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Thacher State Park is located west of Albany near Voorheesville, New York. It is situated in the Saratoga/Capital District region of Albany County on State Route 157. Thacher State Park spreads out along the Helderberg Escarpment, which is its most prominent feature and is known as one of the best fossil-bearing formations in the world. In addition to its fossil-rich cliffs, people are drawn to this park for its limestone landscape, fields, forests, as well as epic views of mountains and valleys.
The park area dates back around 400 years ago when the historic trail known as the Indian Ladder Trail was used by the Mohawk Iroquois Indians to reach the trading post run by Henry Hudson. The park was established more than 100 years ago in 1914 and named after former Albany Mayor, John Boyd Thacher. Whether you’re planning a hike, picnic, or camping trip, book an RV in Albany County and set a course to Thacher State Park, where you'll experience all this and more.
Make sure to pack your walking shoes and mountain bike in your RV rental because there are over 12 miles of trails for hiking and biking at Thacher. One of the most popular treks at this state park is the Indian Ladder Trail, which is located on the Helderberg Escarpment and passes under the Minelot Falls. Although all other trails are open year-round, the famous Indian Ladder Trail is open from early summer to mid-November depending on the weather.
Have your camera at the ready as you wander around woodland and open fields, rock-strewn slopes, and six miles of limestone cliff-face. Hike to the top of the escarpment to come across spectacular photo-worthy panoramas of the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains in Vermont, as well as vistas of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys.
Those of you traveling with the whole family will find activities for children and adults alike. Thacher State Park offers playgrounds for the kiddos plus volleyball courts and ball fields. Another highlight at this park is the Wild Play Adventure Course, which is open May through October and offers thrill-seekers 15 zip lines, 60 aerial games, and a 40-foot jump. There is also sport climbing available here as long as you have a signed permit.
There are numerous open and covered cooking and BBQ areas, including nine shelters available to reserve to inspire outdoor dining during the summer. If you have a rental motorhome at Thacher State Park during the cold season, you’ll enjoy plenty of winter recreation, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Camping with an RV is popular and easy here. Thacher State Park features Thompson's Lake Campground. There are 140 sites to choose from with options of private wooded sites and open, adjacent campsites that can accommodate tents or RVs. All the sites are close to the campground amenities, which include restroom and shower facilities. There are also comfort, water, and dump stations here.
When you're looking for a lakeside setting so that you can camp in an RV near Albany, Thompson's Lake Campground is a great option. It features a sandy beach that is ideal for swimming and sunbathing, as well as access to launch sites and boat rentals. Take a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboards out on the lake or cast a line in the fishing areas.
Up to two pets are welcome in the campsites and day-use areas as long as they’re leashed and supervised, although they’re not permitted in certain areas. Reserve a spot for your travel trailer one day ahead of arrival or up to nine months in advance during the camping season, which is typically May through October.
Before you leave Thacher State Park to explore New York’s Upstate, stop by the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center. Located just two miles from the park on Thompson's Lake, the center offers geological and historical exhibits showcasing the Helderberg Escarpment as well as interactive displays, educational programs, and even snowshoe rentals. There are also year-round interpretive programs available, including guided tours of the Indian Ladder Trail. The center is also a premiere venue for weddings and larger events.
You’ll find a convenience store located with 10 miles of the campground. After you stock up on supplies, hop in your RV rental from Albany and head out on the open road to explore more of the Saratoga/Capital District region. This area is a favorite destination for nature enthusiasts thanks to its many state parks.
Follow up your road trip adventures at Thacher State Park with a visit to Voorheesville, a great place to wander a farmers market for fresh local ingredients. The park is only about half an hour from the historic metropolitan area of downtown Albany. Discover all kinds of urban delights in the New York state capital, which also happens to be the oldest continuing settlement in the nation.