Empire Passports are Family Bargains


What better way to bring in the new season, than a trip to a state park?

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The National Hurricane Center has retired the name "Sandyfrom the list of tropical storm names. The retirement comes because of the catastrophic damage, its massive size and strength caused along the East Coast and especially Long Island.  Our parks and beaches sustained extensive damage.  Governor Cuomo announced that all state parks and beaches will be reopened by Memorial Day weekend.

It’s hard to believe it, but spring is finally here! The trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and it's a great time to get out and enjoy a picnic, bike ride, nature trail, or playground. What better way to bring in the new season, than a trip to a state park. Nassau and Suffolk counties are filled with them. With so many activities to choose from, you might want to make a list of your favorites and then work your way through all of them. 

The wonderful state parks host ample opportunities to do just that, and so much more. The parks impose a vehicle-use fee during the high season. An Empire Passport will allow you access to any New York state park for $65 for one year. The Passport provides access 179 state parks, 55 Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) forest preserve areas, as well as to boat launch sites, arboretums and park preserves. They can be obtained at any state park or on the state's website. The site will also allow you to download a new free app Oh Ranger! NY State Parks for iPhone and take a 360- degree virtual tour of any park.

Share your favorite park pictures to photos@longisland.com