Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that beginning on Monday, April 1, 2024, New York State veterans and Gold Star Families will have free access to New York State parks, campgrounds, day-use areas, historic sites, and recreation areas through the expansion of the Lifetime Liberty Pass Program. Governor Hochul signed a package of legislation in November 2023 to support veterans and their families, which included this initiative. 

“Our veterans have made endless sacrifices and New York is always looking for ways we can say thank you for keeping our country safe,” Governor Hochul said. “Nature heals and with the expansion of our Lifetime Liberty Pass Program, we’re ensuring veterans and their families can easily visit our world-class destinations here in New York.”

Under the legislation signed by Governor Hochul, the Lifetime Liberty Pass Program will now be extended to include all Veterans and certain Gold Star Family members who are residents of New York State. A disability rating is no longer required. The benefits include:

•      Free vehicle entry to State Parks and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)-operated campgrounds and day-use areas, as well as state boat launch sites, historic sites, arboretums, and park preserves.

•      Free greens fees at State Park-operated golf courses.

•      Free swimming pool entrance at pools operated by State Parks.

•      Discounted campsite and cabin rentals at State Parks- and DEC-operated campgrounds. The discount will be applied at the time of campground check-in.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons said, “We are incredibly grateful to our Veterans for their dedication and service and are excited to provide Veteran communities more opportunities to better connect with state parks, historic sites, and recreation areas and facilitate a lifelong love of the outdoors.” 

Veterans can access these benefits by presenting a NY State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) photo document (ID) with Veteran status designation to employees at all staffed facilities. Veterans who do not have this designation on their ID can visit the NYS DMV website for more information or apply for the free Lifetime Liberty Pass to ensure seamless entry.

New York State Gold Star Parents, Spouses, or Children should apply for the free Lifetime Liberty Pass to ensure entry at all park locations. The application process for the Lifetime Liberty Pass will open on April 1, 2024.