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New York State Parks

John Boyd


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John Boyd Thacher State Park is situated along the Helderberg Escarpment, about fifteen miles southwest of Albany. The park provides a spectacular panorama of the Hudson Valley - Mohawk Valley as well as the Adirondack Mountain plus the Green Mountains of Vermont.  This state park is a must to explore while in the Albany area. 

The park is open year round, however the popular 0.4 mile Indian Ladder Trail is only open from May 1 until November 15.  There are over 13 miles of hiking trails available in the park including over four miles of the Long Path.  Check out the The Long Path Guide for more on hiking the nearly 400 mile Long Path.

The Long Path travels in the park for its entire length from south to north. A northern route from a parking area on Beaver Dam Road takes it one mile into the main park property, where it can be used to access the Paint Mine-Hop Field Trail System. This trail system begins on the opposite side of the road from the Indian Ladder Trail and is available all year round.

You'll find more information on this state park from the NY State Parks website.  There is no camping available at this park, however you'll find a campground nearby at Thompson's Lake State Park.  Look below for a few pictures and some information on the hiking trails in the park.  The NY State Parks website has a couple of great trails maps, Thacher Trail Map - North and Thacher Trail Map - South.


  • On NY 157, off NY 85, 15 miles southwest of Albany.

Minelot Falls from the Long Path

Outlet Falls from the Indian Ladder Trail

View from the Escarpment Trail

Hiking Trails at John Boyd Thacher State Park

Long Path (4.4 miles) - This aqua blue blazed trail travels the length of the park from south to north, taking hikers on a scenic journey through the park.  The trail passes the Paint Mine area, Knowles Flats and coincides with the Escarpment Trail. Numerous spectacular views await.

Blue Trail (2.5 miles) - This trail coincides with the Long Path for a brief time and is a loop trail located near the parking area off Beaver Dam Road.

Escarpment Trail (2.3 miles) - This popular trail follows the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment from Hailes Cave to Glen Cove.  There are numerous views and parking areas to access the trail.  The Long Path follows this trail briefly.

Indian Ladder Trail (0.4 miles) - A staircase takes hikers below the main Escarpment Trail and follows a well worn trail under Minelot Falls then back up stairs to the Escarpment Trail.  The Long Path follows this trail.  The Indian Ladder Trail is open from May 1 to November 15, weather permitting.

Nature Trail (0.9 miles) - This interior trail travels past a waterfall and coincides with the Red Trail as well as the Long Path.  You'll see caves, waterfalls, old farms, foundations, and a dynamite shack along the trail.

Orange Trail (0.9 miles) - This interior trail loops around near Hop Field and coincides with the Yellow Trail briefly.

Red Trail (1.3 miles) - This interior trail loops around the park between Paint Mine and Knowles Flats, passing a waterfall and coinciding briefly with the Nature Trail as well as the Long Path.

Yellow Trail (1.5 miles) - This interior trail loops around near Hop Field skirting wetlands and passing the Blue and Orange Trails.

White Connector Trails (1.8 miles) - Eight different white blazed trails allow hikers access from different parking areas to interior trails.


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