Abutting Massachusetts and Connecticut within the Taconic Mountains, Taconic State Park is a gorgeous wildlife paradise that is great for the RV lovers who want primitive camping. It is truly a wild area of America, with the location being the largest unfragmented forests between Maine and Virginia at over 5,000 acres.
Found within the park are the cascading Copake Falls, which provide a beautiful background to take a swim in the freshwater during the summer. The falls are a popular spot to kick back and relax at, so bring your camera and get some awesome shots. If you want to chase more waterfalls, Bish Bash - the most dramatic and highest single drop waterfall in Massachusetts, is located just over the border.
If you want to learn some history about the area you can check out the Copake Iron Works Museum. The building is located at the old Copake Iron Works building, which was built way back in 1845.
There are also many other recreational opportunities in the park, including hiking trails, a visitor center, biking trails, fishing and hunting. During the wintertime there are five miles of snowmobiling trails, along with cross-country skiing and shoe-showing opportunities
Camping wise, the park has 36 trailer sites available for RV's, with the maximum size length being 30 feet. You won't find any hookups at this state park, so make sure you are prepared for this before you begin your stay. The camping area is closed from December to April during the off-season.
RV Rentals in Taconic State Park
Transportation in Taconic State Park
Taconic State Park is located along New York State Route 22 and is just north of where the New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut borders all come together. Due to this location along New York State Route 22, it is quite easy to access and you should have no trouble getting your RV into the park if it is 30ft or smaller.
From Albany, follow I-90 East until you reach exit B2. Take this exit for Taconic Pkwy toward NY-295 and continue for 10 miles. Turn left onto Co Route 21 and continue onto the Cakeout Turnpike for around four miles. Take a right onto NY-22 South and keep driving for eight miles until you see the park entrance.
Driving from Springfield, take I-90 West for around 50 miles. Take exit B3 for NY-22 and then turn left to NY-22 South. Keep on NY-22 South for around 20 miles until you reach the park.
From Poughkeepsie, take the Salt Point Turnpike for 11 miles. Turn left onto NY-115 North for 11 miles and then take a right onto Taconic State Parkway. Take the the Jackson Corners Road exit then turn left onto CO Route 7. Continue on CO for around 10 miles until you see the NY-22 North exit. Take this and the park will be on your right.
Campgrounds and parking in Taconic State Park
Campsites in Taconic State Park
Taconic State Park
The campground at Taconic State Park is quite small, with 36 trailer sites available for RV's, with the maximum size length being 30 feet. If you have a rig bigger than 30 feet you will have trouble fitting in this campground. The sites at Taconic State Park are quite primitive, so there will be no water, electric or sewer services available to the RV sites. Despite this there are still toilets, showers and a dump station available in the park. Other amenities in the park include water fill-up station, picnic area and two dog friendly campsite loops. Phone reception should be available throughout the campground and there are plenty of shops close by if you need to get more supplies.
If you want to be close to the toilets and showers, try to get a site from 2-14. Please note that the camping area is closed from December to April during the off-season so you won't be able to camp during the winter period at the park.
Seasonal activities in Taconic State Park
Iron Works Museum
The Copake Iron Works was established in 1845 and operated from 1848 until 1903. This site has been recognized as one of the most complete ironworks in the four state Litchfield Iron District and now serves as museum. A rare blast furnace, blowing engine house and machine shop with equipment are all still in their original place within the Iron Works. The diorama room in the museum is open year-round during daylight hours, with the rest of the museum being open weekend days from 2pm to 4pm from Memorial Day weekend through to mid-November.
Fresh water fishing enthusiasts will be delighted with the opportunities available to fish in Taconic State Park. There are two main spots to fish within the park, the Bash Bish Brook or the old iron ore mine pit. If you head to Bash Bish Brook you have the potential to catch big brown trout. In the old iron ore pit hopefully the rainbow trout will be biting. If you are going to fish at Taconic State Park you will need a New York State Freshwater Fishing License. Licenses aren't available at the park, but they can be purchased from select locations in town.
Within Taconic State Park is an area known as the Ore Pit Pond where you can cool off during the summertime. This freshwater catchment has a small swim area with a separate smaller wading pool for young children. The water is very deep and clear, perfect for taking a dip. A lifeguard will be on patrol in Ore Pit Pond and the swimming area is roped off. Once you are finished swimming there is a lovely grassed area overlooking the pond where you can relax.
Terrain in Taconic State Park varies from easy to challenging, so the park is suitable for all hikers. Some of the trails offer spectacular views of the countryside as the make their way through the mountains and over the Massachusetts border. The most popular trail is the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. These are two sections of old railroads that were once part of the New York City rail extension. In total there are 15 paved miles that will take you through stunning rural Dutchess and Columbia County landscapes. During this stretch you can walk or cycle and take in the beautiful views.
Hunting is a popular pastime by visitors and locals in Taconic State Park. Some of the animals hunted in park include rabbits, hare, squirrel, fox and ruffed grouse. In season both deer hunting (shotgun/bow) and turkey hunting (bow only, until 12 noon) are permitted in designated areas throughout the park. No waterfowl, migration birds or reptiles are allowed to be hunted. If you want to hunt within the park, a New York State hunting license is required.
The scenic 64 acre Ore Pit Pond is also a great spot to get out the boat before the weather gets too cold. Unfortunately motorized boating is not permitted in the pond, but there are rowboats and canoes available to rent from the park if you need one. If you are a visitor who has a regional boating permits (also available for purchase at the Park Office) you are allowed to launch your own rowboats, canoes, or kayaks.