Known for its beautiful forests, numerous recreational activities, and impressive RV camping amenities, Lake Taghkanic State Park is well worth checking out. Conveniently located between the towns of Gallatin and Taghkanic, this Columbia County pearl has a modern history that dates back to the late 1920s when the land for the park was donated by D. McRae Livingstone. Part of the requirement of the land donation was for the name of the lake to change from Lake Charlotte to Lake Taghkanic, which is also where the name of the park derives from. The Civilian Conservation Corps is credited for building a good number of facilities found within the park, such as rustic cabins, bathhouses, and the water tower during the Great Depression era.
Surrounded by amazing views of hills and lively vegetation cover, Lake Taghkanic State Park offers plenty of summer and winter recreational activities. In total, there are 1,569 acres of land for you to explore, whether that be on or off the lake. From ice fishing, boating to hiking and hunting, there is always something to engage in the park no matter the time of the year. The park is also a great spot to bring the little ones thanks to the kid-friendly playgrounds that are equipped with modern slides, swings, and climbing structures of varying sizes, shapes, and colors.
RV campers will feel right at home when visiting Lake Taghkanic State Park as there are 171 great camping sites to choose from. All of the sites within the campground are primitive; however, there are some great amenities to give you a little luxury, such as a hot showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. The peak season runs from June to August, but the park is open all year round.
Lake Taghkanic State Park is conveniently located 13.5 miles southeast of Hudson right off the Taconic Parkway. Guests using RVs, campers, and big trucks should access the park from the NY-82 entrance, which is more convenient. For other smaller vehicles, access the park from Taconic State Parkway, south of NY-82. The paved road leading to the park’s entrance is smooth, so you should have no concerns about damaging your RV suspension or rims.
If you plan on staying within the campground, you should be aware that only RVs up to 20 feet in length will be able to fit into the campsites. During the wintertime, the area is also known for experiencing large snowfalls that can cause some of the roads in and around the park to be closed. We recommend calling ahead to the park office if you are concerned about the forecast. A good number of facilities are handicap accessible.
Lake Taghkanic State Park is a family-friendly campground with 171 campsites perfect for small trailers, RVs, and tents. Although the campsites have no waterfront views, they are situated around the perimeter of Lake Taghkanic. The sites are known to be quite tight and can only fit a trailer or small RV up to 20 feet long. If you are just learning how to drive an RV, you should be extra careful when choosing a site. There are no electric and water hookups available at any of the campsites; however, each space is equipped with a fire ring and picnic table for you to enjoy. Other campground amenities include hot showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, a dump station, and bathhouses. Some of the sites within the campground are pet-friendly, but because not all of the sites permit animals, we recommend that you consult with the park before your arrival. Reservations are encouraged for the Lake Taghkanic State Park Campground, and they can be made from one day before your trip up to nine months in advance. The campground is open from mid-May to October.
For those who are looking for a little more luxury, the campground at Lake Taghkanic State Park also has cabins and cottages available for rent. In total, 27 cabins can accommodate between two and eight guests, depending on the size of the cabin. The cabins are all charming and equipped with some useful amenities, such as electricity, a refrigerator, hot water, and heating. If you prefer to stay in a cottage, there are four fully furnished cottages with electricity, hot water, heating, and a refrigerator. Reservations for the cottages and cabins can be made online and are available for you to call home from the beginning of May until the end of October.
Lake Taghkanic picnic areas are located on both sides of the lake and are open to visitors all year round. The day-use area is equipped with picnic tables and charcoal grills. There is a rental pavilion with electricity available that is perfect for those who are planning on a picnic with a large group. After paying the day-use charges, you can park your vehicle in the picnic area parking lot and enjoy lunch with your family in the grassy fields.
Lake Taghkanic State Park boasts two incredible swimming beaches: West Beach and East Beach. West Beach is the main beach area and operates from late June through Labor Day. This sandy beach is large and has a huge parking lot where you will have no trouble parking your RV. If you interested in swimming you can bring your swimsuit and change in the nearby changing rooms. There are lifeguards on duty at specified hours, and pets are not allowed in this area. East Beach is more suited to people wanting a little more peace and quiet. Here you will find a changing room and a smaller beach area.
Lake Taghkanic is open for boating from mid-May to October. Getting out on the water is a great way to explore aquatic plant life and absorb the beauty of the lush green forests surrounding the lake. Watersports enthusiasts will love the convenience of the well-equipped boating facility and camp store. Guests can rent kayaks, pedal boats, safety gear, and canoes from the park. If you are bringing a personal watercraft, it is worth noting that only electric motors are permitted on the lake. Boating licenses are available at the office near the West Beach.
If you like to hike, you will have to pack your hiking boots! The park has over 10 miles of well-marked trails that are perfect for explorers of any skill level. Six miles of the trails are for multi-use purposes and are open for biking, skiing, snowmobiling, and skating. If you need time to rest during hiking (or a place to relax), there are benches fixed at different intervals. To get the best views of Lake Taghkanic, the Lake View Trail will be your best choice. The other shorter trails are also well interconnected with each other and lead to various points of interest.
Winter presents numerous opportunities for RV visitors to get out in the snow and have some fun. Some of the more popular winter recreational activities include ice skating, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. From morning to evening, guests can engage in the activity of their choice. If you are looking for a more relaxing activity, you can go snowshoeing or build a snowman. Before you leave on your RV adventure, remember to pack your gear as there are no guarantees that rental equipment will be available in the wintertime.
If you fancy yourself as an angler, then you must throw out a line in the 168-acre Lake Taghkanic. The lake is popular with fly fishing, standard fishing, and once the lake freezes over, ice fishing. Under the surface are a variety of fish species that you could try to catch, including smallmouth bass, bluegill, and yellow perch. You can either fish from the shoreline or a boat if you want to reach the harder to find fishing spots. You must have a fishing license if you are over the age of 16, so remember to get one before you head to the water to fish.
For those who love to hunt, you can do so in some areas within Lake Taghkanic. The designated hunting areas and hunting seasons are posted on the park website. Hunters generally get tags to hunt deer and wild turkey. Please note that only bow and arrow hunting is allowed at Lake Taghkanic. All hunters must have a current hunting license, as well as a park permit, to be granted permission to hunt inside of Lake Taghkanic.
Getting out and spotting some of the local animals that call Lake Taghkanic State Park home is a great way to spend some quality time in the great outdoors. Several mammals can be seen out and about from dawn to dusk, including deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, coyotes, rabbits, raccoons, and beavers. If you are into birding, there are also dozens of species of birds that can try to spot, most of which will be found near the lake or within the wooded trail areas.