A newly opened visitor center at Minnewaska State Park Preserve will welcome the estimated half-million guests that visit the popular natural attraction every year. According to a press release from Governor Cuomo's office, the 5,400 square foot facility will provide assistance in a variety of areas including helping people navigate the extensive network of trails and carriage roads.

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The property was once home to a resort hotel but was acquired by New York State in 1987. The multi-phase public-private partnership with the Open Space Institute has updated much of the infrastructure at the 24,000-acre nature preserve over the past decade.

In addition to being able to host educational programs and state of the art exhibits on the park's environment and history, the new visitor center provides a place for people to warm up during the cold weather months along with new public restrooms. The outdoor patio provides one of a kind views of Lake Minnewaska and the building will offer, for the first time, accessible drinking water on site.

Previous development phases have seen the opening of a new campground in 2015 and a reconfigured main entrance area in 2017 which helps accommodate additional cars on peak traffic days. The Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway campground was recently named one of America's most beautiful places to camp.

The facility itself is located in the Town of Rochester, not to be confused with the city. Town Supervisor Mike Baden was quoted as saying, 'Minnewaska State Park exposes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to the bounty of the Town of Rochester. The simple beauty of this visitor center will continue this vision for decades to come'.