Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Hudson River Valley in Taconic State Park, a sprawling reserve with sandy beaches, scenic picnic spots, and low-key campgrounds. It stretches for 16 miles along the Taconic Mountain Range and occupies more than 5,000 acres, making it one of the largest wilderness areas on the East Coast.
While Taconic State Park is in New York, it straddles the Massachusetts and Connecticut borders, which makes it a fantastic place to experience the natural beauty and diversity of New England. Planning a getaway to the Empire State? Whether you're craving a whirlwind weekend getaway or a long-distance road trip, you'll find a huge selection of RV rentals in Columbia County. The park also stretches into Dutchess County, where cities like Poughkeepsie and Beacon are easy launch pads for camping at Taconic State Park.
Crisscrossed with hiking trails, Taconic State Park offers plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs. Keep a lookout for towering American elms and rare American chestnut trees as you explore the trails. In summer, locals and visitors alike flock to cool off at Copake Falls. Swimming is allowed in Ore Pit Pond, a crystalline natural pool patrolled by lifeguards. There's also a grassy area where you can soak up the sunshine or enjoy a picnic.
Anglers will jump at the chance to hook a rainbow trout in Bash Bish Brook. You can also try your luck in Rudd Pond, a decommissioned iron ore mine pit that's well-stocked with bass, sunfish, and pickerel. Don't forget to pick up a New York State Freshwater Fishing License before you cast a line. Hunters will find Taconic State Park a rewarding destination for deer and bear, as well as turkey, rabbit, squirrel, fox, and ruffed grouse.
While summer is peak season in the Taconic, fall sees the park explode in a sea of reds, yellows, and golds. Things don't slow down in the winter, when Taconic State Park transforms into a snow-dusted wonderland with cross country skiing, snowshoe, and snowmobile trails.
Camping at Taconic State Park
Set in a deciduous forest, the compact campground at Taconic State Park is ideal for vacationers in search of R&R. At Copake Falls, you can choose from 36 motorhome camping sites with a maximum size length of 30 feet. Most sites are partially shaded and feature picnic tables and fire rings – perfect for sun-dappled breakfasts and starlit nights around the fire.
There are no water, electric or sewer hookups, which makes Taconic a great option for no-frills campers seeking a rustic s'more roasting session. That said, you'll still enjoy access to flush toilets, hot showers, potable water, and a dump station for serviced RVs. Dogs are allowed at designated pet-friendly sites, so feel free to bring along Fido on your next state park RV camping trip.
While the Rudd Pond campground only caters to tents, you're welcome to enjoy the sandy beach and scenic picnic spots. You can also rent canoes and enjoy a leisurely paddle around the lake. Live in or around the Big Apple? At just over two hours from Downtown Manhattan, Taconic State Park offers a unique chance to camp in an RV near New York City.
Exploring the Area
RV camping at Taconic State Park puts you in the heart of the picturesque Hudson River Valley. The Harlem Valley Rail Trail is a fantastic way to enjoy the region, spanning for 15 miles along the tracks of an abandoned section of the New York and Harlem Railroad. For a longer hike, take on sections of the famous Appalachian Trail. In nearby Bash Bish Falls State Park, you can gaze up at the highest single-drop waterfall in Massachusetts or enjoy a sun-drenched picnic on the rocks. For panoramic views over Dutchess County, work up a sweat on the hike to the summit of Brace Mountain.
Set at the base of Taconic Ridge, the Copake Iron Works Museum offers a glimpse of the region's industrial roots. During its 19th-century heyday, the building was used to smelt iron, though today it's been transformed into a fascinating museum complete with a charcoal blast furnace, blowing engine house, and powder storage building. Be sure to stamp your National Park Service Passport if you have one.
For gas, groceries, and other basic supplies, you're a short drive from several towns, including Copake, Hillsdale, and Great Barrington. If you're looking to pick up an RV rental near Taconic State Park, consider starting your trip in Albany, where you'll find attractions like the New York State Museum and Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site. Boston camper rentals are also popular with East Coasters heading to the Hudson River Valley.