For some, we'll hear our parents giving us one of those speeches from when we were little. "If you don't play nice, you won't get to play." The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation seems to be echoing a similar tone with their Common Sense Guidelines.

Creating the hashtag - #RecreateLocal, The DEC and State Parks are encouraging people to walk, jog, hike, ride a bicycle, fish, or visit a park or state lands as a healthy way to stay active, spend time with immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety all while practicing social distancing.

NOT OPEN:

  • indoor spaces and restrooms at State Parks and DEC’s public facilities
  • playgrounds
  • athletic courts and sporting fields
  • DEC-controlled fire towers

While the fire towers themselves are closed, the trails and summits leading to them remain open. They will be limiting parking availability to discourage crowding. If the lot is full, visit a different location and don't park on roadsides. As of now, State Park Golf courses are closed.

CAMPING:

Currently, all state-operated campgrounds, cabins, and cottages are closed to overnight visitation through April 30. The state has also suspended all new camping, cabin and cottage reservations for the 2020 season until further notice. If you have made reservations you will receive a refund. If you have reservations beginning May 1, the reservation will be honored if the campground is deemed safe. You can still cancel the reservation and receive a refund.

GUIDELINES:

    • Stay local and keep visits short
    • Visits should be solitary, or only with close family members
    • Move quickly through parking lots, trailheads and scenic overlooks
    • Keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others
    • Avoid activities where you may come in close contact with other people
    • Stay home if you do not feel well
    • Stay home if you are over 70 and/or from a vulnerable population

The DEC and Parks suggest not sharing equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees. Rangers and Conservation officers will be in attendance (when available) at state areas to ensure guidelines are followed.

In the words of Mom and Dad, "if we're good boys and girls we can go outside and play." The status of particular parks may change frequently with our current situation, the latest info is available on the State Park's website. You can email with specific questions at:notes@parks.ny.gov