John Boyd Thatcher Park Escarpment Trail
Located at 830 Thatchers Park Road, Voorheesville, NY, be aware that many parking spots along this trail are 30 minute parking lots. We ended up parking at the visitors center lodge, which had been recently built with restrooms, children entertainment, information about the state park, and a Karen-type worker with a bit of an attitude. While we will highlight other areas of the park later, we want to keep the current focus of this piece on the Escarpment trail. An escarpment being a “long steep slope, especially one at the edge of a plateau or separating areas of land at different heights”, Thatcher’s being situated along the Helderberg escarpment.
The Helderberg escarpment sits at 1100 feet & offers some of the rarest views of the capital district, including the Capital Albany, my hometown Schenectady, the Adirondack Mountains, and the Mohawk – Hudson Valleys as well as much more!
The trail is rated as easy by AllTrails, and I would highly recommend it to any beginning hiker as it’s suitable for all skill levels and short enough for people who hate walking. It is even possible for those with assisted mobility devices like a wheel chair or walker to traverse parts of this trail. It’s also easy to get on and off the trail and get to paved ground.
The best views from this hike can be found at the overlook, a section at the end of the 3.5 mile hike made from rock and concrete. The overlook area even has a concession stand that opens up during the summer, seating areas, and incredible view for the whole family and tends to be the hotspot for for the area.