ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were reports of parking lots at many state parks in the Capital Region packed with cars. People were looking to escape the confines of their homes, instead choosing to spend time among nature.

New York’s state park network consists of 180 parks, 12 of which are in the Capital District/Saratoga region. Now that spring has reached upstate New York, find out which state parks in the Capital Region have the highest reviews on Google.

Information about the parks in this list was obtained through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). To learn more about state parks not on this list or check out parks in areas outside of the Capital Region, visit the DEC website.

1. Thatcher Park 4.8

Located on the outskirts of Albany, Thatcher Park is popular for its views of Albany and hiking trails. Additionally, they have playgrounds, pavilions/shelters for rent, grills, and a zip line that will be reopening on May 21. There are also 140 camping sites at Thompson’s Lake which will be open for the season starting May 5.

2. Peebles Island 4.7

Off from Van Schaick Island in Cohoes, Peebles Island has trails with views of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. There is a picnic area, a pavilion for rent that can hold up to 100 people, fishing, and grills. The walking trails are open year-round and the pavilion is open from mid-May through mid-October.

3. Mine Kill 4.7

A little more than an hour’s drive from Albany, Mine Kill has hiking and picnicking all year weather permitting. Boating is open from April 1-October 15. The park also has an Olympic-size pool, wading pool, and a diving pool available at no cost between July 1-September 6. Free swim lessons are available during the summer.

4. Saratoga Spa 4.7

Right outside of downtown Saratoga Springs sits a vast state park that supports biking, hiking, and golfing. There are pavilions to rent, pools open after June 26, a boat launch, tennis courts, and museums. The Spa City Farmer’s Market also takes place every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the front lawn of the Lincoln Baths Building.

5. Cherry Plain 4.6

On Black River Pond, Cherry Plain offers hiking, boating, fishing, camping, and has a playground. They are open May through Labor Day and have public showers, as well as pavilions for rent, and boat rentals.

6. Grafton Lake 4.6

Hot days on the weekend between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day usually mean Grafton Lake is busy with people looking to cool off. But the park also has hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, multiple shelter rentals, fishing, and boating.

7. Max V. Shaul 4.6

Max V. Shaul is in Schoharie County a little less than an hour away from Albany nine miles north of Mine Kill State Park. They have a rentable pavilion that can hold up to 100 people, campsites, fishing, hiking, and playgrounds. The park is open for picnicking or hiking year-round and camping from May 10 through October 10. The picnic shelter is available from the weekend of Memorial Day to the weekend of Columbus Day.

8. Moreau 4.6

Moreau State Park has hiking trails, swimming from the weekend of Memorial Day through the weekend of Labor Day, and a picnic area with two pavilions available to rent. They also have a playground, camping, and visitors center. Seven campsites were specifically designed for people with disabilities.

9. Schodack Island 4.6

Also located just outside of Albany, Schodack Island is on 1,052 acres and is designated as a State Estuary. The park is open year-round with camping open from May through November. There is also fishing, grills, a playground, and four pavilions that hold between 25 and 100 people for rent.

10. Taconic 4.6

Taconic State Park has two areas, Copake Falls and Rudd Pond. There are hiking trails, grilling, fishing, waterfalls, boating, camping, and a visitor center. Campers can also rent fully equipped canvas wall tents through Tentrr.