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Thompson's Lake State Parks is located just four miles from John Boyd Thacher State Park, near the Helderberg Escarpment southwest of Albany. This state park is a popular camping destination, but also has nearly four miles of hiking trails to explore. Many of the trails can be accessed from the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center.

The Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center offers exhibit and interactive displays.  The park has 140 wooded campsites and offers a sandy beach to enjoy the lake in the summer.  Recreational opportunities include a volleyball court, horseshoe pits, a playing field, swing sets, carry-in boat access, rental row boats, fishing areas, and nature trails. Interpretive and recreational programs are offered for campers throughout the summer.

The camping season is normally from early May to mid October each year.  We noticed when we visited in 2013 that the campground bathroom/shower facilities were brand new.  The park is open year round.  You'll find a great Hiking Trail Map from the NY State Park website.  You can also get more information on this state park from the NYSP website.


  • On NY 157, 18 miles southwest of Albany.

Hiking Trails at Thompson's Lake State Park

Campground Trail (0.6 miles) - This blue marked trail loops around the woods off the park road near the entrance to the park.

Schoolhouse Trail (1.0 miles) - This yellow marked trail is located off the Nature Center Road and creates a loop, passing an old schoolhouse.

Meadow Loop (1.0 miles) - This red marked trail crosses Ketcham Road for a loop.  Creates a figure 8 loop with the Schoolhouse Trail.

Salisbury Trail (0.7 miles) - This white marked trail links Thompson's Lake State Park with trails in northern section of John Boyd Thacher State Park.

Nature Center Trail (0.4 miles) - This orange marked trail runs parallel with the Nature Center Road.

Lakeshore Trail (300 feet) - This short trail leads from the Nature Center to Thompson's Lake.

Connector Trails - These four short trails connect to other trails in the park, allowing for hikers to create their own loop hike.

Enjoying the beach at Thompson's Lake

Typical campsite at Thompson's Lake

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