We're on our way to Vermont to spend a week with family. Check in time at the house we've rented isn't till 4:00, so we thought we'd check out the beautiful Thacher State Park on our way. The park is situated along the Helderberg Escarpment (The Great Ledge), 15 miles southwest of Albany. It provides a marvelous panorama view of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys and the Adirondack and Green Mountains. We hiked the Indian Ladder Trail today.
This hike’s ratio of scenic payoff to exertion is off the charts. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the most unique treks in the Hudson Valley and, except for stairs at the beginning and end, the hike was very easy. We began our hike at the visitors center with a spectacular view of the Helderberg Escarpment, a long, limestone ridge formed 300 million years ago. We then headed down and along the cliffs, passing beneath ledges and a waterfall, and small caves. After hiking half a mile we climbed the other set of steps that lead to the rim trail, from there we headed back to the visitors center. Total length of the hike was just over a mile.
The history of the trail dates back to 1570 when it was used by the Mohawk Iroquois to reach a trading post run by Henry Hudson near what is now Albany. The most prominent feature of the park, the Helderberg Escarpment got its name from the Dutch words Helder meaning bright or light and Berg meaning mountain.
And a few waterfalls...that were a little small today.
The view of the valley.
Looking down from the rim trail to where we were on the cliff trail.
The visitors center
Looking back a.t part of the cliff trail and the Hudson Valley.