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State says crews complete improvements at Jefferson County beaches

By Eric Reinhardt (


The state says crews have completed improvement projects at Southwick Beach State Park and Westcott Beach State Park in Jefferson County, on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario.

They’re described as the “first major improvements to the popular beachfront parks in 50 years,” the office Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.

The upgrades at Southwick Beach feature a new bathhouse and concession building, along with restored dunes and new “green” parking lots that “enhance resiliency and protection of water quality,” Cuomo’s office said.

The state has announced the completion of improvements at Southwick Beach State Park and Westcott Beach State Park in Jefferson County. The work included a new bathhouse at Southwick Beach State Park. (Photo provided the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

The work at Westcott Beach included eight new “accessible” cottages, with kitchens and bathrooms. The cottages were built on a bluff with a “commanding view of the lake,” per the news release.

Located in Jefferson County, Southwick Beach State Park has a 112-site campground and is the “busiest” day-use state park in the Thousand Islands region, drawing more than 1.1 million visitors during the last decade, per Cuomo’s office.

Funding for the project came from the NY Parks 2020 initiative and a $1 million grant from the Environmental Facilities Corporation.

Located on Henderson Bay in Jefferson County, Westcott Beach includes a sandy beach, 168 campsites, a marina and, more than three miles of hiking trails. The $3.94 million project was funded through the NY Parks 2020 initiative.

“Open space is essential to New Yorkers' health and well-being, especially during these stressful times, and we remain hard at work maintaining and improving our world-class state parks while enforcing COVID safety guidelines to protect their visitors,” Cuomo said. “The communities along Lake Ontario are still recovering from last year's record floods and these upgrades will help to increase visitation and improve resiliency while providing a much-needed boost to the local tourism industry.”

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