Jones Beach getting climbing wall, zip line, splash park and more

Jones Beach State Park attracts millions of visitors every single year. New York parks officials expect that number to grow this summer thanks to several improvement projects.

"This is an exciting summer. We just completed the bike path that now extends the bike path from Field No. 1 at Jones Beach all the way to West End 2," said George Gorman, the Long Island regional director. 

Aside from a new 4.5-mile shared-use trail for cyclists, runners, and skaters, beach-goers will be greeted by brand-new shuffleboard, pickleball, and bocce ball courts.

For the adventurous at heart, there will be a splash park, 40-foot tall zip line, ropes courses, and a rock-climbing wall.

The Meadowbrook and Wantagh State Parkway toll plazas will be replaced with pay-at-field parking, equipped with both attendants and automatic scanners. Gorman said the goal is to keep traffic flowing by processing every transaction, cash or card, within just 30 seconds.

"There may be some inconveniences as they're doing some of the reconstruction work," Gorman said. "But in the end, it's going to be such a better experience than people see now."

The $15 million project is being funded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2020 Parks Plan, which has leveraged about $900 million in public and private funding to modernize the state park system.