Day Trip: Taconic State Park

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Quick Note: With so many people looking for great getaways that don’t involve costly gas purchases, the new Day Trip columns are a new series of columns designed to get you up and out this summer without putting a burden on your wallet. These columns will be focused on fun finds that are usually within an hour traveling distance. If you have suggestions or would like to provide feedback, send an e-mail to: NorthwestCTMike@aol.com

On a rather chilly New England day with a slight mist about as the early morning fog was lifting from the valley, this hearty New Englander decided not to engage in cabin fever, rather get out and about and explore more of what our region has to offer. Cabin fever for me sets in early, and once it sets in, there is simply no turning back. I’ll take the high road and risk the chance for showers as it is starting to seem like the new normal these days. Mom always said, there’s no use crying over spilt milk, and there is certainly no use crying over a little rain, but try telling mother nature to stop shedding her tears and she’ll just give you more tears. Oh well. It’s New England. We’re the Seattle of the east. We have to get up and move on, and that’s exactly what I did as I embarked on my journey northwest to Taconic State Park in nearby Copake, New York, which is set in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley region. The state park sits directly on three states; New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. This park is also the sight of Mount Washington State Park in Massachusetts, and Mount Riga State Park in Connecticut. It has a great deal of offerings including a vast network of hiking trails and abundant fishing opportunities.

One of my favorite things about this park is the majestic waterfall that it has, which is actually Massachusetts’s most dramatic waterfall. Bash Bish Falls is a sight worth seeing and is guaranteed to cool you off even on a hot summers day as a gentle mist makes it’s way to where you are standing. Your mouth will drop in awe as the water cascades so fiercely through a rock formation which is the focal point for the falls. Once it reaches the pool below, it is there where it takes another dive into a pine forest where it glides swiftly to the remarkable countryside below the mountainside. The falls are accessible from two locations, a parking lot in Massachusetts or a parking lot in New York and both are free of charge to the public.

While the falls may be the parks main attraction, there are a variety of other attractions as well including cabin rentals, campsites, swimming ponds, and a close proximity to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail which is a paved/unpaved trail which makes it’s way from Copcake to Millerton and points south through the scenic Hudson Valley countryside where a number of farms dot the sprawling landscape. The trail is an excellent recreational attribute for the park as it connects the communities together to further enhance the tourism industry and help out local stores that sit along the trail. You’re never too far away from great local dinning options and small boutiques.

If you thought the Hudson Valley was all just about cows, then you haven’t yet made a visit to Taconic State Park and it’s surrounding areas. Cows may look like they outnumber people out here, but that’s just half the story that is being told here. There is a whole world for you to explore and it all starts with a day at the falls.

Taconic State Park
253 State Route 344, Copake Falls, NY 12517-5337

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