About Parks & Trails New York

Letchworth State Park Panorama 2015

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and multi-use trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space.

With thousands of members and supporters across the state, PTNY is a leading voice in the protection of New York’s magnificent state park system and the creation and promotion of more than 1,500 miles of greenways, bike paths, river walks, and trails.

Our Mission

Parks & Trails New York works to expand, protect and promote a network of parks, trails, and open spaces throughout our state for use and enjoyment by all.

Our History

In 1985 a group of passionate park advocates came together and decided that New York’s magnificent state park system merited its own advocacy group. At a conference in November of that year, New York Parks and Conservation Association was born.

The organization’s purview quickly grew to include trails, outdoor recreation, active transportation, and bicycle and pedestrian issues. In 2004, we became Parks & Trails New York to better represent our work and our vision of a connected network of parks and trails.

Over the last 35 years, PTNY has been at the forefront of the fight for revitalization of New York's state parks and historic sites. In our landmark 2006 report, Parks at a Turning Point, we drew attention to the dire capital backlog at state parks. The report and subsequent advocacy efforts, including Park Advocacy Day, have resulted in an unprecedented renaissance of our state park system, with over $1 billion in capital investments made over the last decade. We also launched an annual I Love My Park Day that engages thousands of volunteers across New York in improving and enhancing state parks and historic sites each May.

Another way we achieve our mission is by supporting the network of 70 non-profit, grassroots Friends groups that steward and increase access to our parks, sites, and public lands. Building stronger park communities by giving Friends groups the tools they need to be effective champions of their park is vital for the revitalization of our public lands. The Park & Trail Partnership Grants- funded by the Environmental Protection Fund and administered in partnership with State Parks- have provided Friends groups with over $6.3 million in funding to achieve their missions.  This program, coupled with our ongoing trainings, workshops, conferences and events are ensuring our natural places will be protected for the next generation to enjoy. 

Learn More About PTNY's Work


Justice, Equity, and Diversity Initiatives in Our Work

Parks & Trails New York is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all New Yorkers by improving and expanding access to parks and trails so everyone can enjoy the outdoors and benefits of nature close to home. Parks & Trails New York does not support or condone racism, bigotry, or discrimination of any kind and recognizes that addressing diversity, equity and inclusion is crucial for fostering environmental justice today, and within the next generation of park leaders and stewards. We acknowledge that a sustained commitment is required to help dismantle traditional systems that unwittingly institutionalize racism and bias, including within the outdoor recreation community.  We recognize that this is inherently a difficult and long process with no endpoint but we are actively working to effect positive change in the work we do in everyday, across our organization.