John Boyd Thacher State Park (Thacher State Park) is located in Voorheesville, NY is a wonderful State Park for hiking with kids; As well as other outdoor activities. There are 2 viewing areas that offer awesome scenic views looking down at the towns below and as far away as the city of Albany.
Parking is $6 and there are pay meters in each lot. There’s an overlook that allows 30 minutes of free parking.
Thacher Park Visitors Center
The Visitor Center is a great place to visit. Even with Closure due to covid, there is a double slide a rock wall, a tunnel and a twisted ladder for kids to play on. there’s also a scenic look out that requires no hiking to get to from the visitors center. It’s also also the exit (currently exit only) for the Indian Ladder Trail which is a popular trail and great for families.
I recommend parking at the Indian ladder trail lot that is before the visitors center. After hiking the Indian ladder trail you can enjoy views from the scenic look out up top. Then one adult can make their way back to the parking lot to pick up the car- there’s a path at the top that’s about a half mile long. The other adult can bring the kids over to the play items and enjoy slides, rock wall etc while they wait for the car to return. There’s also areas to picnic so make sure to pack one.
Hiking at Thacher State Park
All Trails lists many trail options through Thatcher Park. There’s a handful of trails that are under 2 miles which is within our hiking target and great for hiking with kids. Indian Ladder Trail .5 is one way currently due to COVID, and is an easy one that also can be combined with the nice viewing area at the Visitors Center. There’s also significantly longer trails and trails that connect, so there are a variety of ranges for all levels.
The park has picnic areas, volleyball courts, and playgrounds. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, winter cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling on over 25 additional miles of trails. Snowshoe rentals available.
Wild Play at Thacher Park, a high ropes course, is also located within Thacher State Park. This is a great ropes course and has 2 options Childs ropes course great for younger kids but allows for adults to go up with them, and a more challenging course great for older kids and adults. Wild Play at Thacher Park ziplines are great, all 12 of them. As are the 60 aerial games and a 40ft jump.
Where to Stay near Thacher State Park
Thompson’s Lake State Park Campground, nearby offers campsites, a beach, and boat launches. It’s a great lake for beginner kayaking and rentals are available at the beach. It’s a great place to stay for a camping weekend away. Spend your morning hiking Thacher State Park, cool off in the lake in the afternoon, and enjoy a campfire with smores in the evening.
Check out family trips for Hiking with kids and attractions in the Capital District
- Hiking with kids: Hannacoix Preserve / Water Fall
- Christman Sanctuary / Water Fall hike with kids
- Hiking with kids: Grafton Lakes State Park
- Thompson’s Lake State Park
- Wild Play at Thatcher Park
- Henry Hudson Park
- Albany, NY
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