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the Walbridge Fund, The PCLB Foundation, the Kathryn W. Davis Fund for Hudson River Parkland Acquisition, Carolyn Marks Blackwood, Will Nixon, Illiana K. van Meeteren, Sue Sie, Steven Holl and Robert Lonergan.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which were visited by a record 78 million people in 2020. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456.
First Trail in U.S. Designed Specifically for Autism Spectrum Disorder Communities and Families
Project Supported By More Than $3.3 Million in Private Funds
The nation’s first nature trail specifically designed to address the sensory needs of those with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities is open at Letchworth State Park in western New York State. Supported by more than $3.3 million in private fundraising, the new Autism Nature Trail is a one-mile hiking loop that includes eight marked sensory stations, each designed to address a different sensory experience in a safe and supportive environment.
“New York State is leading the nation in creating this public trail purposefully designed to bring the benefits of the outdoors to those on the autism disorder spectrum and their families,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “State Parks should be accessible to everyone, and this is a welcoming and inclusive place for an underserved community.”
Activities along the Autism Nature Trail support and encourage sensory perception and integration, while also providing enjoyable activities for visitors of all abilities and ages. The stations engage each visitor’s senses, using nature and natural materials as the tools for skill-building. The trail is set up to allow for safe social distancing and planned interaction.
Sensory stations and other features of Autism Nature Trail include:
Sensory Station, where a collection of leaves, moss, fossils, animal fur, acorns and other objects are to be touched, handled, and even smelled;
Sunshine Slope, a gentle maze in an opening that includes a viewing platform, three cuddle swings, and an “Alone Zone;”
Music Circle, where a variety of nature-inspired musical instruments encourage creativity, either alone or with others;
Curiosity Corner, an open space with a gliding seat, ant-shaped boulders, and access to a shortcut back to the beginning of the trail;
Reflection Knoll, a quiet point halfway on the trail under a canopy of trees, with etchings of woodland creatures hidden in the boulders;
Meadow Run and Climb, a place with paths to run, jump and balance along serpentine berms and an obstacle course;
Design Zone, where visitors can manipulate materials from along the trail into patterns and structures;
Playful Path, a place of twisting paths with different surfaces including coarse gravel, log rounds, and sand;
The Nook, an area of carefully spaced seating set under a natural canopy;
The Celebration Station, as the final stop on the trail, this area has a place for visitors to express themselves through writing and drawing about their experiences on the trail.
Located near the park’s Humphrey Nature Center with parking, restrooms and Wi-Fi, the ADA-compliant trail was designed with input from Dr. Temple Grandin, a cattle industry expert who was diagnosed with autism in 1950 at the age of two and is now one of the world’s most well-known advocates for the autistic community.
Support and programming for the trail comes from the nearby Perry Central School District in Wyoming County and Rochester’s Camp Puzzle Peace, an Adirondack summer camp for families living with developmental disabilities. Fundraising for the trail is being managed on behalf of State Parks by the Natural Heritage Trust. The trust is a not-for-profit charitable corporation that receives and administers gifts, grants, and contributions to support public programs for parks, recreation, cultural, land and water conservation and historic preservation purposes.
Last month, Autism Nature Trail supporters marked the sudden loss of one of the project’s most devoted early advocates, ANT co-founder Susan Herrnstein. Her family has requested that any donations in her memory be made to the Autism Nature Trail through the Natural Heritage Trust.
Fundraising will continue to support visitor programming for the Autism Nature Trail. So far, more than 650 separate donations have been made to the project, reflecting more than 430 individual donors, 50 corporate donors, 25 community groups, and 15 foundations.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The public-private partnership that envisioned and accomplished this innovative project shows what the power of collaboration and commitment can achieve. State Parks values our dedicated staff and partners who have put in countless hours and is grateful for the generous financial support provided by so many donors.”
“Our hope is that the Autism Nature Trail will become an exemplar, widely replicated, taking from what we learned in the seven-year process of creating a first-of-its-kind experience in nature,” Loren Penman, an Autism Nature Trail co-founder and member of the Genesee Regional Park Commission, said. “While others retrofit public places to make them accessible, we have created an accessible place and made it public–and that has made all the difference.”
