Thacher State Park
With gorgeous panoramic views of the Adirondacks, Green Mountains and Hudson-Mohawk Valleys, John Boyd Thacher Park is definitely worth checking out.
Located along the Helderberg Escarpment, just 15 miles southwest of Albany, this NY State park preserves six miles of limestone cliffs, woodland and open fields, perfect for picnicking, hiking and just enjoying the great outdoors. Discover waterfalls and one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world at this scenic park.
There are nearly 25 miles of trails for walking and mountain biking in the summer and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowbiling in the winter.
Thacher Park is also a great place for birding. It is a bird conservation area and there are approximately 171 species of birds that have been identified. Great Blue Herons, Red-Tailed Hawks, and a variety of different owl species have all been seen in the park.
Another unique feature of the park is the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center. Visiting the center is a great chance to explore exhibits and displays of geological models, a live honeybee observation hive, bird viewing, fossils, furs and other hands-on exhibits. There are trails which lead from the center to the Thompson's Lake that are great for hiking or skiing. The center also offers educational opportunities for kids. The center is open year-round from 9am to 5pm, closed Mondays. It is located at 87 Nature Center Way in Voorheesville NY and can be reached by calling (518) 872-0800.
A treetop adventure course is expected to open at the park by the end of summer 2015. Wild Play Element Parks obtained permission to build and operate a ropes course at Thacher. The ropes course will include ziplines, swings and other aerial recreation activities.
John Boyd Thacher State Park also has plans for a mountain bike skills site to be ready for use by this summer, as well. The Saratoga Mountain Bike Associatian has partnered up with the park to manage and maintain the site. The park plans to havea dense network of trails with jumps, turns and switchbacks. This site is meant to be challenging, but appropriate for riders of all ages and abilities.
A new visitors center is also in the works and is expected to be completed by 2016. The four-season center will house a fireplace, a two story glass atrium, information desk, conference rom and outdoor picnic patios. The space will be available for event rentals such as weddings and can accommodate up to 200 people.
Things to Enjoy
- Picnic Areas and Pavilions
- Volleyball Courts
- Playing Fields
- Recreation Programs
- Guided Tours of the Indian Ladder Trails
- Mountain Biking
- Cross Country Skiing
Contact: (518) 872-1237
Other New York State Parks In The Capital District
- Cherry Plain
- Falls View
- Grafton Lakes
- Hudson River Islands
- Max V. Shaul
- Mine Kill
- Moreau Lake
- Peebles Island
- Saratoga Spa
- Schodack Island
- Thompson's Lake