Many people are looking to beat the summer heat by getting close to the water - especially at our local New York State Parks like Niagara Falls, Beaver Island and Fort Niagara. However, going multiple times can be a challenge for families because those parks all charge fees, either for parking or entry.
It costs $10 for parking at Niagara Falls State Park, $8 for entry to Fort Niagara State Park and $7 to get into Beaver Island State Park with access to its beach on the Niagara River.
Good news though - New York State does have three ways to save on costs.
The first is called the "Empire Pass." For an $80 annual fee, the pass holder can get unlimited entry to any NYS Park throughout the year - it doesn't matter what vehicle you are in or who is with you. Longer term and lifetime Empire Passes are also available. More info here:
The second summer savings idea is the Golden Park Program. Seniors 62 and older get free access to NYS Parks on weekdays. You only have to show a NYS drivers license to get in.
New York State Parks are also accepting passes from the "Every Kid in a Park" program run by the National Parks Service. 4th graders and their families with this pass get into NYS Parks for free. The idea is to encourage 4th graders to visit places like Fort Niagara to learn more about history.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his report.