Three sites in Cayuga County benefited from a record-breaking year for New York state parks.
State parks reported an estimated 74.1 million visitors in 2018, up 4 percent from 71.5 million two years ago. Since 2011, state park visitation has increased 28 percent.
Each of the state parks in Cayuga County had more visitors in 2018. The largest of the three, Fair Haven Beach State Park, drew 296,438 visitors last year, up from 262,202 in 2017. It's the highest attendance the park has seen since 2015, when the northern Cayuga County site welcomed 297,945 visitors.
Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia had 120,731 visitors last year, up from 90,789 in 2017. Long Point State Park in Ledyard reported 51,515 visitors in 2018, up from 33,795 two years ago.
Revitalizing state parks has been a priority of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration. The governor's NY Parks 2020 initiative aims to improve state parks. Fair Haven Beach and Fillmore Glen state parks received funding through NY Parks 2020 for infrastructure projects, including new bathhouses and pavilions.
"State parks are at the heart of New York's tourism economy, attracting visitors from all over the world to discover the history and explore the beauty of our great state," Cuomo said in a statement.
There was a significant increase in visitation at some of New York's largest state parks. Green Lakes State Park in Onondaga County had 33 percent more visitors in 2018 than it did two years ago. Watkins Glen State Park reported an attendance bump of 24 percent.
On Long Island, visitation at Jones Beach State Park rose by 43 percent.
The NY Parks 2020 program will continue this year. Cuomo proposed $110 million in his executive budget plan to fund the initiative.
"New York's parks and historic sites are continuing to invigorate communities across the state by connecting people with their culture and heritage," said Erik Kulleseid, acting state parks commissioner. "Thanks to Governor Cuomo's initiative to transform and promote state parks, we can look forward to welcoming more visitors as we continue to rejuvenate and modernize our state park system."