Discounted Empire Pass Card is now on sale

Sale continues through March 31, offers unlimited day-use vehicle entry to state parks, boat launches

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Four pass options

Annual pass
Wallet-sized plastic card
Family sharing
Cost: $65 through March 31
3-year pass
Wallet-sized plastic card
Family sharing
Chip technology inside the card allows for express entry at many parks
Cost: $205
5-year pass
Wallet-sized plastic card
Family sharing
Chip technology inside the card allows for express entry at select parks
Cost: $320
Lifetime pass
Icon placed on one’s driver’s license
No expiration date
Buy it once and enjoy state parks and more forever
Cost: $750
All passes can be purchased online at

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is offering a sale on the 2018 annual Empire Pass Card.

Through March 31, the card sells for $65 and can be shared among family members. After the sale, the card will be available for its regular price of $80. The card provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to state parks, Department of Environmental Conservation forest preserves, boat launch sites, arboretums and park preserves.

Currently available online only, the wallet-sized plastic card offers a cost-effective way to enjoy New York's more than 250 recreational and historic sites. It is presented upon vehicle entry and includes QR code and embedded chip technology to allow for easier park access at select facilities.

Those wishing to give the card as a gift must order by Friday, Dec. 8, to ensure delivery in time for the holidays.

The former Empire Pass decal, which was not shareable and required attachment to one vehicle, will no longer be offered. All 2017 Empire Pass Decals will be accepted through their expiration on March 31.

The 2018 card will be available inside the parks in January.

Other discounts Seniors — New York’s seniors age 62 and older may take advantage of the state parks Golden Park Program, which allows for their free entry into state parks weekdays (Monday through Friday) simply by showing their driver’s license or state-issued non-driver ID.

Kids — The "Connect Kids to Parks" enhances opportunities for schoolchildren and promotes parks and historic places in every corner of the state. Free State Park day-use entry has been extended to all fourth-grade students and their families through 2017 and created a new grant program to transport schoolchildren to educational programs in State parks and historic sites.

Veterans — The Lifetime Liberty Pass permits New York State veterans with 40 percent or greater service-connected disability discounted use of state parks, historic sites and recreational facilities. A member of the New York State Militia or any branch of the New York State National Guard or military reserves who is currently serving on active duty in support of the war on terrorism is eligible for the Patriot Plan benefit, which provides a free Empire Pass for use by his or her immediate family during deployment aor for his or her own use when returning home.

For more information on all of these initiatives, visit

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