Located amongst the woodlands of Taconic Valley, Cherry Plain State Park is famous for its fascinating views, dense woodlands, sandy beach and Black River Pond. In contrast to other parks, Cherry Plain State Park covers a modest 175 acres. However, the park is surrounded by The Capital District Wildlife Management Area that gives this park an additional 4,153 acres of forested land. The park offers many recreational activities including hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, picnicking, cross-country skiing and much more.
One of the most exciting attributes of Cherry Plain State Park is its nature trails, like the Charcoal Kiln Site that starts from the parking lot and winds off into the dense forest. The park is home to many species of fauna and flora while Black River Pond offers a great fishing experience for anglers. The sandy beach on the lake offers the perfect day out swimming, boating and tanning in the hot summer sun. The park also offers camping facilities for those that want to relax and spend some more time with nature.
Cherry Plain State Park is not just for picnicking and enjoying the many lake related activities. The park also has a designated area for family gathering, parties, wedding events and more. This reservation only area is called Water’s Edge Shelter. The shelter is a rustic stone pavilion with a natural backdrop of the beach and waterfront. This location is perfect for creating memories with loved ones with the park offering something for everyone.
Cherry Plain State Park is located about 19 miles southeast of Grafton and 7 miles north of Stephentown. The park is located just off NYS Route 22 and signs are present to guide visitors to the park entrance. The roads inside the park are relatively small and narrow and the camping spots are also much smaller than those in other parks. Larger RVs and Motor-homes are not recommended inside the park as navigating to the parking spots can become a real challenge. Local roads like Miller Rd, State Park Rd, and Black River Rd. allow drivers of smaller RVs and cars to navigate through the park to access its various campsites, picnic areas and facilities.
Cherry Plain State Park has about 30 campsites available that offer minimal amenities for those that love and enjoy a truly outdoorsy experience. No electric, water, or sewer hookups are available on site and only smaller RVs and vehicles are recommended inside park premises. Washrooms and shower facilities are available near campsites along with access to drinking water. Picnic tables, grills and fire pits can be found on most picnic areas and campsites. Pets are also allowed on the campgrounds and trails as long as they are on a leash. The park is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.with campers being able to stay for stretches of 14 days at a time.
Black River Pond offers a scenic and peaceful setting for a spot of relaxing fishing. Anglers can sit back and enjoy the natural surroundings while fishing for bass, bullheads, and pickerel as well as the many other species of fish that reside in the pond. Whether you are an experienced angler or just want to spend some alone time with nature, Cherry Plain State Park offers that perfect balance of serenity and comfort which makes for an intimate fishing experience.
Cherry Plain State Park's most popular attraction is Black River Pond that offers visitors the chance to do some much-needed water-based activities. Boating enthusiast can canoe and kayak on the lake and the park also offers boat rentals in case you forgot to bring yours along. A boat launch area by the beach offers plenty of room to launch your rowboats and sailboats on to the cool and calm lake water for an enjoyable boating or fishing experience.
The beach area around Black River Pond offers a place to relax and get a tan on in the hot summer sun. If the heat is getting to you jumping into the cool placid lake water offers instant relief with showers and change rooms available on site so you are not left wet and uncomfortable. A marked swimming area allows swimmers of all skill levels to relax in the lake water and cool off especially during the hot summer months. In-season the swimming areas are staffed with lifeguards and the park conducts water testing before season starts to ensure that the water is safe for swimming.
The Cherry Plain State Park Loop is the ideal trail for hikers of all skill levels. The six-mile trail makes a loop across the park and is generally level ground which makes for a more relaxing scenic hiking experience. Pets on the trail have to be kept on a leash at all times. Apart from the Cherry Plain State Park Loop other short and long hiking trails are also on offer that wander off to different areas of the park with one, in particular, taking you to the historic Charcoal Kiln Site sheltered amongst the woods. These trails are also well-maintained in winter months offering winter enthusiast the opportunity to use them for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Picnic areas are closer to the pond and beach area that offer guest vast open views of the dense woodlands spread across the rich natural landscape. Cherry Plain State Park has designated picnic areas with picnic tables, grills and fire pits. A small store at the beach also offers camping supplies in case you forgot to bring something along. The generally quiet and scenic setting of this park makes it a great place for a picnic with family or friends.
The Capital District Wildlife Management Area that gives this Cherry Plain State Park an additional 4,153 acres of forested land is home to many species of fauna and flora. Migrating and local birds, deer, moose, beaver and other small mammals inhabit the woodland areas and can often be spotted on the many nature trails that are dotted across this vast landscape. A part of the park is also dedicated for hunters and closed to guests during hunting season.