New York has many state parks and two major forest preserves. Adirondack Park, roughly the size of the state of Vermont and the largest state park in the United States, was established in 1892 and given state constitutional
protection in 1894. The thinking that led to the creation of the Park first appeared in George Perkins Marsh's Man and Nature, published in 1864. Marsh argued that deforestation could lead to desertification; referring to the clearing of once-lush lands surrounding the Mediterranean, he asserted "the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon."
The Catskill Park was protected in legislation passed in 1885, which declared that its land was to be conserved and never put up for sale or lease. Consisting of 700,000 acres (2,800 km²) of land, the park is a habitat for bobcats, minks and fishers. There are some 400 black bears living in the region. The state operates numerous campgrounds and there are over 300 miles (480 km) of multi-use trails in the Park.
The Montauk Point State Park boasts the famous Montauk Lighthouse, commissioned by President George Washington, which is a major tourist attraction and is located in the township of East Hampton, Suffolk County. Hither Hills park offers camping and is a popular destination with surfcasting sport fishermen.