Schodack Island was once one of a handful of islands on the Hudson River. Schodack comes from two Mohican Native American words, ishoda akee, which roughly means “fire plain land.” The island was once used for the Mohicans’ council fire, at which they would discuss various issues affecting their people. At the beginning of the 20th century, European settlers took it upon themselves to alter the Hudson River with dikes and dams, which lowered the level of the river. That also resulted in joining the islands, effectively forming a large peninsula. New York officially established the peninsula as Schodack Island State Park in 2002.
The largest town and the capital of New York, Albany, is about 12 miles north. Though it’s a historic town that dates back to the 1600s, it is antique and far from boring. The city is well known for its vibrant art, music, and culture scene. The annual Tulip Festival, which is a nod to its Dutch heritage, is extremely popular, bringing in around 80,000 attendants. Book an RV in Columbia County, and get ready for an idyllic RV camping trip in New York.
The Great Outdoors
A mix of tall maple, oak, hemlock, and other hardwood timber blanket Schodack Island State Park. The leaves reach over to one another, forming a lacy canopy that filters sunlight onto the forest floor in dappled beams. Around eight miles of trails wind and weave through the woods. The trails, rarely dried out, are soft underfoot. A dense coat of ferns, poison ivy, and other small plants blanket the forest floor on either side of the trails.
Schodack Island State Park has been declared a Bird Conservation Area, which grants some protection to the habitats of endangered and threatened birds: bald eagles, cerulean warblers, and blue herons. On the east side of the peninsula, around 50-100 heron nests adorn the treetops. Bald eagles and ospreys, on the other hand, favor the open water of Hudson River and tend to make their nests on the western shore.
A boat launch provides access to the river. Now a fairly shallow river, fishermen, and water adventurers may require a shallow-bottomed boat like kayaks, canoes, and rowboats.
In autumn, it’s not uncommon to hear the blast of a shotgun. Hunting is allowed. Hunters are restricted to muzzleloaders, shotguns, and bows. The typical game includes deer, turkeys, waterfowl, and other various small-game critters.
In mid-state New York, winters are long and snowy. As soon as the first snow lands on the bare forest, it transforms like magic into a winter wonderland. Adventurers return to the woods for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Because the river is shallow, it frequently does freeze over, though there are often spots where the ice is thin. Spontaneous games of hockey, ice-skating races and other competitions are common.
The Catskill region, made famous by various movies and art, is close by. It grants adventurers even more opportunities for outdoor fun, including tubing, skiing, boating, biking, and hiking.
Camping at Schodack Island State Park
Skip enduring noisy neighbors at hotels and wake up surrounded by nature in a camper rental. RV camp at Schodack Island State Park to achieve peace and quiet, far from the city. All of the 66 RV sites have electric hookups; however, there are no water or sewer hookups. There is, however, a dump station. Up to two dogs are allowed (heads up: bring proof of rabies inoculation). The campground, which is open year-round, has restrooms, outdoor faucets (seasonally available), and hot showers.
Should space run out, which does happen on occasion because it’s so close to Albany, there are a few other options nearby. RV camp near Chatham at Fox Hill Camping Area. At the foothills of the Berkshires, the 119-site campground has laundry and restroom facilities, and electric hookups.
Exploring the Area
Though Albany is a major draw for many visitors to the central New York region, don’t overlook the small towns that dot the countryside. This region has several small fruit orchards and vineyards. Hop into a motorhome rental and go on a scenic tour of the New York countryside to find your favorite. The Brookview Station Winery, near Castleton-on-Hudson, is an award-winning wine producer. Raking in gold and silver medals, the winery is especially well known for its unusual pear wines.
East Greenbush, NY, is considered New York’s horse country. Many equestrian centers and farms are found in this area, and driving through is a pastoral scene. Miles upon miles of horses can be seen grazing on lush green meadows. Occasionally whinnying as they find sumptuous alfalfa patches to snack on.