Adventurers and RV campers motoring through New York, rejoice! Thacher State Park is the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers, nature enthusiasts, and those looking for a little solitude and serenity. Complete with stunning vistas of the distant Adirondack Mountains juxtaposed against the sharp descents of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys, this scenic park is nothing short of postcard-perfect.
If you're visiting in the summer, feel free to hike, bike, fish, and paddle the day away. Visiting in the colder months? Don't forget to pack your rod and reel in the rig! Ice fishing is a popular pastime here during the off-season, in addition to cross-country skiing. Snowshoe rentals are available at the nearby nature center for those who don't have their own winter gear.
If you think geology rocks, you'll want to snap a photo of the park's limestone outcrops, which are part of the state's geologically significant Helderberg Escarpment, before checking out the informational exhibits at the park's nature center. Pint-sized campers will love the park's playgrounds and sports fields.
Last but most certainly not least is the park's very own adventure course! Avid adventurers won't want to miss a chance to get their heart racing on the zip-lines and aerial games like cargo nets, tightropes, and rope swings. True adrenaline junkies can plummet 40 feet on the "What's To Fear (WTF) Jump."
Everyone in your camping crew will find something fun to do, see, and experience at Thacher State Park, so pack up the campervan and set a course for one of the state's premier recreation destinations!
Thacher Park Road is the main thoroughfare in this area. This two-lane, paved road makes this heavily wooded region easy to navigate. The town of Altamont is a short drive away from the campground and offers all the mod-cons a camper might need, including restaurants, gas stations, and historic attractions.
Day-use visitors can park at one of several paved lots throughout Thacher Lake State Park. Two parking areas are available within the campground, near the nature center. The main visitor's center features a spacious lot, and hikers will find convenient parking areas near the Indian Ladder and Paint Mine trailheads. Vehicle entry fees apply for day visitors and campers.
New York state park campgrounds do not require reservations, although reservations are always recommended during the busy summer seasons and on holiday weekends. Those looking to snag one of the campground's accessible sites or require one of the larger sites would be wise to book their site in advance.
With 140 primitive campsites catering to tents and RVs, campers at Thacher State Park should have no trouble finding a place to park the rig for a night or three. Sites are back-in and can accommodate vehicles between 20 to 40 feet long. Hookups are not available at Thompson's Lake Campground, but thanks to the centrally located shower and restroom facilities, you probably won't need them anyway!
Campsites are convenient to playgrounds, a dump station, and the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center, offering interpretive nature programs and exhibits, sports equipment rentals, and hiking trails.
Note that this campground is technically part of the adjacent Thompson Lake State Park. Campers should be aware that hunting is allowed in Thacher State Park. Up to two leashed, well-behaved pets are welcome at all sites, though proof of vaccinations is required.
Thacher State Park offers something you don't see everyday: an adventure course outfitted with dozens of games way up in the trees! Appease your inner thrill-seeker on the log ladders, tightropes, bridges, zip-lines, and so much more. Some games are suitable for those afraid of heights. Note that WildPlay is open in season from May to October. Before paying the extra fee for the adventure course, be sure to check WildPlay's policies regarding health and underage visitors.
Hop out of the RV and stretch your legs on Thacher State Park's 25-mile hiking trail network. The Indian Ladder Trail is one of the park's most popular -- and most scenic. Come prepared for this four-mile hike, and don't forget to bring your camera so you can snap a photo of the falls along the way! Other paths include the Cliff Trail Loop and the Red Trail.
There's always something fun happening at the park's visitor center and the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center, including arts and crafts, wildlife presentations, guided walks among the park's clifftops and caves, and so much more. Check the events calendar during your visit to see what's happening. If you're lucky, you might get an up-close view of the park's critters!
The fun doesn't stop when the snow starts falling! Many of the hiking trails at Thacher State Park are open to explorers in winter weather. The Cliff Trail Loop in particular is suitable for novice skiers, as it's groomed and well-marked. While snowshoe rentals are available at the nature center, cross-country skiers will need to pack all their gear in their motorhomes.
Amateur anglers won't want to miss the chance to cast a line into the fish-filled, frozen waters of Thompson Lake. Fishing is a big draw here year-round, but winter fishing is particularly special, thanks to the park's free ice fishing clinics and even an annual tournament. Trout, bullhead, bass, and crappie are common cold-weather catches.
If you're looking for a good old-fashioned outdoor excursion complete with a little friendly competition, make use of Thacher State Park's sports fields! The volleyball courts and ball fields are a great place to teach the kids about teamwork. Why not make a day of it and reserve one of the park's picnic shelters for a pre-game snack?