Gail Servanti, an Autism Nature Trail co-founder and member of the Genesee Regional Park Commission, said, “This is our dream come true and I eagerly await the positive impact a walk on the Autism Nature Trail will have on individuals and families of all abilities.”
“Camp Puzzle Peace was founded out of a desire to share a love of nature and to allow all families to experience the joy of the outdoors in a meaningful way,” Camp Puzzle Peace Executive Director Jen Hackett said. “We are very proud to partner with New York State to expand our purpose by providing programming on the Autism Nature Trail for all families, regardless of ability or diagnosis.”
Perry School District Superintendent Daryl McLaughlin said, “The eyes of the world are on this project. Everything we are doing has never been done before. This project represents what is possible when individuals, groups, and municipalities engage with one another to advance a cause. The Autism Nature Trail will be a powerful instructional space where cutting-edge learning and teaching will occur for all individuals. This project also will be a paradigm shift for economic development.”
About 1 in 54 children in the U.S. have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and often has a tremendous impact on parents, siblings, and members of the extended family.
Statistics show that young people with autism spend disproportionate amounts of time indoors, often finding comfort in digital activities which results in social isolation. This disconnectedness not only affects individuals with ASD but also can affect caregivers and entire families, who can sometimes feel uncomfortable in outside settings.
Visited by nearly one million people annually, Letchworth State Park covers more than 14,000 acres and is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. In 2015, readers of USA Today voted it the best state park in the United States. Surrounded by lush forests, the Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs as high as 600 feet in some places. The park features 66 miles of hiking trails, as well as trails for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Letchworth offers nature, history and performing arts programs, as well as guided walks, tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, a pool for swimming and hot air ballooning.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which were visited by a record 78 million people in 2020. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is back! Bike New York and its city government partners announce that the popular ride will once again welcome bike lovers from across New York and around the country on its new date of Sunday, August 22, 2021.
“Preparations are underway for the 43rd edition of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We’re thrilled and so grateful that we can once again host our celebrated car-free ride this year—and what better time to announce it than during Bike Month.”
The event, which typically has drawn up to 32,000 riders annually and opens 40 miles of NYC’s busiest roadways for cyclists, returns to a city energized by cycling thanks to the 2020 bike boom and an increased demand for Open Streets across the five boroughs.
“New York City is proud to celebrate the cycling boom—and the return of iconic events that highlight great neighborhoods in all five boroughs—by welcoming the TD Five Boro Bike Tour this summer,” said New York City Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. “We look forward to welcoming locals and tourists alike to enjoy a safe, exciting event this year.”
“Given the pivotal role that bikes have played in protecting the health, wellness, and safety of New Yorkers through the pandemic—especially for essential workers commuting to their jobs—it feels right that bikes will also play a part in powering New York City’s economic revitalization,” Podziba remarked. “The Tour has been a landmark event for NYC for decades, and it’s a true highlight for international tourism. We hope our ride will continue to support the city we call home as we all strive to come back strong from these hardships.”
“Now more than ever, New Yorkers need a safe and welcoming space to reconnect, to celebrate,” he added. “Bike New York is hard at work making the 2021 Tour into the joyful and safe day of community fun that cycling enthusiasts have treasured for nearly half a century.”
The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is a fundraising event for Bike New York, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to provide free bike education opportunities to New Yorkers. Proceeds from the ride fund public classes that reach over 25,000 children and adults each year, with special focus given to improving cycling access and resources to residents of neighborhoods historically overlooked in infrastructure improvements. In addition to free classes held at Community Bike Education Centers located in all five boroughs, Bike New York has introduced bike safety education programs into area middle schools, co-developed a job training and placement program for bike mechanics with Brooklyn’s One Community, and helped pilot a free bike rental system in Shirley Chisholm State Park.
Though the organization’s 2020 education and events calendar was suspended in response to the pandemic, Bike New York introduced virtual programming to inform new bike boom cyclists and keep seasoned members of the city’s cycling community engaged and connected. The 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour will support the return of Bike New York’s in-person classes while sustaining their online offerings, which reached more than 30,000 viewers worldwide in 2020.
