Summary: Thacher State Park, located just 15 miles southwest of Albany, is a local gem for our area. It is situated at the top of the Helderberg escarpment with limestone cliffs that rise several hundred feet.
From the parking area, head west following the wood split-rail fence. This is the Cliff Top Trail and it continues all the way to Hailes Cave picnic area. Enjoy the fine views of the Capital Region from atop the escarpment, but please stay behind the fence.
After 1/2 mile, there are stairs that lead down to the base of the cliff. This is the start of the Indian Ladder Trail. Interpretive signs are located along the trail. You will pass two waterfalls (Mine Lot and Outlet Creek), an underground stream, and caves. The rocks here contain many fossils. A second set of stairs takes you back to the top of the cliff.
The Indian Ladder Trail is open from aprroximately May to October, but you can walk along the Cliff Top Trail year-round (ski or snowshoe in winter).
Trailhead: From Albany, take Route 85 West through the village of New Salem. Turn right onto Route 157. The overlook parking lot is 3.1 miles farther and on the right side - just past Glen Doone picnic area. (Lat:42.65 Lon:-74.007)
Trail Guides for Thacher Park - Cliff Top & Indian Ladder Trails:
The Long Path Guide
by Herb Chong - Editor (New York-New Jersey Trail Conference)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: John Boyd Thacher State Park - (518) 872-1237
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by George Senft, who has posted 26 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by bob on 11/18/2012
Reviewed by Milly on 10/7/2012
love going thair
Reviewed by Bucky on 7/10/2011
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Reviewed by Jeevan on 5/16/2011
Pretty much every alternate weekend, I walk on the clifftop trail and beaverdam trail - nice scenic views. Trail, park, toilets, parking, everything is well maintained. The Indian Ladder trail is closed for the winter, however there are other trails that are open all year round. Plz follow the speed limit in the park, the state troopers are usually always around the corner.
Reviewed by Jeev on 5/16/2011
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Reviewed by Brendan on 7/30/2010
Nice hike with some great views. Low intensity but a lot of fun
Reviewed by Tracy on 7/17/2008
View from the trail was beautiful. Nice sunny day!
Reviewed by Chad on 5/28/2008
My sons 11 and 7 loved the Indian Ladder Trail. I had brought a flashlight so they could look into all the crevices and small cave like areas. It was funny to watch other people looking over their shoulders to see what was in there. They had a great time and so did I. I know that a previous poster mentioned the cave above the trail, is this the one that is right near the beginning of the Indian Ladder trail? The one that you need to climb up to get to? I may have to go back without my kids and climb up to take a look.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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