Albany is a major city in upstate New York that also serves as the state capital. The city is known for its vibrant history, architecture, and institutions of higher learning. Situated along the western shores of the Hudson, just about 90 minutes from Springfield, MA, the city of Albany is often overshadowed by its sister to the south, New York City.
About 15 miles to the southwest of the city of Albany lies John Boyd Thacher State Park. Sitting on the Helderberg Escarpment near Voorheesville, the park attracts many motorhome camping enthusiasts throughout the year due to its rock-strewn slopes and sheer bluffs.
To enjoy some state park RV camping at John Boyd Thacher State Park, you don’t have to own a campervan. Simply search for an RV in Albany County and embark on an incredible adventure. The Helderberg Escarpment is home to some of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the World. The park is awesome to visit if you’re into geology, but it has more in store for all kinds of Voorheesville campers. It is home to a couple of great hiking trails, the most notable one being the Indian Ladder Trail. When camping at John Boyd Thacher State Park, you’ll be doing more than hiking. Sport climbing, zip-lining, and bird watching are just some of the outdoor activities on offer here.
Hiking is undoubtedly the biggest draw to John Boyd Thacher State Park. The Escarpment Trail is a 3.7-mile out-and-back trail that is perfect for warming up your legs before attempting the longer trails. It’s an easy hike that kids can manage. The Indian Ladder Trail is a 3.5-mile long trail that takes you past two waterfalls, an underground stream, and even into Hailes Cave, the longest cave at John Boyd Thacher State Park.
If you’ve been camping with an RV here occasionally and are familiar with the park, you’ve got to have a go at geocaching. Geocaching is simply kind of like a treasure hunt where you’re tasked with finding ‘caches’ at specific locations using coordinates on your smartphone. You’ll even get to learn more about the state park enjoyably.
Much to the delight of younger adventurers, there is an amusement park along Thacher Park Road inside the state Park. WildPlay Thacher has activities of all kinds, including adventure courses, 15 zip lines, and climbing games. Remember to bring some bug spray.
Camping at John Boyd Thacher State Park
Conveniently located within John Boyd Thacher State Park, the Thompson's Lake Campground has a total of about 140 wooded sites. The RV Park has no electricity, which makes it awesome for trying out some old fashioned boondocking. The campground, however, has a dump station, restrooms, and a playground for kids.
Situated right next to the beach, you’ll be tired of watersports by the time your getaway comes to an end. Don’t fret if you didn’t bring along a boat or kayak as both are available for rent. Otherwise, nothing beats a refreshing dip in the cool waters on a sunny day. There are a couple of ball fields in case you're the kind of person who prefers sticking to land.
Exploring the Area
Want to know the best thing about renting an RV? You’re free to go wherever you want, whenever you feel like it. With that in mind, don’t miss out on a chance of exploring Albany or even the nearby Catskill. Start your day by taking a tour of the New York State Capitol. Constructed between 1867 and 1899, the building features a couple of architectural styles, including Classical Romanesque Style for the ground floor and Victorian Romanesque style for the fourth and roof floors.
Follow this up with a visit to the New York State Museum, which is a research-backed establishment devoted to exploring the natural history of the State of New York. Boasting of about 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, the museum is home to more than a million cultural objects. Even more impressive, the museum houses more than 16 million scientific specimens. Some of the permanent exhibits include The Adirondack Wilderness, the Birds of New York, and the Ancient Life of New York.
Should you be a military history buff, crank up your travel trailer and head over to USS Slater. The destroyer escort historical museum is a cannon-class destroyer escort ship, which was named after Frank O. Slater. The ship was launched in 1944 and served in the U.S Navy for a while before moving over to the Greek Navy. USS Slater later made its way home in 1993 and, after a major restoration, was declared a National Historic Landmark.