My sons and I visited Taconic State Park in New York on Friday, September 12th thru Saturday, September 13th. This campground had been recommended to us by a friend and we had never been to this part of New York State. Taconic State Park…”is located along 16 miles of the Taconic Mountain Range, sharing a border with Massachusetts and Connecticut.” (http://nysparks.com/parks/83/details.aspx) This “tri-state” area is home to ridges and farm-land valleys with forested streams, waterfalls and lots of friendly folks.
The park is divided into two distinctive areas: Copake Falls Area (to the North) and Rudd Pond Area (to the South). We camped at the Copake Falls Area (roughly a two hour drive from Bergen County, NJ)
This park area offers 45 tent sites, 25 tent platforms, 36 trailer sites and three cabin areas for a total of 106 campsites and 18 cabins. The cabins range from rustic to modern with full kitchens, etc. The park is very well maintained and we were very pleased with our stay at this facility.
Other park amenities and facilities include playground, swimming area (in season), trails, showers, dishwashing station, day-use (group) pavilion, modern camp office, multiple (flush/running water) restrooms and multiple potable water stations. There is a general store/deli/bakery across from the main entrance for supplies you may have forgotten to bring, or to pick up sandwiches for day hikes. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Depot-Deli-across-from-Taconic-State-Park/107360642666741
A distinctive treat featured at their store is the “Sin-A-Bomb” cinnamon, sticky loaf (it’s really tasty!) We made sure to take one home with us, too. After further testing, we can definitely recommend lightly grilling each slice and serving it “ala mode” with french vanilla ice cream for a decadent dessert.
Locally accessible hiking trails include: Appalachian, South Taconic, Bish-Bash Falls, Sunset Vista. The Harlem Valley Rail Trail (http://hvrt.org/) is a multi-use, paved rail trail that extends four miles to the South of the campground’s front entrance (for an 8 mile round trip walk or bike ride).
During our visit, we focused on the three mile round trip to Bish Bash Falls – a sixty foot drop waterfall feature. The trail from the campground is well maintained, well marked and includes constructed steps at steep inclines (although most of the trail is gently sloped.) The trail crosses through the New York State parking lot and climbs steadily along the creek until reaching the Massachusetts border where the trail flattens. The falls viewing area includes portable toilets and a stair case to the base of the falls. Folks who do not want to hike the trail can drive to the Massachusetts parking lot above the falls and walk down to the viewing area.
During our trip we had planned to prepare two dinners and two breakfasts (preferring to purchase our lunch at the deli). The first evening featured “mac and beef” casserole in our aluminum dutch oven (easy clean up). Breakfast was reheated breakfast burritos that we had made at home and simply wrapped in heavy duty aluminum foil (easy grilling, easy clean up). Since we elected to go home early due to a change in the weather, we prepared our second meal at home – chicken and sausage Jambalaya (also prepared in a dutch oven, but on stove top). Our final breakfast was also done at home – banana, chocolate chip pancakes.
Other area attractions that we did not investigate during this trip include:
- the Catamount Aerial Adventure Park (http://www.catamounttrees.com/home) to the north of Copake Falls. This attraction offers extensive low and high ropes courses for people of various ages and activity levels.
- Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (http://www.oldrhinebeck.org/) which is a “living” museum of aviation – a large collection of very early airplanes (1900-1939) many of which are serviceable and fly demonstration flights during airshow events.
- Walkway over the Hudson (Poughkeepsie, NY) provides an exciting view of the Hudson river valley from a retired railroad bridge that has been converted to pedestrian walk way. The bridge soars 212 feet above the river and provides a 1.28 mile long walkway.
- Black Creek Preserve is located just north of Poughkeepsie, NY and provides family friendly walking trails featuring a dramatic suspension bridge and stunning views of the Hudson river. Spotting endangered animals and rare plants is another feature of this preserve. http://www.scenichudson.org/parks/blackcreek