Did you go camping in any of New York's State Parks last year? How about hiking, swimming, leisurely walking, or just stopping by for a quick visit? If you and your family and friends visited any of New York’s State Parks in 2017, you helped make it one of the busiest years in quite a while.

According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, nearly 71 million visitors spent time at New York’s state parks, historic sites, and campgrounds in 2017. That’s 950,000 more visitors than in 2016, and that’s something the Governor has been working on since starting the plan to improve and promote New York’s State Parks in 2011.

Even though the weather wasn’t always cooperative last summer, there was still an increase in visitors. Thanks in part to improved trails, major improvements in beaches and swimming areas, free park entry for fourth graders through the Connect Kids to Parks program, the new family sharing Empire Pass, and newly improved playgrounds all contributed to a big year in attendance.

There are more improvements on the way, including a new gateway at the Walkway Over the Hudson. If you didn't visit any of New York's state parks, historic sites, and campgrounds in 2017, make 2018 your year. It's time well spent.