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Visiting a New York state park is a great way to spend some family time, but car admission fees can add up. We’ve found ways you can get into the parks and save some money while having a great day with your family.
Most state parks in New York charge between $1 and $6 per car for admission. Rates may go up on holidays or weekends as well as seasonally. Camping, swimming, and other amenities may cost extra.
Disabled New York Residents Can Get in For Free
The access pass allows them to visit most NY state parks for free. Residents who want an access pass just have to fill out an application, including certification from their physician and submit a recent photo to be used with the pass. The pass can be used in state parks around New York but it may only be good for a discount in some state parks.
Military Member? New York State Parks Offer Discounts!
If you’re a member of the New York Militia, a member of the reserves or the New York State National Guard, you can get a free Empire Pass. The pass is good for one year at most New York state parks. The pass falls under a Patriot Plan benefit which means it can be used by anyone in the household.
If you’re a veteran, you can get a lifetime pass for 40% off. The pass can be used by both individuals and families. It is good for life and does not require you to renew each year. While the pass is expensive, the discount can offset the cost. You also get free access to state golf courses and some state pools!
Seniors get a golden pass!
New York residents who are 62 years old or older can get into New York state parks for free on weekdays that aren’t holidays. You can get into state historical sites and golf courses for a reduced fee on these days, too. The state parks don’t even require you to submit an application- simply show your identification and you’re in!
Some New York Kids Can Get in Free
Got a fourth grader? You’re in luck! New York participates in the Every-Kid-In-a-Park program. Print off your child’s pass and head out to the state park. It’s good for the vehicle fee associated with each New York state park. Your fourth grader can bring three family members along to use the pass with.
Trade Camping for Your Time
If you’ve camped in the past and know what you’re doing when it comes to camping, you could camp for up to two weeks for free! New York state parks use volunteers to help with their camper assistance program. As long as you know how to camp and you’re over 18, you can volunteer your time to help with the CAP and camp in a state park for free!
Get More Free Stuff in New York
New York state parks are a great way to have affordable fun with your family but New York also has a lot of other free things you can take advantage of! If state parks aren’t your thing, check out these other things you can get for free in New York!