Woodlawn Beach State Park
|Woodlawn Beach State Park|
Location of Woodlawn Beach State Park within New York State
|Location||S-3580 Lakeshore Road
Blasdell, New York
|Area||107 acres (0.43 km2)|
|Visitors||146,000 (in 2014)|
|Website||Woodlawn Beach State Park|
Woodlawn Beach State Park is a 107-acre (0.43 km2) park located near the Village of Blasdell on the eastern shore of Lake Erie in Erie County, New York. It was opened as a state park in 1996, and has been operated since 2011 by the Town of Hamburg under a ten-year agreement with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Woodlawn Beach was historically a popular swimming location and resort during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Served by several trains and steamships, Woodlawn Beach at this time featured a hotel, restaurant, dancing hall, bowling alley, billiards hall, toboggan slide and a 30-acre (0.12 km2) picnic grove.
Access to the beach was restricted after the 1950s, when new owners disallowed public use of the land. The beach was once again opened to the public after New York State purchased 93 acres (38 ha) of property from Buffalo Crushed Stone in 1996. The $6.3 million acquisition was made with the assistance of the Trust for Public Land.
The park was operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation prior to 2011. However, after a period of closure due to state budget constraints, since 2011 the park has been operated by the Town of Hamburg through a ten-year partnership agreement with New York State. Although still struggling to cover expenses, the town has had some success by marketing the park's features, such as its beach, restaurant and banquet facilities. Losses have continued to decrease in the years since the town's takeover of park operations.
The "2010 Woodlawn Beach Sanitary Survey Report" completed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation notes several potential bacteria sources which may affect the beach, including sewage overflows, stormwater outfalls, urban runoff, contaminated stream drainage, algae and leafy debris. Woodlawn Beach was identified by the Natural Resources Defense Council as the third most polluted swimming beach in New York State after failing 32% of water sample tests in 2011.
The park offers a beach, hiking, playground, picnic areas and a bar and restaurant. Kayaks and paddle boards are available for rent, and the park is available for parties and weddings. The Lodge is available by rental only.
The park is open for day use all year, but swimming is permitted only during summer months. The beach is open from dawn until dusk seven days a week beginning Memorial Day weekend and closes Labor Day weekend. There is a $7 parking fee. Active military (with ID) are discounted to $5 as well as motorcycles. Monday through Friday, senior citizens (62 years and older) may enter the park free of charge.
The park accepts Empire Passes and Access Passes issued by New York State.
- "Woodlawn Beach State Park". NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- "Section O: Environmental Conservation and Recreation, Table O-9". 2014 New York State Statistical Yearbook (PDF). The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. 2014. p. 674. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
- "Governor Pataki Announces State Purchase of Woodlawn Beach". May 8, 1996. Archived from the original on December 18, 2004. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- "State Park Annual Attendance Figures by Facility: Beginning 2003". Data.ny.gov. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- Pauls' Dictionary of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Tonawanda and Vicinity. Buffalo, NY: The Peter Paul Book Company. 1896. pp. 169–170. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- O’Brien, Barbara (May 28, 2012). "Sun, sand and 'success'". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- Barbara O’Brien (July 22, 2014). "Woodlawn Beach Bounces Back". The Buffalo News. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- "Testing the Waters: New York". NRDC.org. Natural Resources Defense Council. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2015.