Love to use New York's State Park System for family vacations or day trips? That state is introducing a new way to take advantage of all that natural beauty. And it's perfect for families with multiple vehicles.

Previously, you could purchase a window decal which would only be good in one vehicle. They are now issuing an annual Empire Pass Card which can be transferred to anyone in the household, no matter what they're driving into the park.

A View of Niagara Falls in New York
Naomi Lynn/TSM

The Empire Pass is a great way to enjoy state parks all across New York. According to the NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website:

It provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to most facilities operated by New York State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. (

Here are some of the parks that the pass is good at:

For a full list of State parks that accept or offer discounts for Empire Pass card holders, get more details at the State Park website. There are many additional locations in the Catskills and Adirondacks listed at the NYS DEC website.

Verona Beach State Park
Verona Beach - Emily Grosso

The Empire Pass decal will still be available for $65 for 2017. The Empire Pass card is $80 for 2017. Or if you want to step up to lifetime access to New York State Parks, you could apply for the Lifetime Empire Pass for $750, but you won't receive a membership card. For this pass, you are issued a special drivers (or non-drivers) license from the DMV.

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