Details about the August 22 event, including registration information, total number of participants, and changes to the event format, will be released in the coming weeks. “With the safety and well-being of participants being our highest priority, we will continue working with our government partners to monitor the changing Covid-19 climate and will adapt the Tour to satisfy all requirements that may be in place at any given time until ride day,” Podziba confirmed.
Riders are advised to subscribe to Bike New York’s newsletter and social media for the latest updates about the 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour.
New York State is partnering with a tent camping service to provide 45 glamping sites at four State Parks in the Hudson Valley. Tentrr’s fully outfitted campsites are available to reserve at the Sebago and Silver Mine areas of Harriman State Park in Orange and Rockland Counties; Taconic State Park and Lake Taghkanic State Park in Columbia County; and Mills-Norrie State Park in Dutchess County.
The service provides tents, sleeping accommodations and an array of equipment needed for camping at each site. All items are set up and ready to use upon arrival for added convenience and sites are maintained by Tentrr staff.
All locations include a 10-foot by 12-foot, canvas-walled tent atop a raised platform. Each site is outfitted with a queen-sized bed and memory foam mattress, a propane heating source, a solar-powered “sun” shower, a camp toilet, water container, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, grill, and a picnic table with storage and benches.
Guests have the option of single, double, and triple sites. Singles sleep up to six (two occupants in the main tent and four occupants in a provided pop-up tent). Double sites – or buddy sites – sleep up to 12 (two occupants in each of the two main tents and four occupants in each of the two provided pop-up tents) and triples can accommodate group camping.
“Camping at a State Park is an ideal way to explore the great outdoors with friends and family,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “This partnership continues our work to create diverse and exciting destinations to attract visitors to New York’s great outdoors, enhance our tourism economy, and help people experience all that the State has to offer.”
“The partnership with Tentrr is an opportunity to reach new visitors and encourage more New Yorkers to get outside and be active,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “We look forward to kicking off this summer and connecting people with the Hudson Valley’s many outdoor offerings. Not everyone has the equipment or the knowledge to enjoy camping in a state park, and this partnership is a great way to introduce this classic outdoor experience to more New Yorkers.”
“As a New York City-based company, it is great to partner with our home state supporting its incredible park system across the region,” said Todd King, Vice President of Marketing at Tentrr. “Through Tentrr, we hope New Yorkers and out-of-state visitors alike will explore the incredible natural resources and parks the state has to offer. Tentrr makes it easy to find an amazing site to enjoy the state’s vast landscapes and inspiring scenery.”
New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said,”Camping is a terrific way to experience New York State’s great outdoors, and this new service will make it easier than ever to enjoy New York’s unparalleled State Parks. I LOVE NY looks forward to promoting the availability of these extensively outfitted sites as part of the wide variety of camping offerings available across the state to residents and visitors alike.”
While Tentrr’s sites are naturally socially distanced, Tentrr adheres to state guidelines for maintaining and sanitizing the sites. Tentrr will continue to keep sites clean and wiped down with high-grade sanitizers and encourages guests to follow recommended COVID requirements and protocols. For more details on Tentrr’s COVID-19 protocols, visit here.
The Tentrr partnership complements Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 100 initiative, which renews the historic commitment to investing and expanding the State Park system by committing at least $440 million over the next four years. This critical period of revitalization will culminate in the 2024 celebration of the 100th anniversary of the State Park Act, which first created our nation-leading State Park system in 1924 under Governor Al Smith. NY Parks 100 will continue crucial investments in park infrastructure while enhancing opportunities to reach the full range of New York State’s recreational and cultural offerings, including local parks and trails, regional flagship parks and historic sites, and vast wilderness parks. The initiative will focus on creating places to recreate locally, relieving overcrowded parks, welcoming new visitors, and protecting New York State’s environmental and historic legacy. This new plan will ensure people from all communities and across all ages and abilities can fully experience our outdoors, our culture, and our heritage.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 78 million in 2020. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram , Twitter or on the State Parks blog.