Saratoga Spa State Park with Kids and Dogs is a fun day trip. Located in Saratoga Springs, NY approximately 30 minutes south of Lake George and 30 minutes north of Albany. It’s one of the most popular State Parks in the Capital Region. The park is expansive offering the Peerless Pool Complex and golf course in the spring and summer. As well as hiking trails year round. Famous for it’s natural springs, you can visit several of them on 5 mile trail through the park. Don’t worry you don’t have to be able to hike all 5 miles.
We like to Park at in the lot next to Creekside Classroom. Parking here provides easy access to the Creekside Classroom. As well as several trails and springs, and play ground as well as plenty of space to picnic.
At the Creekside Classroom, a four-season environmental education center, Park staff offer environmental education programs year-round. This includes hikes, tours and snowshoe walks. There’s a schedule of events on the website that would be a nice addition to your visit.
The Creekside Classroom is very small. It offers tables with animal fur, a turtle, information about local fish and other pertinent information about the area. It also serves as an information center where you can view trail maps , and as the park ranger questions. Restrooms are located outside..
5 Mile Trail and the Springs
This loop trail is actually 5.2-mile. It’s generally but you will go up some hills. It takes an average of 1 h 45 min to complete.
If you are not up for all 5 miles at once you can break it up into a couple short hikes doing only a portion of the trail. From the Creekside Class room take the trail along the creek past the Geiser and then up the wooden steps. Head back through 5 mile trail back to Creekside Classroom. This will take you maybe 30-45minutes including stops to taste the spring water. * bring a cup to make to make it easier for tasting.
After this hike you can take a break, Play on the playground, have a picnic, play some picnic games and explore the creek in summer. When your ready for another hike, head across the parking lot the trail entrance past Polaris and Tallulah Springs, it will wrap you around and bring you pack to the playground that’s near the Creekside classroom parking lot. This again will only take you 30-45minutes it’s a nice shaded hike great for warmer afternoons.
Exploring the Creek
In the summer the creek near the Creekside Classroom can be fun for kids to explore. However in the spring the run off from the snow in the mountains means the water is still dangerously cold and can cause hyperthermia- a ranger warned us. The water levels of the creek are also much higher and the current strong. The Creek is very fun place but make sure to enter the water only during appropriate times when the water is shallow and warmer. If in doubt ask a ranger.
Where to Eat
I highly recommend you pack a picnic so you can spend your time enjoying the park. If you didn’t pack one yourself you can stop by a Stewarts shop and grab some sandwiches and snacks. We always stop there for some ice cream on our way out, or if your looking for a quick hot meal, chili dogs are one of my guilty pleasures. Saratoga Springs, NY is a wonderful village setting to stroll around in the evening and there’s plenty of great restaurants to choose from for dinner. In the summer there is often live music. If you love live music, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) adjecent to the Saratoga Spa State Park is an amphitheater hosting a variety of musical performances all summer long.
Saratoga Spa Park is a wonderful State Park in the Capital Region. Saratoga Spa State Park with Kids and Dog is a fun day trip or addition to a vacation in Saratoga Springs. The park is expansive offering the Peerless Pool Complex and golf course in the spring and summer and hiking trails year round. Famous for it’s natural springs, you can visit several of them on 5 mile trail through the park. There’s also a disc golf course so if that’s your thing make sure you bring your discs.