With more people leaving their homes to visit parks in the Adirondacks and Catskills, the DEC is reminding hikers to follow common-sense rules and recommendations to protect people and wildlife.

The DEC has these measures in place to promote shared respect for the resources the parks have to offer. The main idea is to protect the forests, trails, lakes, and rivers throughout the state.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said:

New York's wild places draw visitors from across the state and country, and it is crucial that we continue to provide safe sustainable access. With more people looking to recreate locally during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen incredible increases in use throughout the state. We ask for everyone to help protect the fragile summit vegetation by hiking prepared, packing out your litter, treating each other with respect, and educating these new outdoor enthusiasts to the common-sense rules of the outdoors


The DEC encourages individuals to protect the uniqueness of the high peaks, which contain some of New York's rarest plants, respect others, and leave no trace.

To better educate visitors to state parks, the DEC initiated the Play Smart, Play Safe, Play Local Campaign encouraging New Yorkers to recreate safely, responsibly, and locally this summer and to always treat other outdoor adventurers with respect.

More information can be found on the DEC's website.

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